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Alconbury's Kevin Beasley drives past Menwith Hill player, Schuyler Backlar, on his way to the basket. Beasley finished with 12 points and seven steals in a 52-38 victory, Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England.

Alconbury's Kevin Beasley drives past Menwith Hill player, Schuyler Backlar, on his way to the basket. Beasley finished with 12 points and seven steals in a 52-38 victory, Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Alconbury's Kevin Beasley drives past Menwith Hill player, Schuyler Backlar, on his way to the basket. Beasley finished with 12 points and seven steals in a 52-38 victory, Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England.

Alconbury's Kevin Beasley drives past Menwith Hill player, Schuyler Backlar, on his way to the basket. Beasley finished with 12 points and seven steals in a 52-38 victory, Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Menwith Hill's Arielle Rogers tries to disrupt a pass from Alconbury's Ashley Goluba during Day Two of a three-day tournament at RAF Alconbury, England. The Lady Mustangs won the contest by a score line of 18-16.

Menwith Hill's Arielle Rogers tries to disrupt a pass from Alconbury's Ashley Goluba during Day Two of a three-day tournament at RAF Alconbury, England. The Lady Mustangs won the contest by a score line of 18-16. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Rota's Trévon Owens shoots the ball over the outstretched arms of Brussels defender Braden Brower, on Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England. Both players led their team in scoring during this game. Owens finished with 28 points and Brower had 12 points.

Rota's Trévon Owens shoots the ball over the outstretched arms of Brussels defender Braden Brower, on Friday, during Day Two of a three-day Division III tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England. Both players led their team in scoring during this game. Owens finished with 28 points and Brower had 12 points. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Alconbury's Kevin Beasley goes up for an uncontested layup during a game against the Menwith Hill Mustangs, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England.

Alconbury's Kevin Beasley goes up for an uncontested layup during a game against the Menwith Hill Mustangs, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Menwith Hill'[s Brittany Dixon tries to pass the ball while Rota's Jessie Panis plays defense, Friday, during a three-day tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England.

Menwith Hill'[s Brittany Dixon tries to pass the ball while Rota's Jessie Panis plays defense, Friday, during a three-day tournament held at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

RAF ALCONBURY, England — The second of a three-day gathering of four DODDS-Europe Division-III schools saw a couple of close games and several blowouts as teams got a glimpse of what they might expect at the European championships less than a month away.

The home team Alconbury Dragons are hosting Brussels, Rota and neighborhood foe, Menwith Hill, with 16 games set over a three-day period. It’s the closest all the teams will get to a tournament such as the European finals, scheduled for Feb. 22-25 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

“This is as good as it’s going to get, as far as experience for the Europeans,” Alconbury girls coach Duke Eidt said.

Eidt said the three previous Division III girl’s champions were on hand: Rota (2009), Brussels (2010), and Menwith Hill (2011).

“We have a relatively young team, so every game presents an opportunity to improve our game,” Eidt said. “It’s good preparation for the kids. What we’ve heard about Rota has turned out to be true.”

Action began Thursday and continues through Saturday.

Menwith Hill’s sole victory came for the girls in an 18-16 victory over Alconbury. Alconbury’s boys had one victory with one game remaining Friday night. Several games were still being played after Stars and Stripes’ deadline.

Mustang boys coach Greg DeJardin also mentioned how similar this tournament is to the championships: “We played the early morning game after playing the night before,” DeJardin said.

He also noted how his team, which is primarily composed of underclassmen, needs to improve on overcoming an opposing team’s full-court press.

“We’re still finding our bearings on the floor due to (junior Schuyler) Backlar changing positions on the court from the post to point guard,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us.”

Last year, DeJardin said, the Mustangs were fighting for third place at Europeans until Backlar went out with an ankle injury.

“We were really starting to hit our stride as a team and we never really recovered after that,” DeJardin said. “We really wanted to be that third-place team last year, so I think we can be there again this year.”

Saturday action from England will see the boys and girls team from Brussels and Alconbury take on powerhouse Rota.

hodged@estripes.osd.mil


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