The competition in League Two of the Fort Benning Intramural Basketball League just got a little tougher after the addition of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment.
Since joining the league Jan. 31, 1/15 has gone 3-0 and looks to challenge League Two’s top teams, including MEDDAC (6-1), 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (6-1) and the Maneuver Center of Excellence (5-1).
Many of the players who make up 1/15 played for WHINSEC during the first month of the season. Players from WHINSEC said the team wanted to borrow players from 1/15 but at some point the team grew too large.
Willie Johnson, team captain of 1/15, said there were six players from 1/15 who played on WHINSEC who decided to form their own team and join the league. Johnson added about six more players from 1/15 to the roster. Johnson said the players were already familiar with each other and had no problem forming team chemistry.
“We play together all the time,” Johnson said. “We just got out on the court and did our thing.”
Before Jan. 31, WHINSEC was 3-2, including a narrow defeat to MEDDAC. In the two games it’s played since then, WHINSEC has lost both and been outscored 99-54.
WHINSEC’s Luis Colon said his team is just trying to focus on getting better and having fun.
“We kind of miss them,” Colon said. “We tried to do our best combining teams. They want to have their own team and we like to have our own team also.”
WHINSEC struggled Thursday to find something that worked on offense in a 44-26 loss to the 11th Engineer Battalion Team 1. WHINSEC hit a 3-pointer from the perimeter every so often, but had no presence inside the paint.
“Our team is pretty good on defense, but on offense we’ve got a long way to go,” Colon said.
MEDDAC, 2/29 at opposing endsOf two teams who played each other in the Commander’s Cup Preseason Basketball Tournament, one has played to expectations so far this season and the other has been struggling to win.
MEDDAC is off to a 6-1 start, with its only loss coming at the hands of 1/19 (also 6-1), which won that game 52-48. Despite one of its wins coming via forfeit, MEDDAC is second in the league in scoring, averaging 52.5 points per game, not including the forfeited game. However, that doesn’t quite live up to the expectation of averaging 60 points per game MEDDAC coach James Johnson set for his team at the beginning of the season. He said he wanted each of his starting players to average double figures in scoring and said so far the entire team has played well but no individual has stood out.
“That was the objective so that everyone on the court is a threat,” Johnson said. “That way you can’t defend one person, you have to defend them all.”
MEDDAC was the runner-up of the preseason tournament and lost 77-70 in a triple-overtime thriller to the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. All the players from 2/29 who played in that game, however, have since had a permanent change of station. This season’s team is a completely different team that hasn’t been able to find a winning stride, going 1-6 so far this season. Ricadey Juste, team captain of 2/29, said his team would be able to make up two games it forfeited at the beginning of the season.
Juste said the players on the team hadn’t played together before this season and they’ve had a difficult time finding players with size to compete in the post.
“We need a bigger body,” Juste said. “We have a small team and some of these teams out here that have big guys, we really struggle against them.”