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C.J. BattleBasketball

Giessen

Last week: Battle, a senior swingman for the European Division IV champions, totaled 35 points and 22 rebounds in a weekend sweep of visiting D-III champion Bamberg. The victories placed Giessen (7-1) among the favorites for this season’s European D-III title. The Griffins and Barons swapped divisions this season.

Although Battle’s totals — 19 points and 12 rebounds in Friday’s 44-36 win, and 16 points and 10 rebounds in the 57-47 victory Saturday — were around his season averages of 18 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, they came against teams known for defense. And they say nothing about what Battle did on the other end of the floor, Giessen coach Ron Merriwether said Tuesday.

“The thing I like most ... is his ability to be effective in other ways which influence the outcome of the game, intangibles such as leadership and being a predator on defense (six steals),” Merriwether wrote in an e-mail.

“Although struggling behind the arc during Friday’s game, he came up big in the clutch and sank two threes back-to-back in the fourth quarter to seal the game.”

Elisha DarbyBasketball

Giessen

Last week: Darby, a junior guard averaging 25.6 points per game, registered her second 42-point outing of the season Saturday in a 68-38 home victory over Bamberg. Her other 42-point outing came Dec. 16 at Alconbury.

The big scoring games, ironically, have come in a season in which Giessen coach Catherine Martinez has had Darby working on non-scoring aspects of her game. “She’s focusing on the overall aspects of her game,” Martinez said Monday by telephone. “She was offense-oriented, but this year we’ve been working on defense and rebounding.”

Martinez said the rebounding emphasis paid off handsomely on Saturday as many of Darby’s 17 field goals were put-back baskets. Darby, averaging four offensive rebounds per game this season, totaled 10 rebounds Saturday and went 8-for-11 from the line.

Darby had 27 points and 14 rebounds in Giessen’s 56-32 victory over Bamberg on Friday. She also had seven steals in each game in a season in which she’s averaging six thefts per game. “Her defense looks nice, too,” Martinez said.

Selected by Stars and Stripes staff.

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff


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