MONS, Belgium – The AFNORTH Lions, behind the scoring of Nuri Karaca, pinned 66-29 and 54-29 defeats on the SHAPE Spartans on Friday and Saturday while their female counterparts prevailed at home, 38-27, on Friday before falling, 29-22, here on Saturday.Karaca, a Turkish national, struck for 26 points on Friday and 21 on Saturday to help the Lions improve to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Region I. According to AFNORTH coach Nate Goolsby, however, Karaca’s scoring was far from the whole story.“Jake Schmidt had a strong performance with 15 points and 15 rebounds,” Goolsby wrote in a Saturday morning E-mail which reported Friday’s game in Brunssum, Netherlands. “I was also especially pleased with our playmaker, Jamil Pollock, who played really well on defense and had a strong floor game with seven points and seven assists.”Pollock scored 14 points Saturday in Mons, Belgium, and Schmidt tallied nine points and nine rebounds.Despite the big wins, Goolsby saw some inconsistency, probably exacerbated by AFNORTH’s intensity-draining 18-5 and 17-1 first-quarter runs on Friday and Saturday, respectively, as a recurring problem.“Our guys played at both ends of the spectrum (Friday night),” he reported, “looking extremely good at times and at other times looking like we are just getting started. Consistent team basketball is what makes us go. We got some of that in the first quarter and the third quarter (a 24-13 AFNORTH run). However, not playing the whole game has been a problem all year.”AFNORTH led 45-18 after three quarters Saturday. Nick Westrick, who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, Ryan Howard and Tino Panidas each scored six Saturday for SHAPE (1-8, 1-3), which got a team-high 11 points from Fabio Petrucchi on Friday.SHAPE’s Lady Spartans (3-5, 2-2 in Region I) earned a split of the weekend series at home Saturday with a game-clinching 11-5 run in the final period. Gina Rhett scored 21 of her team’s 29 points on Saturday; she tallied a team-high 11 in Friday’s loss in Holland.AFNORTH senior Brenda Broadwater took game-scoring honors with 13 in Friday’s victory, amply aided by 10 points and 12 blocked shots from Sara Sawyer. Sawyer also snared six rebounds and handed out six assists.“AFNORTH's tenacious defense held SHAPE to 10 points through the third quarter…,” E-mailed AFNORTH coach Darwin McDonald, whose team led 33-10 at that point. “SHAPE got hot in the fourth quarter (a 17-5 run), but the deficit was too big to overcome.”AFNORTH’s Lady Lions (5-3, 2-3) and their male counterparts are scheduled to be idle this weekend before traveling to Menwith Hill on Feb. 4-5. SHAPE is to host Lakenheath on Friday and Saturday.

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