By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff Writer March 29, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - With half the battle for the Washington Military Athletic Conference championship basketball crown in the books, the numbers were not favorable for the Quantico Bulldogs as they readied to huddle inside the Fort Myer Fitness Center March 24.
The Marine base varsity team trailed by as many as 30 points and had allowed 54 points in the first 20 minutes of play against a surging Fort Belvoir squad.
But in an immediate second half about face, Quantico wrestled away momentum, played a different brand of defense which featured ball denial and caught the Belvoir bunch to force overtime and eventually claimed the 2013 tourney crown in a 93-88 victory.
Quantico's Ajawon Gadison provided some scoring morale by drilling nine three-point baskets and a game-high 35 championship points as the Bulldogs took their first lead with 10 minutes and 31 seconds left in regulation. Quantico allowed Belvoir 28 points in the second half.
"I can't say the words [Coach Jones] said in this interview, but he just told us to step it up and play like Marines," Gadison said about the halftime dialogue. "The whole time [this season], we've played defense, and today [for the championship] we came out a little sluggish. We then emphasized defense and playing as a team."
To throw off Belvoir's offensive rhythm, the Bulldogs also worked to deny Belvoir guard Calvin Booth any opportunity to touch, dribble or shoot the basketball. While a revived Quantico defense did its work, Gadison downed his treys and tourney most valuable player Chris Harris contributed 19 points.
Belvoir's George Martin scored 23 points during the championship while Tyrone Legette netted 15 and guard Katoe Chapman poured in 17.