This story has been corrected.
Schweinfurt earned two early-season wins Friday and Saturday with an impressive home-and-home sweep of defending Division I champion Heidelberg. The Razorbacks won 60-53 on their home floor Friday and claimed a 46-43 decision in the Lions’ gym Saturday.
Each team placed three players in double figures Friday as Heidelberg made a last-chance run, outscoring the home team 23-14 in the fourth quarter. Saturday’s rematch saw the teams craft an even more dramatic final act.
The Lions built a nine-point lead with 5 minutes to play before Schweinfurt seized on a strong of Lions turnovers to turn the tide. Christian Carrillo’s baseline jumper handed a two-point lead to the Razorbacks, and Summit Sivels converted a pair of late free throws to put the game out of Heidelberg’s reach.
Carrillo scored 14 and 11 points, respectively, while LaJuarren Burks poured in 20 to pace Friday’s win. Joseph Patrick and Jason Caldwell each produced two double-digits scoring games in defeat.
Schweinfurt, 4-1, visits Vilseck on Jan. 11 and 12.
Wiesbaden 55/63, SHAPE 46/41: At Wiesbaden, the Division I Warriors handled their visiting Division II opponent on both Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Wiesbaden jumped out to a 10-point lead heading into the second quarter and never looked back. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, as the Warriors held a 22-point advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play, where Wiesbaden primarily used players off the bench.
Kelsey Thomas led the Warriors with 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Andrew Murray pitched in 12 points and 6-foot-7 Tyler Cordoni scored 11 and added eight boards and six blocks for the home team.
On Saturday, Thomas scored 16 points and Cordoni chipped in 11 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for Wiesbaden, offsetting the strong 22-point, eight-rebound effort from SHAPE star Conner Manning.
The Warriors, also emerging as contenders for the wide-open Division I crown, will take an undefeated record into the new year.
Aviano 42/62, AOSR 38/61. At Aviano, the Region IV rivals delivered a pair of compelling close games in a narrow Saints sweep Friday and Saturday.
The Falcons remained winless despite outscoring their host by wide margins in each of the weekend’s second halves. AOSR used a 15-7 third-quarter run Friday and a 24-15 third-quarter rally Saturday to earn a shot at a road win before losing the games by a combined five points.
Aviano’s Andrew Bert scored 33 points and Zach Erskine added 20 over the two games. Colin Cook led AOSR in scoring on both occasions with 16 and 18 points, respectively.
Ramstein 60, Bitburg 40: Friday at Bitburg, the visiting Royals used two 20-point quarters to outlast the Barons.
Jamael Kingsberry scored a game-high 22 points and teammate Christian Gunia turned in a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double for Ramstein. The rebuilt Royals, last season’s Division I runner-up, take a 2-1 mark into the winter break.
The game was the first of the year for Bitburg, the last team other than Rota to jump into regular-season hoops play. Multiple-sport star CJ Evans scored 18 to pace the Barons.
AFNORTH 48, Bitburg 37: Saturday at Bitburg, the Lions ruined the Barons’ opening weekend with a comfortable Saturday rout.
Nuri Karaca was outstanding for AFNORTH, piling up 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Evans answered with 21 for the home team.
Division II AFNORTH remained undefeated with the win, with three of its victories coming by double digits. The Lions’ next test is a Jan. 11 and 12 set at Region I rival Lakenheath.
Alconbury 66/51, Menwith Hill 64/54: At Menwith Hill, the host Mustangs avenged a Friday loss with a Saturday victory in a hard-fought U.K. doubleheader.
Menwith Hill’s Schuyler Backlar and Alconbury’s Kevin Beasley engaged in a memorable scoring duel Friday. Backlar won the points battle, posting 33 to Beasley’s 31, but the Dragon claimed the war as he stole a pass with 7 seconds to play and dropped in a buzzer-beating layup for an Alconbury win.
Backlar threw in another 32 points Saturday as the Mustangs built and preserved a lead despite Alconbury’s 20-12 fourth-quarter run.
Naples 52/49, Florence 12/9: The Wildcats handled their overmatched visitors in a pair of courtesy-rule wins.
Naples’ Aaron Smith, Dylan Kincanon, DJ Stockman, Joseph Pitts, Howard Pulley and Chris Mack each reached double figures in points in one or more of the shortened games.
The Wildcats are 4-0 on the young season, with each of their wins coming by at least 10 points. Another in-country rival, Sigonella, awaits upon the season’s resumption Jan. 11.
The score of the AFNORTH-Bitburg game was incorrect. The score was 48-37. Also, the number of points scored by AFNORTH's Nuri Karaca was incorrect. He scored 26 points.