AFNORTH rallies late to take pair from Alconbury

AFNORTH's Jacquon Sinclair vies for the ball with Pavel Karamshin of Alconbury player, during a game at RAF Alconbury, England, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Sinclair scored six points and AFNORTH won the game.


By ADAM L. MATHIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 18, 2014

RAF ALCONBURY, England – Both the AFNORTH boys and girls came away with basketball victories Saturday during away games against the Alconbury Dragons.

Both offenses struggled for three quarters of the girls game. AFNORTH then exploded in the fourth as Jena Solorzano scored six of the Lions’ 12 points in the fourth quarter, helping AFNORTH to double its score and win 24-16.

“Basically, we did everything right … we played great defense, I mean superb defense,”  D.C. McDonald, AFNORTH’s basketball head coach, said. “We played very aggressively.”

“The only problem that we have right now is missed easy shots,” McDonald added. “The games would be far out of reach, you know, before the fourth quarter, if we’d make baskets.”

The AFNORTH boys also struggled at first, always just a little behind Alconbury at the end of each quarter - led by Wes Reddecliff with 10 of his team’s 26 points in the first half.

But the second half saw the Lions making up for lost time and - led by Eren Yabici with nine points – finish with a 55-42 victory.

AFNORTH boys coach John Leipheimer saw more he liked in the second half.

The boys "came out and started winning some stuff and started shooting wide open shots … so that helped us get back in the game,” Leipheimer said.

Asked about the upcoming championship, Leipheimer said it is hard to talk about his team’s chances, this being his first year and the Lions not having played many of the teams they will be up against in the Division II tournament.

With one more loss on the Dragons’ record, Watende Favors, Alconbury’s boys head coach, said his team is going to work on its offense and train hard in preparation for the championship.

“We can’t let any previous games get to us,” Favors said. “We just got to keep pushing forward.”


AFNORTH's Jena Solorzano guards Alconbury's Leila Hall during a game at Alconbury on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Hall scored five points during the game, but Alconbury lost to AFNORTH.


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