Black Widows end season with perfect record, second half championship
By Cpl. Matthew Rainey
| | March 30, 2006
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- The Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13 Black Widows may have been visitors on paper, but they are not strangers to the station’s intramural basketball championship games.
The Black Widows defeated the Marine Attack Squadron 311 Tomcats 45-42 to go undefeated for the season and claim the second half intramural basketball championship at the station gym March 17.
After early deficit, MALS-13 gained the lead and never relinquished it despite scoring spurts from both teams.
“The momentum went back and forth the whole game,” said Black Widow guard Robert Jackson who led all players with 28 points, 18 of which came from beyond the arc. “It was fast paced. We were running up and down the court all night.”
Many people in the stands were not cheering for the Black Widows,” said Black Widow center Jose Silva. “People didn’t want us to win, but that made us try harder.”
One person who had been in the stands all season for the Black Widows was MALS-13 sergeant major and Black Widows basketball super fan, Joe L. Vines.
“I’m glad to see that MALS-13 came together to play as a unit,” said Vines. “We lost one of our best players to a deployment and another of our big men to a special duty assignment, but we played together and brought home the trophy.”
Those key players were with the Black Widows when they easily defeated the Tomcats during the regular season. But MALS-13 was prepared to do whatever it took to bring home the hardware.
“Our attitude going in was to simply win,” said Dedrick McDannell, Black Widow power forward, “No excuses.”
The Tomcats smelled blood in the water though. They fought MALS-13 until the final buzzer sounded.
“We almost needed to call some guys back from Iraq for one more game,” explained Baldemar Cantu, Black Widow guard. “But even though we were missing those guys we were still confident.”
MALS-13 had some advice for other teams on station to think about during the offseason.
“We play good ‘team ball.’ -- that’s what we’re all about,” said McDannell. “Defense wins championships – that’s what all these other teams need to know. Our defense was awesome.”
As excited as the Black Widows were about adding their second half season trophy to their first half season trophy, they viewed their victory as a step toward a bigger prize.
“We’ve contributed to the Commander’s Cup race -- that’s what it’s all about, said McDannell.”
Until next season, Black Widow ballers will remain the team to beat.
“We challenge anyone to step their game up for next season, said Jackson.
“We feel unstoppable right now,” said Silva.