Boys basketballKaiserslautern at Ramstein Wednesday

The homestanding Raiders landed a long-awaited blow on the Royals on Tuesday with a 74-66 victory. The rematch, this time down the autobahn in Ramstein’s gym, should be every bit as competitive as the Royals look to reassert the ownership they’ve enjoyed over their neighbors for years.

In addition to the rivalry, Wednesday’s game has plenty of implications for the stretch run of the Division I regular season.

Kaiserslautern (4-2) is in the midst of the busiest portion of its schedule. Tuesday’s win over Ramstein marked the start of a five-game stretch over 11 days, an extremely heavy slate by DODDS-Europe standards. The team that comes out the other side could be seasoned and confident or fatigued and humbled by defeat.

The Royals, meanwhile, are currently grappling not just with Kaiserslautern but reigning Division I champion Wiesbaden. The Warriors beat Ramstein 78-62 on Saturday and the teams will tangle again on Saturday. Already 0-2 on their four-game divisional gauntlet, the Royals will need to best at least one of the two to maintain anything close to championship-level swagger.

Girls basketballSHAPE at Brussels Saturday

Defending Division III champion Brussels has a well-deserved reputation for punching above its weight class. The Brigands can further that perception Saturday against the Division II Spartans.

While both teams have considerable talent across their lineups, the game’s marquee matchup is between star guards Gina Rhett and Ali DeFazio. Both were at the top of their respective games last weekend and will need to be again to further their teams’ active win streaks.

Rhett and DeFazio each poured in a combined 36 points in Friday and Saturday victories as SHAPE swept Alconbury and Brussels handled Menwith Hill.

The wins improved Brussels to 6-1 on the season, and the Brigands appear the clear favorite to repeat as Division III champion. The Spartans, meanwhile, are locked in battle with a wide range of Division II foes including AFNORTH, Hohenfels, Ansbach, Naples and Aviano.

WrestlingPatch, Vilseck, Hohenfels at Wiesbaden

The last week of the regular season represents wrestlers’ final chances to hone their skills before grappling for their lives at the sectional qualifiers.

Patch and Wiesbaden, two legitimate contenders for the Division I team championship, can look across the mat at each other and find some of the best competition they’ll see all season, including the qualifiers and European tournament.

The Warriors are loaded with European contenders such as Joseph Spiszer (138 pounds), Steven Brown (160), Brett Wisti (170), Justin Vatcher (182), Hunter Lunasin (220) and Adam Beasley (285).

The Panthers are equally stacked behind Matthew Bolduc (106), Christopher Matzke (113), Robert Call (132), Zachary Bolduc (138), Daniel Alvarado (170), Steven Ashbaugh (182), Andrew Brabazon (195) and William Miller (220).

The main event, however, will occur at 152 pounds, where Patch phenom Jaden Fields will encounter Wiesbaden’s duo of Brayden Lamb and Alex Wieman. The three are expected to mix it up with Ramstein’s Eric Carter in one of the most competitive classes on display at the Feb. 14-15 European championships.

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