By Senior Airman Regina Edwards
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The heat was on Monday night despite the 30 degree weather outside, as the 19th Maintenance Group and the 19th Force Support Squadron faced each other once again on the court. The game would be an unexpected repeat of their previous match up during the preseason game.
“The pre-season game against [the 19th FSS team] was a close one, but we’re ready,” said Senior Airman Mike Delozier, the 19th MXG coach, as he and his team practiced before the game. “We won it then; we should take it again.”
In the first half, the consistency, chemistry and great communication from the 19th FSS led to false predictions of their victory. Senior Airman Malik Royal, the 19th FSS coach, steered his team on and off the court, but careless fouls and a bigger hustle from the 19th MXG changed the game.
The second half was full of fouls, free throws and fans yelling from the crowds. The gym was in an uproar due to the back and forth steals, blocks and occasional 3-pointers.
During a timeout, communication was the game plan for the 19th MXG. With less than five minutes in the game, the 19th MXG had a 7-point lead, 40–33.
“They’re tired out there; get’em,” yelled a supporter for the now winning team.
Emotions ran high in the final moments. A frustrated Royal debated calls with the referees, while showboating from Delozier caused his team a technical foul.
After falling short in the first half, the 19th MXG regrouped and in the end, held on to the lead and didn’t look back. They ultimately won, 55-46.
“We love to beat services,” said Delozier jokingly. “We’re rivals. They’re a pretty decent team. We had to just play harder.”
And they did.
Delozier said though his team has been finding it hard to gain their rhythm in the first half of the games thus far this season, he knows what they are capable of doing.
“We start slow, but we finish strong,” he said.