Support our mission

MANNHEIM, Germany — The Lajes Falcons were smelling an upset as they took a four-point lead into the final quarter despite having their top player, Alexa McMonagle, riding the bench for much of the game with four fouls.

But top-seeded Brussels, the defending Division IV champion, wasn’t about to roll over.

The Brigands took the lead with 5½ minutes to play, grabbing rebounds they had been losing, making shots they had been missing and shutting down Lajes for a 30-24 victory.

Reliesha Burns scored 17 points, including six in the fourth quarter. Her basket on an offensive rebound tied the game 20-20, and Caitlin Quinn’s basket, also off a rebound, gave Brussels the lead for good.

After twice stretching the lead to five points, the Brigands (15-2) began using their spread, keep-away offense to take time off the clock.

After Lajes’ Larissa Palmer, the shortest player on the court at 4 feet, 10 inches, stole the ball and made a fast-break layup to cut the lead to three with 45 seconds left, Brussels clinched the victory on a free throw by Quinn and another offensive rebound basket by Burns.

Brussels coach Dexter Bohn lamented his team’s poor shooting, but praised its “gut check” that helped it win the game. In particular, the spread offense methodically prevented Lajes from scoring when it counted most.

“Not many girls teams have the discipline to run the spread and take time off the clock,” Bohn said. “That’s what I’m really proud of for the girls, because they’ve got to have the discipline and mental toughness.”

Lajes was crippled by fouls, and made only five trips to the free-throw line compared to 28 for Brussels.

The 5-10 McMonagle committed her fourth foul with five minutes remaining in the first half. With their best player on the bench, and trailing 10-6, the rest of the Falcons got busy.

Amy Wagner was fouled on an offensive rebound basket and converted the three-point play. Leslie Beatrice blocked a shot and Wagner scored on a fast break. Palmer nailed a set shot from the key, then made a steal to feed Wagner. At the end of the first half, the fifth-seeded Falcons had a 17-12 lead.

“We had to stick together more as a team,” Palmer said. “It was better for us. We got to see what we worked for all season, and we put it together.”

Brussels was just too much in the second half — especially in the final quarter when Lajes’ top three rebounders each had four fouls and were forced to play cautiously.

Brussels 30, Lajes 24Lajes......4 13 3 4—24Brussels......3 9 4 14—30Scoring—Lajes: Amy Wagner 11, Larissa Palmer 5, Mercedes Prand 4, Sierra Bowman 2, Alexa McMonagle 2; Brussels: Reliesha Burns 17, Caitlin Quinn 5, Kaitlyn Oppenheim 5, Elizabeth McVicker 3.


Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up