By Randy Dela Cruz, Ho'okele Sports Editor
It took awhile for USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) Koa Kai to get started, but once the team got on a roll, there was no stopping it, as Chung-Hoon trounced USS Bremerton (SSN 698), 49-25, on Feb. 8 in an Afloat Division intramural basketball matchup at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.
Despite getting off to a slow start in the first half, Chung-Hoon finally grabbed a 10-point lead on a shot by Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Josh Smith with only 1:20 remaining before halftime.
Up by 20-8 at the break, Chung-Hoon came out in the second half in a blaze and promptly went on a 19-0 run with 9:38 remaining to seize full control of the game.
Chung-Hoon head coach Chief Gunner’s Mate Marcus Rodgers said that once the team shook off the cobwebs in the first half, things just fell into place.
The win got Chung-Hoon’s season off to a solid start, while Bremerton has now lost two games in a row to fall to 0-2.
“The lineup that we used was the first time that we used it,” said Rodgers about the team’s slow first half. “It was the first game of the season, so we had a little kinks, a little butterflies, but you saw we worked through it.”
From the start of the second half, Chung-Hoon guard Yeoman 2nd Class Terrance DuBose made certain that the team wouldn’t repeat its struggles in the first half.
Held to only one basket prior to the break, DuBose came out of intermission on fire and quickly put Chung-Hoon ahead at 28-8 on two long shots from beyond the three-point arc and a two-pointer from the perimeter.
“I just felt like I needed to make more shots and help my team-mates get involved,” said DuBose, who finished with 10 points. “It was just second half adjustments by the coaches. We wanted to see if we could move the ball more and get open shots by spacing the floor. We just got back to playing team ball.”
Rodgers said that the hot shooting of DuBose did the trick to kick-start his offense and admitted that the guard’s timely shots may have been the turning point.
“He started hitting his shots and everybody else built off of that,” he said.
While DuBose got Chung-Hoon on track on offense, his hot shooting also seemed to energize the team on defense as well.
During the 19-0 run in the second half, Chung-Hoon consistently pressed the ball and turned numerous turnovers into easy baskets.
“I just told my point guards that we’re faster than them, so go get them,” Rodgers said. “They can’t hold the ball. Let’s go put the press on them. That’s probably our best weapon we got that you’ll see throughout the season is our press. We got some quick guys with quick hands and quick feet and they play good defense.”
Although DuBose led the team in scoring, he wasn’t the only one on Chung-Hoon to get in the scorer’s column.
A total of 10 of the team’s 16 players scored for Chung-Hoon, which also got six points apiece from three different players.
The win was a good way to start the season for Chung-Hoon, which is trying to reach the championship finals as it did two years ago.
Although Rodgers pointed out that this is a totally different team from the 2012 squad, he believes that Chung-Hoon has what it takes to make it back to the big dance.
“Every year is going to be different,” he acknowledged. “But I think we can win it all. I think this team ranks among the best we’ve had."