By Scott Prater
The first game of every basketball season generally provides a bevy of valuable information for the teams competing. On Nov. 3, 50th Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation Division learned it had the potential to become one of the Schriever intramural league’s top teams.
50 OGV picked up scoring from all nine of its players and forced 50th Space Communication Squadron into numerous turnovers in a 62-32 victory.
Forward Kelly McCarthy led all scorers with 14 points while Chris Dempsey added 11 for 50 OGV, and they both played with the squad that started the game. Teo Williams, 50 OGV captain, subbed out four of his five “starters” midway through each half, but the team’s second group could hardly be labeled “bench” players. Dan Lampi and Pat Gaynor combined for 15 points during their time on the court.
Meanwhile, thanks to other commitments, 50 SCS played the entire game with a total of six players.
Both teams put up a ton of shots in the first few minutes, but few fell as 50 OGV held perilously to a 7-6 lead when Williams called for a timeout.
“I just reminded the guys to keep their hands up on defense and hustle down court,” Williams said.
Following the time out 50 OGV looked like a different team.
Point guard Chris Dempsey intercepted a pass, then raced down court for two of his eight first-half points, Matthew Pincus followed with another steal and fast-break layup, and Lampi came off the bench to score on three straight possessions, part of 50 OGV’s 14-0 run midway through the first half.
“The big thing for me was hustle,” Gaynor said. “Our guards were really fast and they created a lot of pressure, which produced a lot of turnovers. We also moved the ball down low and back up top real well and we had some bigger guys inside. That’s not going to be the case all year, but hopefully our hustle factor will make up for that.”
50 OGV led by 20 points at half time, and stretched its lead the rest of the way thanks in part to McCarthy, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the second frame.
“The things we need to improve on are early-season jitters and guys just not having a lot of playing time together,” Lampi said. “I think we started clicking as a team in the second just because you know what to expect from your teammates, like who is going to crash the boards and who is going to pressure the ball.”
50 SCS also got untracked in the second half as James Van Prooyen hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 of his team-high 13 points. James Zimmer also hit a pair of buckets and scored five of his eight points after the intermission.
“We were missing a few of our regular guys today and we struggled with are shooting, so it was tough,” 50 SCS captain David Bennett said. “Some of our guys who don’t normally see a lot of playing time did so today and I was impressed with our hustle. We’re looking forward to playing the season.”