All-Air Force puts on shooting exhibition over All-Army

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
It was supposed to be an exhibition game when the All-Air Force and All-Army basketball teams faced off at Robins on Monday, but judging by the intensity level, the large crowd that showed up might have thought they were watching the Armed Forces Championship.

Although Army was within reach for much of the game, the Air Force team pulled away in the end for a 94-71 win.

Air Force coach John Bailey wasn't gloating after the game, however. He noted that Army didn't play three team members who have been on the All-Armed Forces team in the past.

He seemed more excited about the crowd of more than 300 people that packed into the main gym of the Fitness Center to watch the contest. He said the crowd, which included a vocal contingent of Army fans, helped spur on a spirited contest.

"I thought the intensity level was wonderful," he said. "I was real excited to see the people who came out to support the team."

The two teams put on a good show, with both raining three pointers and hitting the floor often in scrambles for loose balls.

Army had a 9-7 lead with 13:52 left in the first half, but then Timothy Anderson hit a three pointer to give Air Force the lead, and the team held it for the rest of the game.

Air Force led 61-41 with 15:38 left, but Army fought back to make it 70-62 with 7:32 to go. Air Force, however, then went on a tear to end with a decisive victory.

Anderson, previously a starter for the Air Force Academy, led the team in scoring with 16. The former Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year shot

6-for-6 from the floor, including from behind the three-point line.

"You could see the kid can play," Bailey said.

Anderson currently is an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy prep school. He wasn't bragging after the game either.

"We were inconsistent," Anderson said. "At times we looked good and at times we looked bad."

Danny Nwaelele, also a former Air Force Academy basketball player, was the second leading scorer for the Air Force with 15 points. Bobby Driver led the Army with 17.

Four Robins Airmen are on the team, although the roster of 16 will be cut to 12 before the tournament. Tysen Pina, a captain in the 116th Air Control Wing, started at center and ended with four points and five rebounds. Miguel Stewart, a staff sergeant in the 78th Security Forces Squadron, scored 10 points to lead the Robins players in scoring. Khenz Jacinthe, a senior airman in the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron, had five points. Darnell Stephens, a first lieutenant in the 78th Comptroller & Contracting Squadron, did not score but had a rebound.

Bailey and the two assistant coaches on the team are Robins civilian employees. The tryout and practice for the All-Force team has been held at the Robins Fitness Center main gym since April 17.

The two teams met again for an exhibition at Fort Benning on Thursday night. They will go to Millington, Tenn., on May 11-18 for the Armed Forces tournament. The Marines and Navy are also competing.