CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – His older brother, Kentrell, is in his second season playing basketball for Elizabeth City State (N.C.) University. Kubasaki senior Kareem Key would seem cut out to follow in his footsteps, if Friday’s performance was any indication.
Key scored 36 points and pulled down 21 rebounds, while DeQuan Alderman and Imani Washington each scored 10 third-quarter points as the Dragons pulled away during that period for a 97-83 win over Ginowan, a Japanese team and a last-minute replacement for Maehara, which canceled Friday.
“Just doing whatever the team needs to succeed and win,” said Key, who in fact has no plans to play college basketball; his father, Wilburt Jr., says Kareem desires to be a petroleum engineer.
“This is just a hobby for him,” the elder Key said, adding that they’re looking at universities such as North Dakota State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, “any school that will give him (an academic) scholarship,” Wilburt Key said. Kareem Key sports a 4.0 grade-point average.
As for more immediate things, the victory boosted Kubasaki to a 13-5 record. The Dragons outscored Ginowan 34-9 in that third period fueled by Alderman’s and Washington’s hot hands.
“Team ball and team defense,” Alderman credited for the big run. “That’s usually what wins games. The offense takes care of itself.”
On the girls side, height played the big factor as the Johnson & Johnson senior tandem lifted the Dragons to their sixth win of the season, 86-73 over Haebaru, a Japanese team.
Center Alyah Johnson had 20 points and 17 rebounds and guard Sydney Johnson poured in 18 for the Dragons.
Jasmine Rhodes had 24 points to pace three players in double figures as Kadena prevailed over another Japanese team, Gushikawa, 68-56.
In Tokyo, some late heroics by Jon Cadavos boosted Matthew C. Perry over Christian Academy Japan 66-52 in overtime. It was the Samurai’s first visit to the western Tokyo campus in 14 seasons.
“It was well worth it,” coach Dewayne Pigge’ said, adding it was the first time the entire original starting five at season’s beginning played since their season opener in November. “We got off to a bit of a slow start, but picked up the intensity in overtime.”
And in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam, the last unbeaten boys basketball team on island got knocked off, as John F. Kennedy downed Guam 49-45. The Islanders improved to 6-1 and dropped the Panthers to 5-1.