MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The Commanding General’s Intramural Basketball League came to a close March 16 as the final playoff game and championship went down at the West Gym.
Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School defeated 1st Tank Battalion 64-60 in the final playoff game of the season.
In the first half, MCCES couldn’t push through 1st Tanks’ defense as they took the lead.
But MCCES finally did break through in the second half. With only three minutes remaining, they finally took the lead and the win, forging their way to the championship game.
“We’ve come a long way, we’ve had a good season,” said William S. Harvey, 1st Tanks coach, to his team after the game was over. “It’s over, there’s no more harping on it, no more complaining. Tonight I’m very happy with how you played.”
As MCCES turned their focus toward the championship game, they also faced their fatigue.
“We’re tired,” said Jerome Hawkins, MCCES coach. “It’s going to be ugly, but we’re going to win.”
A fellow player on MCCES team, Miguel Bridges said the team just had to pull together and get through the game. “We just have to play hard, play through the pain,” he said.
Joe Lee, Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital player, looked forward to the game, aiming for the win.
“MCCES is tired… they have a short bench, we have that advantage,” said Lee. “I think we’ll do really good.”
James Redmond, Naval Hospital coach, said he didn’t want to be presumptuous about winning, but hoped his team would win.
“Perseverance and selflessness is the model of our team,” said Redmond. “We didn’t do so well in the season, but we’ve been able to pull through.”
In the beginning of the season, Redmond said there was a lot of skill in his team; he just had to be a good coach and pull their talents together. On Thursday night, he showed his team finally came together when they took the championship game 60-58.
Naval Hospital finished the first half with the lead 37-30. In the second half, MCCES quickly bounced back with a 15-point scoring heat before Naval Hospital could respond.
But Naval Hospital would not let themselves see defeat so easily. With four minutes remaining in the game, they took back the lead and held it for the rest of the game.
“I didn’t want to say we’d win it and then it be an egg in my face,” said Redmond. “The Bible says, ‘the pride comes before the fall.’”
With the season over, some already look forward to the over 30 league and playing in the CG’s league next year.
“We should have the same squad next year. We’ll be back,” said Antonio DeLeon, 1st Tanks player.