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It counts: Intramural basketball tips off

James Allen, player for the Warriors, pushes past an opposing team player during the first game of the 2014 Fort Rucker Intramural Basketball season. The Warriors beat the Tropics 70-43. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

James Allen, player for the Warriors, pushes past an opposing team player during the first game of the 2014 Fort Rucker Intramural Basketball season. The Warriors beat the Tropics 70-43. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: January 31, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 31, 2014) -- Preseason is over and two teams took to the court to tip-off the 2014 Fort Rucker Intramural Basketball season.

The 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment Warriors dominated the 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt. Tropics, 70-43, during the opening game of the season at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center Jan. 27.

The Warriors took charge early on and held the lead for nearly the entire game, leading their opponents by more than 30 points at one time. Although the Tropics showed promise a few times with a string of three-point shots and lay ups, it wasn’t enough to stifle the 1-13th’s momentum.

“This is our first game of the season and we actually played a pretty good game,” said Staff Sgt. Mandrel Douglas, coach of the Warriors. “I think we played hard and I think we’ve got a good shot at the championship this year.”

The Tropics started off with the advantage getting their hands on the ball at the tip off, but were unable to sink a shot and the Warriors got the rebound and drove the ball down court for the first basket of the game just seconds in.

The 1-145th showed promise as they came back with a three-point shot to take the lead; the only time they would do so during the game.

It seemed anybody’s game early on, but the Warriors stepped up their game and gave their opponent’s a run for their money.

Their superior defense kept the Tropics at bay while they recovered rebound after rebound to gain possession and go for the goal. The Warriors’ offense was able to get past their opponents at every turn to extend their lead, and only minutes into the game, they had a 10-point lead in the first period.

The Tropics defense tightened up during most of the second period and neither team seemed able to score, but a foul against the Warriors broke the stagnation and allowed them to score off the free throw rebound.

The 1-13th’s ability to block and steal allowed them to stay one step ahead of their opponents, and by the half, the Warriors were leading by 14 points, 38-24.

The Tropics weren’t so far behind that they couldn’t turn things around as the game went into the second half, but the Warriors had possession to start and sunk a three-point shot to start the third period.

Their defense kept on the Tropics players, trapping them at every turn to prevent them from scoring, allowing them to gain a 20-point lead less than four minutes into the half.

The Tropics started to show promise going into the fourth period with a string of baskets, including two three-pointers that allowed them to slowly close the scoring gap.

This seemed to only make the Warriors work harder and they regained what little ground they lost and led their opponents with a game-high lead of 31 points with only two minutes remaining.

Not to go out with a fight, the Tropics did what they could to close the gap as much as possible before the buzzer sounded, ending the game 70-43.

“This year, I think we’ve got the speed that we need and we’ve got good outside shooting,” said Douglas. “We’ve got really good guards this year and I think we can go all the way.”

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/119275/

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