Both Marine and civilian basketball players took their skills to the streets as four teams competed in the 2012 One-Day Basketball Tournament at the Town of Quantico’s Municipal Park on Oct. 20. According to Kevin Brown, the mayor of the Town of Quantico, the single-elimination tournament was organized to get more community involvement within the town. Since there have not been many events in the recent past, the mayor thought this would be good way to reinvigorate the community.
QUANTICO, VA. -- “If this goes as well as I hope, this will just be the start of many future community outreach programs in the Town of Quantico,” Brown said.
Brown not only set up the tournament, which offered free hot dogs, chips and juices for the residents and players, he also kept score and time.
The four teams that participated were the Marine Corps System Command (MCSC) Vipers, Quantico Town All-Stars, Base Motor Transportation and Mocosos. The All-Stars faced off against MCSC in the first round. In the second round, Motor-T went head-to-head with Mocosos.
The first round immediately showed the residents of Q-Town and the base that this was not the regular intramural basketball they are used to seeing every year. There were t-shirts worn with magic marker imprinted numbers on the back, no electronic score boards and grass was growing over the edges of the court. These elements, as well as the players’ friendly trash-talking, embodied images of games played at New York’s historic Holcombe Rucker Park -- the site of the beginning of several NBA careers and an infamous landmark in basketball history -- and made the competition much more entertaining.
“We heard the mayor was having a function for the Town of Quantico and we wanted to show some support as we have done in the past,” said Jelani Nix, MCSC head coach. “Overall, we are here to win the tournament and we are going to beat the competition down, bad.”
In the first round, MCSC took control of the tempo of the game quickly. MCSC’s run- and-gun offense tested the All-Stars’ stamina and forced them to keep their defensive pressure consistent. Many of the All-Stars’ shots also were being blocked. By halftime, the All-Stars were down, 20-14.
“Go hydrate, All-Stars, because this block party is just getting started,” said Thaddaues Tate, a player for MCSC.
The All-Stars attempted to comeback late in the second half, but MCSC kept attacking the board drawing back-to-back fouls in the process. At the end of the first round, MCSC headed to the finals, beating the All-Stars, 38-30.
In the second round, Mocosos came out strong leading 10-2 within the first nine minutes. The only problem was that they were leading in defensive fouls as well, which helped Motor T stay on their tail a majority of the game. Motor T had many chances to make a comeback, but they missed too many of shots or three pointers. At the end of the game, Mocosos managed to keep their lead, winning, 46-40.
MCSC was set to face Mocosos in the finals and, possible because the Mocosos had just finished their game with Motor T 10 minutes before the start of the finals, they started a little sluggishly against MCSC. A few MCSC players were not able to stay for the finals, but that didn’t keep Nix, Tate and the rest of the team from asserting their dominance in the first half of the game.
MCSC pulled out all the stops and made sure to give the crowd a show. Through their countless fast breaks, dunks and three-point range ability, MCSC was trying to make this a long day for Mocosos.
Though Mocosos made a valiant effort, at the end of the game MCSC was crowned champions, winning 56-47.
“It was a fun day,” Nix said after the game. “These are some great teams that showed up today. Our opponents gave us a run for our money at times, but we were going to beat the competition down and that’s exactly what we did … as always.”