Boys basketball roundup
SHAPE runs away from Menwith Hill
Stars and Stripes
The prolific scoring of Menwith Hill star Schuyler Backlar wasn’t enough to top the host SHAPE Spartans in either half of a Friday-Saturday set.
SHAPE won 62-40 on Friday and followed with a 75-47 triumph on Saturday to stay tied with Lakenheath atop the Region I standings.
Backlar scored 28 points Friday and another 20 on Saturday, but a deep and talented SHAPE team easily withstood the barrage. Friday’s breaking point came in a 26-9 third-quarter run, while Saturday’s first quarter saw the home team take a comfortable 14-point edge.
Conner Manning and Alizi Douglas headlined a long list of SHAPE contributors. Manning was a worthy adversary for Backlar with a 22-point game of his own Friday, while Douglas posted consecutive point-and-rebound double-doubles.
Wiesbaden 63, Bitburg 46: Saturday at Wiesbaden, the Warriors used a 17-5 third-quarter rally to put away a tough Barons squad.
Kelsey Thomas was dominant for Wiesbaden, leading all scorers with 26 points and rebounders with nine. CJ Evans racked up 11 points and 10 assists in defeat.
Wiesbaden improved to 5-0 with the win and strengthened its growing case as a contender for the Division I European championship. The Warriors can prove their mettle against the incumbent champs Tuesday with a rare mid-week tip at Heidelberg.
Lakenheath 44/46, AFNORTH 4/32: An enticing set between DODDS-Europe title hopefuls fizzled as the visiting Lions arrived shorthanded.
The unbeaten Lancers, still exhilarated from a memorable championship-game win over Patch at the Stuttgart Winter Basketball Tournament over the holiday break, made quick work of their undermanned and overmatched opponent. Friday’s game was called at halftime, and Lakenheath eased off Saturday after building a 28-11 halftime lead.
The losses were the first of the year for AFNORTH, which represented itself well in a third-place showing at Stuttgart and expects to vie for Division II honors with its full complement of players on hand.
Heidelberg 37, Hohenfels 35: Saturday at Heidelberg, Michael Grimmett gathered an offensive rebound and deposited it for the game-winner with two seconds to play in regulation.
Sophomore David Vidovic had almost half of the Tigers' points, finishing with 16.
Kaiserslautern 67, Bitburg 58: Friday at Bitburg, the Raiders jumped out to an early lead and made it last for the duration.
The Barons climbed to within six points of their Region II rival before succumbing to a proficient Kaiserslautern team. The Raiders enjoy a light schedule, with just a Jan. 16 trip to Baumholder, ahead of its anticipated showdown with nemesis Ramstein on Jan. 25.
Naples 62/73, Sigonella 22/32: Host Naples maintained its perfect record with Friday and Saturday routs of its fellow Italian school.
DJ Stockman totaled 28 points over the two games to pace the defending Division II champions, who have won all six of their games this season by double digits. Vicenza gets two shots at the Wildcats next weekend.
Aviano 46/41, Florence 7/2: At Aviano, another unbeaten Italian program remained so in convincing fashion.
The lopsided margins led to both games being called in the third quarter. Andrew Bert scored 25 combined points to pace Aviano, while Elijah Smith, Alex Robertson and Zach Erskine totaled double-figure points in one of the games.