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43rd LRS Cobras break Pope Record

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Avid basketball players from the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron pulled together to capture the Intramural Basketball Championship for the fourth consecutive time with a score of 41 to 33 against the 43rd Force Support Squadron on March 24.

The LRS-A team, known as the Cobras, is the first team in Pope's history to win four consecutive championships in any sport.

"It shows that we've worked hard as a team," said Cobra coach Derrick Walden. "We played unselfish basketball and always seem to come together at the right time to get it done year after year.

"Although we only had two starters return from last year's team, the new guys really stepped up and filled some big shoes," he added.

It didn't take long for the Cobras to come together as a team and get the job done.
"It only took until the fourth or fifth game before we knew what everyone was going to do and how they play," said Cobra team captain, Jason Abney. "It's always a challenge to get to know all the different personalities and different styles of play."

With four years at the top, it's safe to say the LRS team has discovered what it takes to be the best. One Airman said dedication and commitment are the keys to a well played season.

"We didn't have many formal practices," said Cobra point guard Quentin Irvin. "We practiced different moves during the games. If you're dedicated to something, you can make it happen. We knew each other's abilities and what we each other could do."
Once the team had a few games under their belt, the rest fell into place, and the team was able to adjust their strategy as needed.

"After the first few games, our biggest focus was defense," said Abney. "If (the opposing team) is going to come to the paint; we're going to jump on them, Cobra Style."
The championship game started off with the posting of the colors by the Pope Honor Guard and included a half time show by the Over Hills High School cheerleaders. The teams were neck and neck throughout the game and by the end of the first half, the cobras were in the lead by 4-points.

It wasn't until four minutes were left on the clock when first time Cobra member, Marwin Luna made the play that turned the game around.

"Luna hit two 3-pointers back to back," said Irvin. "FSS called a time-out afterwards but they couldn't recover from it," he added.

When the final buzzer went off, declaring the team from LRS as champions, the Cobras rushed the court and the gym erupted in cheers.

"It was surreal," said Abney. "I was ecstatic and proud to know that we're the only team in Pope's history to win four championships in a row."

The win makes the Cobras a target for next season. That's what, fuels that cobra fire and keeps the intensity and motivation burning, said Walden.

"It makes us the team to beat now," said Irvin. "It adds pressure for the next games--the teams we beat in the previous seasons want the championship, and the best way to do it is by beating the team who has captured the title four years in a row."

Coach Walden is eager to continue his winning streak and plans on bringing the Cobras back to defend their title for a fifth consecutive championship next year.

"We play the game to have fun and win championships, and we're going for five next year."