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Warhawks beat Brooks, 70-42

By Tony Perez | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | Dec. 6, 2007

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — With 8:51 remaining in the first half, center Quinton Leathers leaped over two defenders for a dunk off of a backdoor pass from point guard Eli Lozano. He seemed to be playing above the competition.

That's how most of the game between Lackland's Varsity Basketball team and Brooks City-Base seemed to unfold: Lackland was just playing at a higher level, defeating Brooks 70-42 on Dec. 1.

"This team is more athletic than any team that we have had in the seven years that I have been here as the coach, but being athletic sometimes fools a team," said head coach Jerome Riley. "This team tends to depend on its athletic abilities, rather than the fundamentals of the game. I tell the team all the time, the game is 85 percent mental."

While Lackland's athleticism aided the team on numerous plays, it was their 3-point shooting that broke the game wide open.

Lozano scored 11 points in the first half, nine of which came from 3-point shots.

Lackland finished the game with 30 of their 70 points coming off of 3-point attempts.

"We are capable of shooting the 3, but I am an old-school coach, in that I prefer to go inside out," Riley said. "But the 3-pointers were falling this weekend. If a team plays a zone defense, then the 3-point shot could be a weapon to combat the zone, and we can hit that shot."

Lackland also owned the boards as they soared and out-hustled Brooks to numerous rebounds. At one point, Lackland rebounded three consecutive missed 3-point attempts and finally hit the fourth 3 point shot.

Lackland owned a 34-17 at halftime. Leathers scored 10 points to lead Lackland at intermission.

Brooks had been held scoreless for almost 10 minutes but finished the half on a six point run.

In the second half, Lackland employed a half-court press that confused Brooks and squashed any comeback hopes that the team had.

"The other coaches and I stress that the way to a championship is through rebounding and playing good defense," said Riley. "The press that we employed on Sunday is one that we tried for the first time. We will continue to tweak our defense."

Leathers finished the game with a team-high 18 points. Small forward Dedrick Mayers also chipped in with 10 points.

Lackland is the two-time Southwest Military League champion.

"As of this moment we are 6-2 in the league," said Riley. "I always look forward to the team playing better in March than they did in October."