Camp Hovey men, Yongsan women take Taegu titles
After struggling in the Pacificwide Open Holiday Tournament at Yongsan Garrison, Camp Hovey’s men and Yongsan’s women righted themselves by capturing titles in the Taegu Koreawide Invitational Tournament for post-level basketball teams.
Led by MVP Kato Chapman’s 27 points, the Hovey Hawks ran out to a 25-point lead and held off Osan Air Base 96-86 in the men’s championship game at Camp Walker’s Kelly Fitness & Sports Center. MVP forward Crystal Davis and guard Katrina Haynes helped Yongsan’s Runnin’ Rebels down Hanil High School in a two-game final, taking the deciding game 53-47 after losing the opener 43-42.
“It feels great to be on the winning side of things,” coach Chandra Mack said of a Yongsan squad that is 4-0 in the Korea Traveling League but went 4-4 and finished third in the Pacificwide before going 7-1 at Taegu. “We were missing a couple of key players but the ladies pulled together and played as a team.”
Mack made some lineup adjustments, playing some people out of position — including Davis, who went from wing to a forward spot — “and it worked out for us,” she said. Haynes missed the Yongsan tournament with an injury, but responded at Taegu by averaging double figures in scoring and assists.
“We had a lot of strong play from the guards,” Mack said.
Yongsan’s only loss came on a last-second three-pointer in the first game against Hanil.
Hovey’s men left nothing to chance, sweeping eight games after starting the Korea Traveling League season 3-5, then going 3-4 en route to a fifth-place Pacificwide finish.
Their stellar Taegu performance came without high-scoring Donovan Mitchell, who averaged 27.5 points at Yongsan, and inside workhorse Brandon Sykes due to duty commitments. In fact, Hovey began the tournament with just five players, with two more joining the team midway.
“We had a better mesh” than at Yongsan, coach Jamar White said. “We knew we had to stay out of foul trouble, make fewer mistakes and keep players on the floor. We still managed to do it. We seemed to thrive on pressure.”
“We knew we were going to be short” of players, said Chapman, who just transferred to South Korea from Fort Belvoir, Va., and played with Hovey for the first time at Yongsan. “This tournament, we had better execution. We had to come out and do what we had to do, to set the example. We came in here as an underdog. We wanted it as badly as anybody else, maybe more.”
Mack and White expressed hope that the Taegu titles would give each team a needed lift when the Korea Traveling League season resumes on Jan. 7.
“The ladies’ confidence is up, and we gave some players who hadn’t played a lot of minutes,” Mack said. “We’ll be ready now. This will be a big boost for us.”
“We hope we can get some respect and support now,” White said. “We can have an even better team if we can get all the players out.”
Taegu Koreawide Invitational Basketball TournamentAt Taegu American School, Camp George, and Kelly Fitness & Sports Center, Camp Walker, Taegu, South Korea.
Game 1-Camp Hovey 64, Taegu University 37
Game 2-Osan Air Base 73, Suwon Air Base 61
Game 3-Wonju/Camp Long 75, Camp Walker (Taegu) 68
Game 4-Camp Casey 54, x-Chinhae Naval Base 36
Game 5-Suwon Air Base 65, Taegu University 60; Taegu University eliminated
Game 6-Camp Walker 66, Chinhae Naval Base 42; Chinhae Naval Base eliminated
Game 7-Camp Hovey 59, Osan Air Base 58
Game 8-Camp Casey 59, Wonju/Camp Long 51
Game 9-Suwon Air Base 65, Wonju/Camp Long 60; Wonju/Camp Long eliminated
Game 10-Osan Air Base 100, Camp Walker 48; Camp Walker eliminated
Game 11-Camp Hovey 82, Camp Casey 59
Game 12-Osan Air Base 81, Suwon Air Base 59; Suwon Air Base eliminated
x-replaced Taegu American for playoffs.
Game 13-Osan Air Base 81, Camp Casey 67; Camp Casey eliminated
Game 14-Camp Hovey 96, Osan Air Base 86; Osan Air Base eliminated
MVP — Kato Chapman, Camp Hovey
Showmanship — Patrick Travers, Taegu University
Team sportsmanship — Camp Hovey
Game 1-Taegu American School 50, Camp Walker (Taegu) 48
Game 2-Camp Casey 47, Hanil High School 43
Game 3-Yongsan Garrison 63, Camp Walker 34
Game 4-Hanil High School 63, x-Taegu American School 36; Taegu American School eliminated
Game 5-Yongsan Garrison 67, Camp Casey 39
Game 6-Hanil High School 54, Camp Walker 25; Camp Walker eliminated
x-conceded victory over Camp Walker to afford military team opportunity to advance.
Game 7-Hanil High School 50, Camp Casey 36; Camp Casey eliminated
Game 8-Hanil High School 43, Yongsan Garrison 42
Game 9-Yongsan Garrison 53, Hanil High School 47; Hanil High School eliminated
MVP — Crystal Davis, Yongsan Garrison
Showmanship — Jung Hae-ran, Hanil High School
Team sportsmanship — Hanil High School