CORONADO, Calif. –
The Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) basketball season ended in dramatic fashion July 15 as Assault Craft Unit One (ACU-1) bested Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) to win the Naval Base Coronado Basketball Championship.
To get to the championship, ACU-1 defeated teams from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, Logistics Support Unit 1, and Tactical Air Control Squadron 12.
Game one of the championship series took place at NASNI’s new Vice Adm. Edward Martin Fitness Center, and was the first game this season that ACU-1 played away from their home court at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. The new surroundings seemed to affect the team, as they failed to find a rhythm throughout, losing 51-67.
“We have to manage the game better,” said Master Chief Engineman Billy Shelton. “We came out with jitters in game one. All we need to do is come out and play smart.”
NASNI appeared to be the better team as they took an early lead in game two. Turnovers and forced shots put ACU-1 at a halftime deficit of 21. NASNI began to wind down the clock at the start of the second half and played as they had the series already won.
With seven minutes to go and down by 17 points, ACU-1 went on the attack. Hustle and enthusiasm sparked the ACU-1 offense bringing frustration to NASNI. The game was momentarily halted because of heated exchanges between the two teams and the referees threatened technical fouls to both benches.
“Don’t get discouraged,” yelled Boatswain’s Mate 3rd class Alex Washington. “We have to stick to the game plan!”
ACU-1 gained the lead with two minutes left but NASNI regained the lead on the next possession. The game was back and forth until the final seconds when a missed shot by NASNI and an aggressive rebound by Washington, a native of Rockingham, North Carolina, secured the victory 60-59.
The playoffs were brought back to NAB for the tie-breaker. From the tipoff it was ACU-1’s game.
“They had no chance today,” said Engineman 3rd Class Jermaine Dukes. “Everyone on the team was hitting shots. It’s hard not to hit shots when the commanding officer is in the crowd.”
The final score of game three was 61-51 and ACU-1 will be adding another trophy to the display case.
ACU-1 continues to conduct missions around the globe in support of the Navy’s maritime strategy. These operations include anti-piracy, search and seizures, drug interdiction, oil platform defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. ACU-1 also supports numerous training exercises with combat units stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
For highlights of the game, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB1-ord9j6Y
For more information about ACU-1, follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ASSAULTCRAFTUNITONE