MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Competitors in the Commanding General’s Intramural Basketball League got a break from the regular competition to play in an all-star basketball game and other competitions March 9 at the West Gym.
“The purpose of the all-star game was for bragging rights and to let the guys play with players from other teams competitively,” said Skip Best, Marine Corps Community Services athletics director.
Players were separated into two teams according to team standings with the first, third and fifth place teams combining against the second, fourth and sixth place teams. Both teams from Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School joined with 1st Tank Battalion for Team 1, and both teams from Headquarters Battalion combined with Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital to form Team 2.
The game was a close match through the first half, but in the end Team 1 took the win 81-67.
“The game was OK but it was too much strategy involved,” said Jerome Hawkins, MCCES Team 1 coach and a player on all-star Team 1. “I thought it should have been more scoring, but we needed a break from the season to have fun.”
Along with the all-star game, players had a chance to compete in a three-point shootout and dunk contest.
1st Tanks’ athletes dominated the competitions when Nathaniel Hovsepian won the shootout, and Bruce Woolley took the dunk contest.
“It was a nice feeling after Tanks took the dunk contest and the three-point shoot out, and being the coach of the winning all-star team,” said William S. Harvey, 1st Tanks coach and all-star Team 1 coach. “The all-star game was a chance for the Marines to relax and have fun. Game recognizes game, and it was a true honor to coach the all-star team consisting of Tanks, MCCES 1 and 2.”
As the all-star game came to a close and the regular season now over, teams turn their focus to the playoffs and championship game.
“We just lost two more players, however, I think we still have a great shot at winning it,” said Lance D. Raymond, Headquarters Battalion Team 1 coach. “We are disappointed with losing three of our last five games. I feel like we are going to be extremely focused for the playoffs.”
Jerome Hawkins, MCCES 1 coach, expressed confidence in his team and their abilities. According to him, the only ones who can stop them is themselves.
“Everyone knows we are the team to beat,” said Hawkins. “So what we need to do is stay focused, and stay with our game plan and do what we have to do to win. The only team that can beat us is MCCES 1, which is us.”
At the top of the league, Tanks carries a little extra pressure to maintain their winning strategy into the playoffs.
“We have some pressure; however, it's an advantage getting to sit out the first night,” said Harvey. “We’ll play hard all 40 minutes of the game and stick to the game plan.”
“Whatever team we face, we will have the mindset of no wins, no losses, just man up and play to the best of our ability,” he said.