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Kyle Scott of 3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force shoots over Robert Avery of Marine Corps Base Camp Butler during Friday's championship game in the 2005 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Basketball Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scott scored a game-high 27 points in a losing cause as Base beat Division 80-71 for its second straight title.

Kyle Scott of 3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force shoots over Robert Avery of Marine Corps Base Camp Butler during Friday's championship game in the 2005 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Basketball Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scott scored a game-high 27 points in a losing cause as Base beat Division 80-71 for its second straight title. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Kyle Scott of 3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force shoots over Robert Avery of Marine Corps Base Camp Butler during Friday's championship game in the 2005 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Basketball Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scott scored a game-high 27 points in a losing cause as Base beat Division 80-71 for its second straight title.

Kyle Scott of 3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force shoots over Robert Avery of Marine Corps Base Camp Butler during Friday's championship game in the 2005 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Basketball Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scott scored a game-high 27 points in a losing cause as Base beat Division 80-71 for its second straight title. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

Base's John Logan drives to the hoop during Friday's championship game.

Base's John Logan drives to the hoop during Friday's championship game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — For the second straight year, Yonnes Sanders earned MVP honors and sparked a game-breaking flurry with back-to-back baskets as host Marine Corps Base Camp Butler held off 3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force 80-71 in Friday’s title game of the Marine Forces Pacific Regional basketball tournament.

“That was a great team,” Sanders said about a Division squad that overcame a 12-point deficit to lead briefly in the second half. “That’s who we figured we would play for the title. They made us nervous. They had big men, guards; we knew we were in for a fight.”

No portion of the game demonstrated that more clearly than Division’s 23-10 run, capped by Aadam Clement’s steal and layup that produced a 53-52 lead with 8:43 left.

Then Sanders took over.

He hit two straight buckets, sparking a 17-2 run that put Base in command 69-55 with 4:45 left. It was a repeat of his second-half performance in last year’s championship game, when his two baskets ignited a 15-0 run that propelled Base to an 87-54 triumph.

Sanders, who finished with 16 points Friday, heaped all the credit on his teammates.

“They made a conscious effort to get me the ball,” he said. “In the first half, I was pressing a little bit, and they [guards Vincent White and Robert Gibbons] told me to be patient, that it would come to me, and it did.”

Gibbons led the way with 21 points while post players Gregory Nelson (16 points) and Eric Kaurenen (12 points) benefited offensively as Base repeatedly pushed the ball inside. Base’s interior defense forced Division to shoot from outside much of time.

“This was a total team effort,” Sanders said. “Nobody consistently dominated. One game to the next, somebody consistently stepped up. Tonight, everybody did.”

Kyle Scott of Division was the high scorer of the title game with 27 points, Jimmy Wheeler added 14 and Clement netted 12 points. Division hurt itself from the foul line, missing 17 of 27 shots.

“They took advantage of their experience,” Division coach Milton Pearson said. “They started posting us up and we had no answer. I played our big guys to the end, and they just ran out of steam. Obviously, the best team won tonight.”

Marine Forces Pacific Regional basketball tournament

At Camp Foster, Okinawa

Friday's championship game

Base 80, Division 71

BASE (80)— Robert Gibbons 6 8-10 21, Gregory Nelson 6 4-6 16, Robert Avery 3 0-0 6, Yonnes Sanders 6 4-8 16, Vincent White 1 3-4 6, John Logan 1 0-0 3, Eric Kaurenen 5 2-2 12. Totals 28 21-30 80.

DIVISION (71)— Kyle Scott 10 7-15, 27, Robert Ceballos 0 0-0 0, Jimmy Wheeler 7 0-4 14, Matthew Williams 3 1-2 8, Aadam Clement 4 2-4 12, Jermaine Partlow 1 0-0 2, Christopher Crear 0 0-2 0, Sunny Louenthone 0 0-2 0, Jeremy Rugg 3 0-0 8. Totals 28 10-27 71.

Halftime:Base, 35-30. Three-point goals: Base 3 (White 1, Logan 1, Gibbons 1), Division 5 (Rugg 2, Clement 2, Williams 1). Total fouls: Base 19, Division 20. Fouled out: Base, White, Kaurenen. Technical: Base, White.

Thursday's scores

1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, 95, U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lester, Okinawa, 59.

3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, 70, Iwakuni Air Station, Japan, 66

Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler, Okinawa, 71, Wing 50

3rd Marine Division/Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, 86, 3rd Force 79

Awards

Most Valuable Player: Yonnes Sanders, Base.

All-Tournament coach: Johnie Hamilton, Base.

All-Marine tryout camp selectees: Yonnes Sanders, Robert Gibbons, Base; Kyle Scott, Matthew Williams, Division; Joshua Reaser, Wing; Demetric Noble, 3rd Force.

All-Tournament team: Yonnes Sanders, Robert Gibbons, Vincent White, Base; Aadam Clement, Kyle Scott, Matthew Williams, Division; Joshua Reaser, Wing; Demetric Noble, 3rd Force; Steven Smith, Hospital.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.
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