The Belvoir Eagles and the Fort Lee Travellers kept spectators glued to their seats for the duration of two, offense-heavy halves and an overtime period when the squads faced off in a late-season Washington Area Military Athletic Conference men’s division basketball showdown, Saturday at Wells Field House.
The Eagles managed to overcome a 40-31 halftime deficit to tie the contest in the waning seconds of the second period to force an extra five minutes, ultimately emerging on top, 96-94.
In spite of the seasoned talent on the starting roster, which included veteran guards, Anthony Johnson and Deonte Bleach; and outside shooting specialists, Chris Dilworth, Ed Drew and Stewart Bennett; Belvoir struggled to keep pace with Lee’s rapid-fire passing game and constant drives into the paint. A string of missed high-percentage shots conspired with the Travellers taking advantage of too many opportunities in the lane at the opposite end of the court to put the home team at a 9-point disadvantage at halftime.
But, Head Coach Herb Marshall put together a revamped offense and switched the zone defense to a man-to-man approach and, five minutes into the second half, the Eagles began to slowly close the gap on the scoreboard. Keeping the rotation cycles frequent, Belvoir capitalized on the shooting prowess and no-prisoners lane-driving dedication of Carlos Gonzales and the board-crashing ability of Mickle Windell down low to keep the visitors scrambling for lost ground.
With .02 remaining on the game clock and with his team trailing 83-85, Bleach threw to the ball in to Bennett at the low post, who managed to get the shot off before the buzzer, hitting for 2 to tie the matchup at 85 apiece.
Belvoir took a 4-point lead early in the OT period, but Fort Lee quickly responded with a pair of clean three-pointers from near the top of the key. The squads exchanged the lead for the duration until Dilworth and Drew sank a pair of jumpers to establish a 3-point advantage with less than a minute left. The Travellers managed to narrow the gap to 2 with a freebie from the foul line, but the Belvoir defense held off a scales-tipping offensive onslaught to book the 96-94 victory.
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For more information about the Fort Belvoir Eagles sports organizations and the current season, call Herb Marshall, Belvoir Eagles head coach, 703-798-0842, email Herbert.D.Marshall@nga.mil.