3rd MLG ends hospital’s dream run, ends 8-year title drought
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Third Marine Logistics Group’s eight-year title drought is over. So, too, ended U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lester’s dream week in which the Corpsmen made history with their first final appearance, but had their title dream shattered.
Tournament MVP Terrence Terrell and 3rd MLG went on a 19-0 first-half run to break open a close game and continued pulling away for a 77-49 Marine Corps Far East Regional Basketball Tournament title-game win Friday at Foster Field House Court 2.
“It was a slow start for us,” coach Prentice Lucas said of a game that was tied 10-10 eight minutes in. “We’ve been in positions where we’ve been behind. But we went back to basic MLG basketball, back to what we’ve always done and what we’ve been doing all week.”
After reaching the finals of a Far East Regional Tournament for the first time in any sport by downing 3rd Marine Division/III Marine Expeditionary Force 70-65 in Thursday’s semifinals, Hospital “just didn’t keep up with (3rd MLG’s) pace,” coach Anthony Morris said.
“I don’t know if we had a bit of a drag from the win last night, but tops off to MLG. MLG came out playing a hard game.”
En route to its first title since 2002 on the same court, 3rd MLG took the lead for keeps 12-10 11:50 before halftime on Patrick Barber’s driving layup.
Keeping up the pressure, 3rd MLG recorded six steals which led to 12 of the 19 points it scored over a 7:10 span; Hospital was held without a point for 8:50.
After falling behind 33-15 at halftime, the Corpsmen, with USNH Camp Lester commanding officer Capt. Terry J. Moulton and most of his command staff in attendance, cut it to 43-29 on Robert Weaver’s rebound bucket with 13:30 left.
It was as close as the Corpsmen got, however. Even with Lucas’ second unit in the game, 3rd MLG kept pulling away, capped by Wiley McGee’s driving layup in the closing seconds.
Willie Watts paced 3rd MLG with 13 points, 11 in the first half; Weaver’s 17, 12 in the second half, topped the Corpsmen.
Meanwhile, Terrell and four other tournament participants were selected to attend the All-Marine tryout camp July 24 to Aug. 14 at Henderson Hall in Virginia.
It’s Terrell’s second time to be chosen for camp. He’s joined by teammate Antonio Gibson, Division’s Andre Brown, Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler’s Cody Ryan and six-time All-Marine and four-time All-Armed Forces forward Jelani Nix of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
They’ll vie for spots on the All-Marine team playing in the All-Armed Forces tournament Aug. 15-23 at Fort Myer, Va. Players selected to the All-Armed Forces team will play in the International Military Sports Council (CISM) tournament Sept. 8-18 in Seoul.