Pacific high school basketball ratings, New Year's edition
Once more, for the Idon'tknowhowmanyth season, Ornauer goes out on a limb to rate the Pacific's best high school basketball teams, New Year's edition following the holiday break. And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere we go:
1, Seoul American (12-4): Back to the Falcons' usual commitment-to-excellence standard; getting fire-testing from adult teams, too, both in company-level ball and this weekend's Martin Luther King tournament at Camp Humphreys.
2, American School In Japan (8-0): Clearly a dominator through December; pretty good bet to meet Falcons in the Far East Division I Tournament final on Guam in February.
3. Kubasaki, Okinawa (8-5): Rough start, but has won its last two games by a combined 61 points.
4. Morrison Academy, Taiwan (8-1): Still good, though not the overwhelming superpower the Mustangs were last year. Oh, how I wish we could have seen them play at Kubasaki last April.
5. Faith Academy, Philippines (14-4). Strong, solid and deep, but this may be now or much later for coach Robby Nichols and the Vanguards.
6. Kadena, Okinawa (6-4): Looked solid in December; shot back down in that second half Friday at Kubasaki.
7. Matthew C. Perry, Japan (11-2): Thought maybe their 10-1 start might have been a bit flukey after Friday's home loss to Nile C. Kinnick; righted themselves on Saturday. They're for real, even without departed rebounder Malik Hale.
8. Robert D. Edgren, Japan (6-1): May be even better than last year's version which came so close but so far. Many of the same components are back, along with a new-old coach in Andre Thibert.
9 (tie), Zama American and Yokota, Japan (8-5 each): An entry. Zama won at home over Yokota before the Panthers rebounded to finish second in the Holiday Classic.
10. Taejon Christian International, South Korea (7-2): Could be a darkhorse threat if they could travel to Far East Division II at Zama.
1. Yokota, Japan (12-0): Got some serious testing and survived every threat during the Panthers' Christmas Classic last month. Senior Erika Ettl looks to be on a mission.
2. Daegu High, South Korea (9-0): Not as surprising as one might think, given their overtime win Friday at two-time Far East Division I Tournament champion Seoul American.
3. American School In Japan (3-1): Bessie Noll continues to post double-digit average scoring; not bad for a baseball player.
4. Nile C. Kinnick, Japan (13-4): Between senior Ms. Inside (Emily Stith) and freshman Ms. Outside (De'Asia Brown), this may be one Red Devil of a season.
5. Kadena, Okinawa (6-3): Showed plenty of promise in the Christmas Classic, has its own Inside-Outside combination in Eisiah Lawson and Mariah and Alicia Vaughan.
6. Faith Academy, Philippines (7-4): Another possible last-stand Vanguards team, which will bid longtime stars Grace Fern and Kelly Hardeman (who injured an ankle over the holidays) farewell in June.
7. Notre Dame, Guam (season complete).
8. Seoul American (5-2): Maybe as strong a team on the inside as the Falcons have had in six years; Mecca Perkins and Jasmine Thomas are shot-blocking machines. But nowhere near the guard play they've had the past three seasons.
9. Simon Sanchez, Guam (season complete).
10 (tie). Yongsan International-Seoul (5-1) and Seisen International, Japan (4-1): May be the best Guardians team the school has ever had, while the Phoenix may be rising once more since their Division II title seasons of 1998-99.
Disagree? Think you can do better? Shout it out! Be true to your school, and remember: You've entered THE "No-Hate Zone." :)