Bitburg back on top
MANNHEIM, Germany — Powered by the below-basket aggression of Nadia Parker, the Bitburg Lady Barons defeated Vilseck 44-28 for their fourth straight European Division II basketball title Saturday at Mannheim’s Benjamin Franklin Village Sports Arena.
Bitburg defeated Hanau 54-41 in last year’s championship.
Vilseck, coming off a 62-60 double-overtime upset of top-seeded Hanau in Friday’s semifinals, came out strong but soon weakened as Bitburg employed a quick transition game.
The Lady Barons (14-3) found their rhythm late in the first quarter when Parker scored six of her 28 points. She also grabbed 17 rebounds.
“We have a sensational center in Nadia Parker,” Bitburg coach Denny Lemmon said. “But if our players couldn’t channel the ball into her, she wouldn’t have looked so good.”
Guard Melodie Duperval recorded eight assists and one steal. Point guard Erica Winters added six points and two assists. Carletta Hernandez contributed six points and eight rebounds.
“It was pretty much teamwork,” Hernandez said. “It was basically to get the ball to Nadia, but we also had to get ourselves open because they were guarding her a lot.”
“Definitely teamwork,” she said. “Everybody knew where to go at what time [and] that played a very big part.”
The Lady Barons led 23-15 at halftime and kept the Lady Falcons scoreless for most of the third quarter.
With 18 seconds left in the third quarter, Vilseck’s Christina Funderburk scored to make it 35-17. Two free throws by Jessica Linka made it 35-19 at the end of three.
LaPorchea Sanders led Vilseck with 12 points and Linka added five. The Falcon’s Paige Nicoson had four steals.