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First blush at New Year Classic high school basketball tournament 4.0

Kadena wins its second title in the 4-year-old New Year Classic high school basketball tournament, leading by as many as 13 points before holding off a late Nile C. Kinnick charge for a 71-67 triumph Sunday at Yokosuka Naval Base's George I. Purdy Fitness & Sports Center. Shooting 13-for-18 at the foul line in the fourth quarter and 19-for-24 for the game made a big difference.

First blush at Osan Pacificwide Holiday Basketball Tournament championship 23.0

Kunsan Air Base wins its first championship in the Osan Pacificwide Holiday Basketball Tournament needing two games to finally quell Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, losing the first final game 65-42, then shutting down Air Force Academy Class of 2007's Nick Welch with a box-and-one in the closing minutes, rallying from a 55-42 deficit to edge Andersen 76-74 in the "if necessary" game of the double-elimination tournament.

Osan Air Base's women left nothing to chance, easily downing Yongsan Garrison 60-34 for the title, their first since 2006.

Far East wrestling, Girls Class A basketball move from Japan to Korea

Yep, CSpotRun heard it right -- The 2010 Far East High School Wrestling Tournament comes to Korea for the first time, to be hosted by Osan American High School, but staged at the new Super Gym on Camp Humphreys, about 10 miles south of Osan Air Base.

It was originally scheduled to be hosted by Kadena High School, but no suitable venue was available to stage it, DODEA Pacific officials said.

Also, the Far East Girls Class A Basketball Tournament will be hosted by Daegu American School and played at Camp Walker's Kelly Gym and Camp George's Warrior Gym in South Korea. Originally to be hosted by Matthew C. Perry in Japan, the tournament was moved because Ironworks Gym at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is due for a floor refurbishing.

First blush at Pacific high school basketball Week 4.0, wrestling Week 2.0

Boys basketball: The first "big one" of the season, Christian Academy In Japan 59, Nile C. Kinnick 58. Miles Peterson "held" to "only" 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. American School In Japan 45, Zama American 37. Yokota 46, St. Mary's International 35. Kadena 97, Ryuseki (Japanese club) 76. Kubasaki 65, Kitanakagusuku 54. Matthew C. Perry 78, Osaka International 74. Canadian Academy 87, Matthew C. Perry 52. Matthew C. Perry 70, Marist Brothers International 49. Seoul Foreign 59, Yongsan International-Seoul 35. Seoul Foreign 49, Daegu American 43. Daegu American 58, Osan American 56.

Girls basketball: Kadena gets first win of season in nine tries, 55-50 over Urasoe. Naha 65, Kubasaki 43. Daegu American 45, Osan American 31. Daegu American 44, Seoul Foreign 21. Yongsan International-Seoul 38, Seoul Foreign 32. American School In Japan 35, Zama American 24.

Wrestling: Nile C. Kinnick 38, American School In Japan 24. Yokota 51, Christian Academy In Japan 10. Kinnick blows away the field to capture the CAJ Tournament. Seoul American wins all three duals and improves to 4-0 in a quad meet at Daegu American that featured E.J. King. Daegu goes 2-1, Osan American 1-2 and King 0-3.

Hail to Zama's Spencer, Kadena's Mason, Stripes' Pacific fall sports season Athletes of the Quarter

Elissa Mason’s second straight singles and doubles titles marked the pinnacle of a stellar four-year run for Kadena tennis. Michael Spencer’s performance at fullback and linebacker marked Zama American football’s zenith and the biggest turnaround in school history. Click here to read about Stripes' Pacific fall sports season Athletes of the Quarter.

Some things we've seen, learned so far this winter sports season

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer wonders if he'll have to give in to the elements and wear jeans during the Osan Pacificwide Holiday Basketball Tournament:

-- THE place to be Friday night? Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, where Christian Academy In Japan, 5-0, meets equally unbeaten Nile C. Kinnick. Who to watch for? Miles Peterson, CAJ's senior post player, who torched defending Class AA champion St. Mary's International for 33 points and 21 boards in the Knights' 66-50 victory Tuesday -- CAJ's first Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools victory in three years. Kinnick doesn't have Peterson's height; this might resemble Kareem vs. five Spud Webbs.

-- From what I saw in a preseason scrimmage a week ago, Kadena's wrestling team from 101 to heavyweight has the potential to be the best team I've seen since Kubasaki won the Far East tournament team title and six gold medals in 1985. One opposing athletics director is already referring to Kadena's top weights, Tyler Broome at 180, Aaron Ahner at 215 and Gabe Ahner at heavyweight, as "Murderers' Row."

-- Kadena's boys basketball team also appears primed for a deep run at an unbeaten season. So far, 11-0. Perhaps the Twin Towers, Jason Sumpter and Jeremy Howell, and CAJ's Peterson are on a collision course?

-- Shannon Jackson is one very dangerous fourth-quarter weapon for Nile C. Kinnick's girls basketball team. Fresh off earning Far East Class AA Tournament honors in volleyball, Jackson has averaged 15 points in the fourth quarter of the last three games the Red Devils have played, all victories.

-- Don't look now, but that's Crystal Valentine and Zama American atop the DODEA Japan girls standings. Looks like the Trojans are aiming to make some serious noise on their home courts at the Yano Fitness Center during February's Class AA Tournament, which Zama hosts for the second straight year.

75 days.

'Door open to change,' says new DODEA Pacific director Ohman

Change could be in the air. Possible within the next year, new DODEA Pacific director Diana Ohman says, to see movement toward adding baseball, softball and track and field to the Far East Activities Calendar, expanding and enhancing existing activities, even readmitting non-DODEA schools to Far East cross country, tennis and wrestling. "Everything is on the table," said Ohman, who arrived in the Pacific with a reputation as a sports enthusiast with many "new ideas" for Pacific activities. Read what she has to say here.

Second blush at Pacific high school basketball Week 3.0, wrestling Week 1.0

Boys basketball, SAHS 69, Daegu 65. Kinnick 57, Perry 33. Yokota 54, Edgren 46. Zama 56, E.J. King 50. E.J. King 49, Zama 36. Kadena 96, Chatan 73. Girls basketball, SAHS 56, Daegu 25. Kinnick 57, Perry 30. Edgren 62, Yokota 32. Zama 35, E.J. King 19. Zama 42, E.J. King 28. Naha 75, Kadena 31. Itoman 68, Kubasaki 48. Osan 45, KIS 26. Wrestling, Seoul 40, Daegu 14. Kinnick wins Edgren Invitational, 74-73 over host Edgren; each school takes five golds.

Far East wrestling preview: Gipson faces enormous task of taking Kubasaki's helm

Kenneth Gipson becomes just the sixth coach of the Kubasaki Dragons during the Far East Tournament era. How will Gipson do at the helm of the most storied program in Far East history, with 21 team titles and 81 gold medalists to its credit? Click here to read Kubasaki's story and find out about key dates and tournaments and what the other 10 DODEA Pacific wrestling programs bring to the table.

First blush at Pacific high school basketball Week 3.0

Boys, Seoul American 58, Taejon Christian International 44. Seoul Foreign 53, Osan American 48. Korea International 60, Yongsan International-Seoul 43. Yokota 49, Matthew C. Perry 46, OT. Nile C. Kinnick 67, Robert D. Edgren 63, OT. American School In Japan 50, St. Mary's 42. Girls, SAHS 56, TCI...S 18. SFS 36, Osan 25. Yokota 60, Perry 45. Kinnick 53, Edgren 36. ASIJ 51, St. Maur 33.

Far East boys basketball preview: Daegu aims to end 20-year title drought

Not for 20 years has Daegu American's boys basketball team captured a Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference or Far East High School Boys Class A Basketball Tournament title. But coach Phillip Loyd feels the 2009-10 edition of the Warriors is the complete package that can challenge for its first such titles since that 1989-90 campaign. Click here to read their story and here to see what Pacific teams bring to the table this season.

Name the coaches of every Far East Boys Class AA Tournament champion team since the tournament's inception

To SportsBlog Nation:

We're trying to find out the names of each and every coach of each and every Far East High School Boys Class AA Basketball Tournament champion team since the tournament's inception in 1949.

Why, you ask? Tournament organizers are planning to make a traveling trophy with the names of all the coaches in it, kind of like pro hockey's Stanley Cup, which has the name of every player who ever won the cup embedded in it.

I can name quite a few of them, but only as far back as 1982.

2009 -- Fred Sava, St. Mary's International
2008 -- Steve Boyd, Seoul American
2007 -- Jon Fick, Kubasaki
2006 -- Paul Ettl, Yokota
2005 -- Robert Bliss, Kadena
2004 -- Steve Boyd, Seoul American
2003 -- Steve Boyd, Seoul American
2002 -- Fred Sava, St. Mary's International
2001 -- Fred Sava, St. Mary's International
2000 -- Tine Hardeman, Faith Academy
1999 -- Scott Davis, Kadena
1998 -- Carl Long, Christian Academy In Japan
1997 -- Don Hobbs, Kubasaki
1996 -- Don Hedgpath, Seoul American
1995 -- Scott Davis, Kadena
1994 -- Brian Brumsickle, Hong Kong International
1993 -- Sid Guzman, Oceanview
1992 -- Scott Davis, Kadena
1991 -- Scott Davis, Kadena
1990 -- Darrell Mood, Wagner
1989 -- Don Hobbs, Kubasaki
1988 -- Don Hobbs, Kubasaki
1987 -- Kevin Fitzgerald, Kadena
1986 -- Kevin Fitzgerald, Kadena

And that's as far back as my consecutive institutional knowledge stretches.

Prior to that, 1984 -- Ed Drosdowski, Kadena
1983 -- Bill Jacobsson, American School In Japan
1982 -- Tine Hardeman, Faith Academy

Can you help?

Far East girls basketball preview: Title double dip for Daegu?

Another double-double for the Daegu American Warriors girls, back-to-back Class A volleyball and basketball tournament titles in the same school year? Though this year's edition differs somewhat from the 2005-06 version (no Lynnette Grant), the possibility is very much there, and very real. Click here to get the lowdown on the season.

Panthers put total hoops package on court

They were supposed to be pretty good, on paper, with six players back from a Kadena Panthers team that went 31-14 and placed sixth in the Far East Boys Class AA Basketball Tournament last February. But with the addition of 6-foot-3 Jeremy Howell and 6-foot-4 Jason Sumpter, late of Brussels American School, Kadena now shoots further up the A list, with a 9-0 record and Hong Kong International School Basketball Tournament title to open the season. Click here to see what the fuss is about.

 
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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.)

 

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.

Oct. 3: Dave Ornauer talks about the weekend's key football matchups, including Matthew C. Perry at American School In Japan.

Sept. 12: Dave Ornauer highlights Nile C. Kinnick's win over Zama, 30-0, during high school football last week, discusses other games throughout the Pacific.