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MANNHEIM, Germany — DODDS-Europe’s 56th annual basketball tournament tips off at 9 a.m. Wednesday. And when the last cords are cut Saturday night, 36 boys teams and 35 girls teams located from Iceland to Turkey and England to Italy will have crowned eight champions.

Here’s a brief look at each tournament. Records in parentheses are team’s records against opponents from the same division:

Division I boys

Wiesbaden took the top seed from defending champion Würzburg on a last-second three-pointer last Saturday, but according to Warriors coach Carl Johnson, it’s anybody’s tournament.

“It’s a toss-up between five teams,” Johnson said by telephone on Sunday night. “Us (9-2), Kaiserslautern (8-3), Würzburg (9-2), Heidelberg (6-5) and Ramstein (4-6). And even Lakenheath (1-10) and ISB (1-10) can play tough.”

And what’s past isn’t necessarily prologue, according to Würzburg coach Allen Archie.

“It’s a new season now,” he said.

Division I girls

The regular season says this is a two-team race between unbeaten Kaiserslautern (11-0) and International School of Brussels (9-3), but K-town coach Corey Sullivan disagrees.

“I told our team we’re tied for last place now,” he said by telephone on Monday. “We’ve got to out and prove ourselves all over again.”

ISB’s Frank Morandi sees K-town as the favorite, but he’s not looking past teams such as Lakenheath (7-3).

“Even Wiesbaden (1-10) has some talented players,” he said. Other Division I teams include Ramstein (4-7), Würzburg (4-6) and Heidelberg (2-9).

Division II boys

Two-time defending champion Hanau (8-2) is poised for a three-peat behind guards Perry Cannie and Malcolm Lane, but there aren’t any free lunches, according to Panthers coach Tim Smith.

“I think we have quite a few tough teams at the top,” he said, referring to Bitburg (8-2), which swept Hanau during the season; SHAPE (6-2) and top-seeded and unbeaten Aviano (5-0).

“BFA (4-6) has started coming on,” he added, “and you never know about Mannheim (6-5).”

Naples (2-3), Patch (2-7), Vilseck (1-9) and AFNORTH (0-6) round out the field.

Division II girls

Hanau’s Michael Hunt, whose Lady Panthers (9-1) made the title game three of the last four years and won it all last season, foresees a competitive tournament.

“SHAPE (4-4) is aggressive, and Bitburg (5-5) is looking good,” he said. “And there’s always the Italy factor (5-0 Naples and 2-3 Aviano).”

Others in this tourney are Mannheim (9-2), unbeaten until a visit to SHAPE Feb. 10-11; AFNORTH (1-5); Patch (2-7), Black Forest Academy (3-7) and Vilseck (2-8).

Division III boys

“This should be the best of all the tournaments,” Baumholder girls coach Carter Hollenbeck said by telephone on Monday. “There are six or seven teams that can win it.”

Those favorites include III-South co-champs Bamberg (4-2) and Baumholder (4-3), III-North champ London Central (2-1), defending European champion Rota (1-1), top-seeded Sigonella (2-0) and Hohenfels (3-3). Even Vicenza (0-2) and a tall Ansbach squad (1-5) could break through, according to Bamberg coach Charles Jordan.

“There are always surprises in Division III,” Jordan said.

The American Overseas School of Rome (0-4) completes the field.

Division III girls

Italy champion Sigonella (2-0, but 3-1 against Naples and Aviano of D-2) is the top seed, followed by Hollenbeck’s Baumholder Lady Bucs (6-1).

Hollenbeck is excited about being in a pool with defending European champion Rota (0-2) and Vicenza (0-2), and not because of his team’s relative lack of success this season.

“We’re in with two teams we’ve never played before,” Hollenbeck said. “Vicenza has that (Chakeira) Gilbert girl who can score 30 points, and Rota’s the champion.”

London Central (3-1) is No. 3 and Hohenfels (4-2) is No. 4, while the American Overseas School of Rome (0-4), Ansbach (0-6) and Bamberg (3-3) complete the field.

Division IV boys

Led by brothers C.J. and Tim Battle, Giessen (6-0), “was probably the best team in our conference (III-South),” said Bamberg’s Jordan, whose Barons nevertheless swept Giessen last weekend.

Giessen, which drops from Division III to Division IV at tournament time, easily swept aside the northern Europe D-4 teams — defending champion Brussels (2-4), Alconbury (3-3) and Menwith Hill (1-7). Italy’s D-4 teams Livorno (5-0), Marymount (0-4) and Milan (2-2), along with Iceland (1-1), Lajes (0-0), Incirlik (4-0) and Ankara (0-4) will have to take several steps up to match Giessen.

Division IV girls

Brussels (6-0) owns a road victory over D-3 No. 2 Baumholder and two over D-3 No. 3 London Central.

Others in this group are Giessen (2-4), Menwith Hill (4-4), defending champion Alconbury (2-4), Iceland (0-2), Incirlik (4-0), Ankara (0-4), Lajes (0-0) and Milan (2-0). Marymount (0-2) passed up the event.

European H.S. basketball championships

What’s at stake: Boys and girls championships in Divisions I, II, III and IV.

When: Wednesday-Saturday. Play begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. Thursday, 9:15 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Last tip-offs 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Benjamin Franklin Village Sports Arena, Sullivan Barracks and Coleman Barracks gyms in Mannheim; Patton Barracks and Heidelberg High School gyms in Heidelberg, and Tompkins Barracks gym in Schwetzingen.

Play ends Thursday at Tompkins and Patton and Friday at Heidelberg High School.

Friday’s championship-game tip-offs (all at BFV Sports Arena): Division IV girls, 3 p.m.; Division IV boys, 4:30 p.m.; Division I girls, 6 p.m.; Division I boys, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's championship game tip-offs (all at BFV Sports Arena): Division II girls, 2 p.m.; Division II boys, 4 p.m.; Division III girls, 6 p.m.; Division III boys, 8 p.m.

Admission fees: Wednesday-Thursday, none. Friday and Saturday, $5 for adults and $3 for students at all venues.


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