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Intramural basketball tournament under way

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The first round of a four-week intramural base basketball tournament opened this month with two forfeits, a couple of massacres and a few routs. However, the 552nd AMXS Phenoms squeaked past Army Strong, 41-40, in a duel that was decided by a charity shot with less than a second left on the clock.

The 22 teams entered in the double-elimination tournament are divided into small- and large-squadron divisions. The two division winners are scheduled to face off in a championship game Feb. 4.

Seeding for the tournament was determined by a previous tournament held late last year, after Thanksgiving and before Christmas Day.

Teams entered in the small-squadron division are the Gym Rats, the 552nd AMXS Phenoms, Army Strong, the Jammers, 3rd CCG, 31st CBCS, Flight Controllers #2, DISA, 72nd OSS, 552nd MOS and 550th CMMXS. Teams comprising the large-squadron division include the 552nd MXS (AGE), 965th AACS, Navy, 72nd Med Group, Flight Controllers #1, 960th AACS, 72nd SFS, 552nd MXS, 33rd CBCS, AMX Dragons and JAG.
AMXS Phenoms vs. Army Strong

The AMXS Phenoms jumped out to an early but slim lead over Army Strong, beat back a determined rally in the second half, and won on literally a last-second free throw.
The Airmen led throughout the first half, although the Soldiers closed to within three points, but AMXS extended their margin to five, 24-19, at halftime.

Army quickened the pace in the second half, narrowed the gap to one at 5:25, and gained the lead, 38-37, on a bucket by Stephanie Dollins at 1:55. The Phenoms' Richard Lewis tied the game at 40-all when just 11 seconds remained on the game clock.
Both teams subsequently traded errant shots before Army was whistled for a foul; the clock stopped with eight-tenths of a second left in the game. AMXS's Lewis hit the first of two free throws but missed the second; time expired as Army tried to call a time-out.
Lewis tallied 14 points for AMXS, including the game-winner; Adam Hall and Will Smith scored 8 points each; Carvelle Jones, 5; Kelton Millhouse, Farris Norris and Nate Solo, 2 each. They were assisted by Eric Zach and Garrick Benally.

Thomas Cheek paced Army with 17 points; Stephanie Dollins got 8 and her husband, Daniel Dollins, had 5; Derek Williamson, 4; Edgar Burton, Ray Little and Harvey Johnson, 2 each. Assisting their teammates were Nino Williams and Johnny Scott.
Referees called 19 fouls in the Tuesday evening game: 11 against the Army, eight against the AMXS. The Airmen's Smith had three fouls; Jones, 2; Solo, Lewis and Benally, one apiece. For the Soldiers, Daniel Dollins accumulated three fouls; Scott, Little, Cheek and Johnson, two each.

This was Army Strong's second consecutive loss to the AMXS Phenoms. The Airmen defeated the Soldiers in the seeding tournament late last year.
552nd MXS (AGE)

vs. 965th AACS
The 552nd AGE wore down the shorthanded 965th AACS and coasted to a 55-33 victory. AGE had a couple of reserves on the bench to spell tired teammates, but AACS had only four players, which left them vulnerable throughout the game.

Bashawn Camper led the 552nd with 18 points. He was followed closely by Colton Keel, who had 17; Keel sparked the mechanics on offense and defense with layups and rebounds alike. Thomas Pennington had 7 points; Adrian Bermudo, 5; Chris Padilla and Robert Porter, 3 apiece; and Treyvion Duenas, 2.

Kenneth Beresh was the offensive spark plug for the 965th, with 17 points; the 6-foot, 5-inch Beresh paced AACS in rebounding, too. Chad Stoll tallied 12, and Morgan Callender and Bo Edmond each had a bucket.

Besides scoring the same number of points, Keel and Beresh accumulated three fouls apiece.

72nd SFS vs. 960th AACS
The security forces outgained the air controllers from the outset of their game Jan. 7, which was interrupted 21 times by fouls.

The AACS got a point from an early technical foul, but SFS had 20 points on the scoreboard before AACS finally sunk a basket almost 13 minutes into the 16-minute first half. The score was 24-7 at halftime, and SFS went on to win, 44-28.

The security forces were whistled 13 times for fouls; the air controllers, eight.
Dee White of the Security Forces led all scorers, with 27 points; Brandon Sistrunk, 11; Rayford McKinley, 4, and Andre Smith, 2. Other players on the team were Devon Drake, Timothy Nesbitt, Anthony Jones and Greg Peterson.

Alex Banachowski had 7 points for the Airborne Air Controllers; Derrick Green and Josh Edwards, 6 each; Ro Russell, 3; Ronnie Thomas, Trevor Brown and Tyler Tucker, 2 each.

Sistrunk of the SFS was tagged with four fouls; Nesbitt, McKinley, Jones and Drake had two fouls each; and White, one. For the AACS, Russell had three fouls; Winston Jean-Pierre, two; Green, Brown and Thomas, one apiece.
Other First-Round Games

550th CMMXS 80 vs 552nd MOS 14; AMX Dragons 63 vs JAG 13; 33rd CBCS 53 vs 552nd MXS 37. DISA was the victor by default over the 72nd OSS, which was a no-show. Similarly, the 31st CBCS won by forfeit over the 3rd Herd, which had only four players suit up for their game Tuesday.