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HEIDELBERG, Germany — Mannheim was forced to forfeit its U.S. Forces-Europe championship game against Heidelberg when its star player was ejected from the tournament.

The Lady Mustangs, who suited a bare-minimum five players throughout this tournament, were reduced to four after scoring ace Precious Blackman was forced out of the tournament Saturday by tourney director and Army-Europe sports chief Ken Wetherill.

“I ejected her for unsportsmanlike conduct,” said Wetherill, who declined to comment further.

The ouster came minutes after Blackman posted a career-best 46 points in Mannheim’s 96-73 losers-bracket final victory over Ramstein.

According to Blackman, Ramstein’s Nicole Howard knocked her to the floor with 26 seconds left in the game. Their confrontation apparently continued after the game, and officials judged Blackman was engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct.

Heidelberg coach Joseph Souza said it was an unfortunate situation.

“We would like to have played,” he said.

But Souza said there was no reason for his team to regard its second straight U.S. Forces championship as somehow tainted.

“This team has worked hard all season and gone undefeated,” he said. “We’ve beaten Mannheim 10 times and every other team at least twice.”

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