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Things learned, observed in Pacific high school winter season Week 4.0

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer gazes at the forecast for Korea, where he’s headed to next, and hopes for the cold snap to snap by Friday:

-- They’ve played some close games, they’ve played some not-so-close games. But with the first couple of pages turned on the season, there’s Daegu American’s boys and girls teams, leading the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference’s Five-Cities Division in wins. They’re a combined 9-1. Way too early to declare them champions, but they’re clearly championship timber.

For complete results of Friday's basketball games, click here.

For complete results of Saturday's basketball games, click here.

-- Southwestern Japan’s DODDS teams have also contracted a case of victoryitis. E.J. King’s girls (3-1) are a half-game behind 3-0 Nile C. Kinnick in DODDS Japan and are 6-1 overall. Matthew C. Perry’s and E.J. King’s boys have opened a combined 14-5. And Perry’s girls, behind scoring and rebounding force Courtney Beall, have won five straight since opening with four losses.

-- Will it ever stop snowing in Korea? Six basketball games and the season-opening DODDS Korea tri-dual at Daegu High all got postponed last week. The good news is, the weather is forecast to get warmer (relatively speaking if you can call Celsius high of 5 degrees and a low of minus-3 warmer) by Friday. The bad news is, more snow and rain mix in the forecast. Osan American visits Seoul American that day for basketball, and the second tri-dual is slated for Saturday at SAHS.

-- Kadena at Kubasaki boys Okinawa Activities Council opener on Thursday came as something of a surprise. After each team opened against Japanese teams by scoring 100 points and more, there I was thinking their idea of defense was, “You score 100 points, we’ll score 110, thank you very much.” So, when I saw the final score, 59-47 Kubasaki, I’m like, “Hey, maybe these teams CAN play defense.” Good start for the two-time reigning Far East Division I champions.

-- The learning curve for Kubasaki’s girls still appears to be high after the Dragons fell 46-14 to the Panthers at Kadena. Pretty much more of the same that we’ve seen over the past few seasons, particularly in the first quarter and early second quarter when the Panthers stole the ball and scored in transition seemingly at will.

-- The Kanto Plain boys basketball race is shaping up to be an interesting one. Zama American hands American School In Japan its first loss. Yokota beats Zama. St. Mary’s International beats Yokota. Could be as tight a race as the league has had since 1997, when 6-4 won the league, four teams went 5-5 and last place went 4-6.

-- The first chinks have appeared in St. Mary’s wrestling’s armor, courtesy of Saturday’s Christian Academy Japan Invitational in which Nile C. Kinnick prevailed as a team. But as stated earlier, it is way too early in the season to judge any team. My favorite line about winning early season tournaments, uttered years ago by Yokota coach Brian Kitts, still resonates: “You could have an injury, an ineligibility and a girlfriend all in one day, and there goes a third of your lineup.”

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Ornauer on AFN

 

Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)

 

Nov. 7: Dave Ornauer talks about Far East championship week, stepping off with cross country.

Oct. 24: Dave Ornauer talks about cross country, football and other Pacific sporting events occurring this weekend.

Oct. 17: The Nile C. Kinnick football team can ensure its fans have good seats for the Far East Division I final with a win over Kadena on Saturday.