COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- An experienced Marine team took the court Sunday night, facing off against their Navy counterparts during the first round of the wheelchair basketball tournament at the 2013 Warrior Games here.
The Marines started the tournament off on the right foot, winning 53-17.
Electrician’s Mate Steven Davis, point guard for the Navy team, said he and his team need to execute the fundamentals to be more competitive in their next game.
The Marines tenacious defense made it difficult for the Navy team to complete passes, take shots and move the ball down the court.
“Just taking care of the ball will help, we didn’t use the shot clock as much as we needed to and really, we need to improve our passing,” Davis said. “We executed really well on the boards, but because of turnovers they were able to double our score.”
The Navy team had only three weeks together total, compared to some players on the Marine team who have played wheelchair basketball together for years.
“There are five of us that played on a San Diego team for Navy Medical Center down in Balboa,” said Marine veteran Marcus Chischilly, a Phoenix, Ariz. native and Marine team player. “It’s called the Wolf Pack and we’ve been playing together for an entire basketball season already. So, there are a lot of us who have not only learned the game, but also perfected our skills and we’ve definitely bought into the warrior games.”
Davis said he expects his team to step up their game as the competition goes on. He said today’s game was a learning experience for he and his teammates.
“As the competition increases, the motivation and dedication increases,” Davis said. “You can’t do anything but learn from [the game]. If you let if affect you you’re just going down.”
The Marines played to their strengths, with a young, fast team, they focused on rapid ball movement and out maneuvering their opponents. But even with the dominant performance, they weren’t satisfied.
“Every game we play there’s always something that we can improve, something that individuals can strive to do better the next game,” Chischilly said. “That’s the main reason we have practice. We’ll even have practice after the game just to work on the things that didn’t go so well tonight.”
Chischilly said their opponents were more competitive than the score reflected.
“They came out and gave it 110 percent,” he said. “I’m not sure how long they’ve played wheelchair basketball, but they gave it their all and we know they gave it their all. In the end, it just comes down to who wants it more.”