Gene Simpson put back a missed shot as time expired Saturday to give the homestanding Patch Panthers a come-from-behind 63-61 victory over Bitburg.
Simpson’s bucket capped Patch’s 20-9 fourth-quarter run, which erased a 10-point Bitburg lead over the final two minutes. Patch, which defeated Bitburg 61-57 in a nonconference game Friday night, evened its Division II record at 1-1.
The two games featured a stat-sheet duel between Nick Brown of Bitburg and Neal Griffin of Patch. Griffin scored 32 points and snared eight rebounds on Friday, then chalked up 29 points and five steals on Saturday. Brown responded with 25 points and 10 rebounds on Friday and 23 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday.
Patch freshman Brandon Bingley also played a important role Saturday, scoring 14 points.
The Panthers will take a 3-2 overall mark into a home Division II doubleheader on Friday against AFNORTH and Black Forest Academy. Patch will play BFA again on Saturday. Bitburg (3-2, 2-2) is scheduled to host Bamberg of Division III-South for nonconference games on Friday and Saturday.
In other games of note Friday and Saturday:
Lions end rare skid
At Bamberg, the five-time defending European Division I champion Heidelberg Lions ended a two-game losing streak with a 72-38 rout of the Division III Barons.
Tyreke Wesley registered 20 points, nine steals and seven rebounds for Heidelberg (3-2), which saw its two-season, 20-game win streak snapped at Ansbach on Dec. 10. T.C. Blanks added 17 points for Heidelberg, which outscored Bamberg 40-11 during Bamberg’s turnover-plagued second half.
Carlos Zapata led Bamberg (0-4) with 13 points. The Barons continue their tour of the upper divisions this Friday and Saturday at Bitburg of Division II, while Heidelberg returns home to host Division I foe International School of Brussels on Friday and Saturday.
Ramstein splits, K-town stays perfect
At Ramstein on Friday night, the Royals avenged a one-point, nonconference road loss to Würzburg on Dec. 4 with a 63-44 romp fueled by Allen Weaver’s 28 points. Würzburg fell to 4-1.
The victory gave the Royals a 1-0 mark in Division I which stood up despite a loss Saturday at Kaiserslautern. The game was designated as nonconference.
In that game, the Red Raiders got 19 points each from Quentin Strawder and Julian Smalls on Saturday to win 60-43 and improve to 4-0.
The victory left Ramstein at 2-2 overall. The Royals are scheduled for nonconference games at Wiesbaden on Friday night and at home against SHAPE on Saturday. Next up for Kaiserslautern is its Division I opener Saturday at Wiesbaden.
Mannheim wins fourth straight
At Hohenfels, the Mannheim Bison of Division II swept the Hohenfels Tigers of Division III 63-41 on Friday and 56-52 on Saturday to extend their winning streak to four games.
Earl Lee scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on Saturday as the Bison took a 35-22 halftime lead and held on to improve to 5-1 overall going into a weekend series at home against Vilseck and SHAPE.
Hohenfels (0-5) opens III-South conference play Friday and Saturday at Baumholder.