MEDDAC tops in hoops
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Donald Walls holds up the championship trophy as MEDDAC players and coach Doug Spitalny, right, celebrate their overtime win of the 2017 Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament.

Unit guts out Commander’s Cup basketball overtime win

Story and photos by Matt Decker
Assistant editor
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Armond Patterson, MEDDAC, left, jumps to block a layup attempt by Donald Page, 43rd AG Bn. in the first half of the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament championship game.
The Medical Department Activity bounced back time and again to win the 2017 Commander’s Cup Basketball Tournament championship game, earning a 39-34 victory over the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion in overtime March 8 at Davidson Fitness Center.

“This is very special,” MEDDAC coach Doug Spitalny said moments after the game. “I’ve been playing and coaching for eight years on this team. This is the first time we’ve reached the championship in my time here, and the first time we’ve won it.”

The 43rd AG Bn. jumped out to an early lead, with Julius Johnson dominating under the basket, and Chris Coalter, Kendrick Fox and Cecil Hoskins each scoring from outside the three-point curve.

MEDDAC fought its way back, with Bruce Mayo, Armond Patterson, Donald Walls and Brandon Stanley all scoring over the final six minutes to tie the game 17-17 at halftime.

During the second half, successive three-point shots by Mayo helped give MEDDAC the edge. But with mere seconds on the clock, a key three-point shot by Fox tied the score at 30-30, sending the game into overtime.

Darius Sherman, MEDDAC, attempts a layup in the second half of the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament championship game.
Walls sank a three-pointer for MEDDAC to start the three-minute overtime period. Patterson secured the MEDDAC victory, extending a three-point lead to five points by making two key free throws with less than 24 seconds remaining in the game.

Free-throws proved an important factor for MEDDAC, which ended the game with a 66-percent shooting percentage from the charity stripe.

“Considering the talent (the 43rd AG Bn.) had, I think we really got lucky,” Spitalny said. “If we wouldn’t have made our free throws, it would have been a different game.”

MEDDAC had faced bigger, stronger teams all season long, including the semifinal on March 7, when they defeated the previously unbeaten 3rd Chemical Brigade team, 42-36.

“We just changed up our defense” against the 3rd Chem. Bde. players, Spitalny said. “They killed us during the regular season playing man-to-man, because they are so athletic. We just tried to take the athleticism away from them by going to a zone, and it really stymied them.”

The 43rd AG Bn. reached the championship after defeating the 50th Engineer Company, 46-36, March 7.

Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, presents the 2017 Recreation League Trophy to the Rookies during pre-game ceremonies for the Commanderís Cup Basketball Tournament March 7 at Davidson Fitness Center. The Rookies went undefeated and earned the Rec League basketball title for the second consecutive year.
43rd AG Bn. coach Ronald Bostick said reaching the championship game, “wasn’t hard at all.”

“We have a good group of guys. Once you start leading a good group in a good direction, everything else follows,” Bostick said before the game.

Prior to the championship, the 50th Engr. Co. defeated the 3rd Chem. Bde., 38-36, to take third place in this year’s tournament. The was a rematch of last year’s tournament championship contest, which the engineers had lost to 3rd Chem. Bde.

“This wasn’t the game we wanted to play — we wanted to play for the championship — but we came out here, got it done and got that third place game,” said Brittany Burton, 50th Engr. Co. coach. “Coming out of last year’s championship game, I lost a lot of guys. This was a new team, and we started out slow. But as the season progressed, they found their cohesion, worked together, and they came a long way. Next year, we’re going to go all the way.”

Col. Tracy Lanier, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, presented MEDDAC with the championship trophy.

Earlier March 8, during pre-game ceremonies, Lanier presented the 2017 Recreation League Trophy to the Rookies. The Rookies went undefeated and earned the Rec League basketball title for the second consecutive year.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 March 2017 )