LAWTON, Okla. - Two organizations swapped their guns and hoses for basketballs Sunday. The Lawton Police and Lawton Fire Departments played each other in a charity basketball game during halftime of the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry season opener.
Skills on the court didn't determine the winner. The Cavs gave each department 500 tickets and whichever group could get the most people to come would win. The fire department took the game, coming in with 378 people, a little more than 100 over the police. They will now be able to give a dollar for each ticket to the charity of their choice, courtesy of the Cavs.
The game was intense and there were lots of makes, and just a few misses.
"Anything we do with the police department is definitely going to be a rivalry, " said Firefighter Chance Mullins.
The game didn't start like Mullins thought it would.
"They scored first and then we came back and hit a 3 to put us ahead and we never got behind after that."
But organizers like, Fire Chief Bart Hadley, said the real winner is charity. In Sunday's case, the firefighter's charity of choice, Toys for Tots.
"It's a program near to my heart I've been very involved in it over the course of my career, " said Hadley.
Toys for Tots collects toys before Christmas and hands those out to families in need. This money will help the group get a head start for next season.
Police Chief Ronnie Smith says besides raising money, it's also a way both departments can strengthen their physical fitness.
"We try to stay in shape but it's not always easy to do you kind of have to do it on your own, " said Smith.
"I'm very proud of our department. Staying fit definitely is a requirement because they go on structure fires, medical calls and rescues which takes a lot of endurance and fitness, " said Hadley.
Mullins says he hopes to get to do it again.
"It was an awesome experience to be part in something like this that way we can help some kids in need," said Mullins, also looking forward to again beating the officers.
"We have never lost to the cops in anything we've done we were glad to kind of keep that going."
Organizers say they would be willing to put together another sort of charity game or make this an annual one in order to support charity and the Cavs basketball team.