Camp Foster, Yongsan claim Kadena Klassic hoops titles
Stars and Stripes March 8, 2006
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Wherever the “Sandman” lurks, opponents seem to wither and championships arrive.
Yonnes Sanders scored nine of his 17 points in the third quarter, powering Camp Foster of Okinawa past South Korea’s Kunsan Wolf Pack 99-80 in Monday’s men’s championship game in the 3rd Kadena Klassic Interservice Basketball Tournament at Risner Fitness & Sports Complex.
Yongsan Garrison’s Runnin’ Rebels had a tougher go of it in the women’s final, needing two games to upend previously unbeaten 2nd Infantry Division in an all-Korea battle, 64-47 and 57-52, led by former collegian Candice Cunningham, who totalled 28 points in the two games.
“I’ve been blessed to play on good teams,” said Sanders, who earned tournament MVP honors to go with his MVPs from the past two Marine Forces Pacific Regional Tournaments, which his Marine Corps Base Camp Butler team has won.
Foster twice defeated Kunsan on Monday, downing the Wolf Pack earlier in the day 87-80. That sent Foster to the title clash in the double-elimination playoffs, dropping the Wolf Pack to the loser’s bracket.
Kunsan played its way into the final by downing host Kadena 80-64.
Depth, Sanders said, “was the key” to Foster’s fortunes and Kunsan’s fade.
“We go 12 deep,” he said. “Teams … would come close but in the end, they got tired.”
Vincent White’s three-pointer one minute into the game gave Foster the lead it held the rest of the way.
Billy Shanks’ three consecutive three-pointers gave Foster its biggest lead, 95-73, with 1:50 remaining.
Yongsan captured its third women’s tournament title this season and second in eight days, coupled with its Koreawide Post-Level championship.
The Rebels lost to the Warriors 62-60 in overtime in Sunday’s winner’s bracket final, but that lit a fire under the team.
“That kind of let us know that we’re not unstoppable,” said Cunningham, who played at the University of Florida. “We hadn’t felt what it was like to lose. It kind of woke us up.”
A 7-0 first-quarter run gave Yongsan the lead for good 13-8 in Monday’s first final game. Annie Hollings gave the Rebels their biggest lead, 59-35, on a backdoor layup with 7:30 left. Cunningham, who was named the tournament’s MVP, led Yongsan with 13 points.
Kadena Klassic Basketball Tournament
At Risner Fitness & Sports Complex and Nakayoshi Fitness & Sports Center, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa
Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 77, Camp Kinser, Okinawa, 73
Camp Foster, Okinawa, 80, Osan Air Base, South Korea, 66
Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, 73, Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, 63
2nd Infantry Division, South Korea, 84, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 70
Camp Kinser 86, Yongsan Garrison 71; Yongsan Garrison eliminated
Osan Air Base 91, Camp Humphreys 81; Camp Humphreys eliminated
Kunsan Air Base 82, Kadena Air Base 74
Camp Foster 102, 2nd Infantry Division 77
2nd Infantry Division 86, Camp Kinser 66; Camp Kinser eliminated
Kadena Air Base 59, Osan Air Base 44; Osan Air Base eliminated
Kadena Air Base 74, 2nd Infantry Division 64; 2nd Infantry Division eliminated
Camp Foster 87, Kunsan Air Base 80
Kunsan Air Base 80, Kadena Air Base 64; Kadena Air Base eliminated
Camp Foster 99, Kunsan Air Base 80; Kunsan Air Base eliminated
Most Valuable Player: Yonnes Sanders, Camp Foster.
All-Tournament team: Yonnes Sanders, Billy Shanks, James Braveboy, Camp Foster; Otis Booker, Kirk Sheppard, Jacobi Jenkins, Kunsan Air Base; Brian Ziemann, Jerrod Butler, Bryan Simpson, Kadena Air Base; Mitchell Donovan, Dequalain Smith, 2nd Infantry Division; Damien Needom, Osan Air Base; Cordell Edwards, Yongsan Garrison; Cornelius Clark, Yokosuka Naval Base; Barry Celestine, Camp Kinser.
Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, 64, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, 42
2nd Infantry Division, South Korea, 45, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 41
2nd Infantry Division 62, Yongsan Garrison 60, OT
Kunsan Air Base 55, Kadena Air Base 48; Kadena Air Base eliminated
Yongsan Garrison 55, Kunsan Air Base 45; Kunsan Air Base eliminated
Yongsan Garrison 64, 2nd Infantry Division 47
Yongsan Garrison 57, 2nd Infantry Division 52; 2nd Infantry Division eliminated
Most Valuable Player: Candice Cunningham, Yongsan Garrison.
All-Tournament team: Candice Cunningham, Kaitisha Haines, Ruthshell Bryant, Yongsan Garrison; Shelly Jones, Shola Walker, Priscilla Bailey, 2nd Infantry Division; Lanitra Higgins, Jessica Wright, Kimberly McWhite, Kunsan Air Base; April Moss, Teresa Mattox, Kadena Air Base.