They’d gone to overtime and came away one-point heartbreak losers at Yokota the last time Nile C. Kinnick faced the Panthers. On Friday, DeAnthony Evans and the Red Devils turned the tables on their home court.
The junior center scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half as Kinnick (12-6) rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to overcome Yokota 56-50 in a pivotal DODDS Japan boys basketball battle.
“We cut down on our mistakes and got the ball inside to DeAnthony more,” coach Robert Stovall said of Kinnick’s 11 first-half turnovers, compared to four in the second.
Evans’ play “made a big difference in the second half,” Stovall said, adding that Evans has “a lot of growing to do, but he’s a tremendous natural athlete. He’s starting to realize how strong he is, and hopefully he’ll turn it on in the second half of the season.”
Kinnick lost 56-55 at Yokota in the New Year Classic after leading 31-17 at halftime.
The Panthers did their best to “box” Evans in the first half defensively, coach Paul Ettl said, “but in the second half, we forgot to do so. He was key for them. Kinnick played smart in the second half. They played better perimeter defense. They’re always tough to beat at home.”
Yokota still leads DODDS Japan at 8-2, followed by Kinnick (6-3) and Zama American (5-3).
Friday was a rough night for the Panthers in general, as Bessie Noll scored 22 points and Liz Thornton 14 and American School In Japan’s girls won at Yokota 52-27.
On Okinawa, Kadena’s boys and girls hit the road Friday and came away victorious at Chatan. Brett Garick posted a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds in the Panthers boys’ 92-50 win, while Eisiah Lawson (20 and 13) did the same in the girls game as Kadena won 94-58.
Kubasaki, meanwhile, wasn’t as fortunate. The boys lost at Maehara 97-61 despite 26 points and 24 rebounds from Kareem Key. The girls fell 34-26 to Storm on opening night of the 18th Martin Luther King Invitational tournament for adult teams.
Anfernee Dent continues to score at a torrid pace for Daegu’s boys. He netted 30 points on Friday as the Warriors pounded International Christian-Uijongbu 77-30. Taylor Myatt’s 11 points powered Daegu’s girls over the Eagles 51-13.
For a soccer player, Manasseh Nartey is proving adept with a basketball as well. His 18 points led four players in double figures as Osan American edged Seoul Foreign 62-56.