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Intramural basketball tips off; Guard takes first win

By Tony Perez | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | Nov. 30, 2007

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — The 149th Fighter Wing's Air National Guard team battled back from a 19-12 halftime deficit to win their first intramural basketball game of the season Nov. 27 with a 42-35 victory over the 341st Training Squadron.

"We got one of our starters back in the second half," said ANG coach Luis Estrada. "He was running a little late, but we were able to set up our offense and move the ball around a little bit better once he showed up. That got our shots going and our motion offense helped us out a lot, too."

The player whom Estrada was referring to was point guard Eric Garza. Garza's second half performance gave ANG two ball handlers that could penetrate, causing 341st TRS many defensive rotation problems throughout the second half.

"I think a lot of it was first-game jitters," Estrada said.

In the first half, 341st TRS center Brodrick Kinigel blocked ANG center Keith Thomas. Kinigel then instigated the fast break. Point guard Jeremy Toliver scored in traffic, giving 341st TRS its first points of the game.

341st TRS employed a 2-3 zone defense most of the night, giving ANG a lot of trouble in the first half.

"A lot of our guys were just afraid to take their shots against the zone defense," Estrada said. "But we settled down and that really paid off for us."

341st TRS power forward David Garland finished the first half with six points.

ANG slowly came back in the second half and utilized center Chris Hamilton much better in their offensive sets, as he finished the game with eight points.

After calling a time out, 341st TRS shooting guard Dominic Pearson hit a three-pointer with 1:41 remaining in the second half, cutting the ANG lead to five points.

ANG responded by spreading its players and playing keep away. 341st TRS was forced to foul, and 149th responded by hitting most of its free throws, preserving the win.

Garza finished the game with eight points, all in the second half.

"We've got a great group of guys that hustle a lot," Estrada said. "You know this league has been up and down the past couple of years, but we are hoping to finish with a good record."