By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMarch 14, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 14, 2013) -- It's hard enough to become the No. 1 team for the Fort Rucker Intramural Basketball regular season, but to achieve that while remaining undefeated is an accomplished feat.
That's what the 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment Eagles achieved when they beat the Delegates during their last regular season game at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility March 12, 67-55.
"I feel our team played really hard and I feel like we did a good job this season," said Denzel West, player for the Eagles. "We all came together as a collective unit and we did our thing."
Fellow Eagles player George L. Scott II agreed.
"I feel like tonight's win was just a culmination of the whole season," he said. "When we've had adversity during our games, different players have stepped up and that's exactly what happened tonight."
The game started as the Eagles took possession from the jump, but weren't able to score right away as their opponent's retrieved the turnover to drive the ball down court and score the first shot of the game.
The 1-11th weren't phased, though, as they returned with a 3-pointer to put themselves on the scoreboard and take the lead, a lead that they wouldn't give up for the entirety of the game. They followed up with another 2-point shot to pull away from their opponents early on.
The Eagles offense continued to overpower the Delegates, and their defense went to work to keep their opponents at bay, allowing them to extend their lead further.
As the 1-11th sunk basket after basket, they showed their superior shooting power by taking a 10-point lead just minutes into the game.
As hard as the Delegates pushed to gain on their opponents, the Eagles pushed back just as hard, but continued fouls against the Delegates allowed them to stay close to the opposing team.
Even with the free throws, however, the Delegates seemed unable to match the Eagles' pace, but it seemed enough to help them inch toward their opponents and get on their tail to bring the score to 24-20 with just 5 minutes remaining in the first half.
At this point, it was still anybody's game and it seemed the Delegates weren't going down without a fight.
They continued to play aggressively to stay on the heels of their opponents, but it wasn't enough to sate the Eagles' appetite to stay ahead.
The Delegates started to become too aggressive in their play style, and as fast as they gained on their opponents, they fell behind again and allowed the Eagles to retake their commanding lead at the end of the half.
At the start of the second half, the game was still up in the air and the Delegates had plenty of time to make up for lost ground as they started the half with possession, but were unable to score as the Eagles got the turnover to score the first basket of the half.
The Delegates wouldn't be disheartened, however, as they switched up their play style, hardened their defense and started to slowly close the scoring gap.
But for every inch they would gain on their opponents, the 1-11th seemed to gain two.
About halfway through the second half, however, it seemed the Eagles were losing their momentum as they began shooting brick after brick, allowing the Delegates to come within 1 point, 39-38.
Both teams seemed evenly matched at this point, both determined to pull away from the other, but the Eagles never relinquished their lead.
The game stayed dangerously close throughout most of the half, but the Delegates slowly lost their newfound drive and struggled to keep up with their opponents, eventually falling behind by more than 10 points with less than four minutes remaining.
The Eagles continued their superior play style and began to dominate their opponents toward the end of the game, and continual fouls against the Eagles sealed the Delegate's fate as the buzzer sounded, leaving the 1-11th undefeated.
Scott said remaining undefeated throughout the season was accomplished through teamwork.
"We play hard, we play well together and we just enjoy playing together," he said. "I think we just have the will to win and we're unselfish."