BRUNSSUM, Netherlands – Crossing the English Channel probably was more fun going out than returning for the Lakenheath basketball teams. AFNORTH’s boys and girls each defeated their Region I guests twice.Friday, AFNORTH’s boys prevailed, 57-32, and AFNORTH”s Lady Lions rolled, 41-28. Saturday, the host boys won, 57-36, and their girl counterparts triumphed, 46-20.According to AFNORTH coach Nate Goolsby, however, Lakenheath’s boys came out firing Saturday.“Our team rallied from an 0-8 start…” he wrote in a Saturday-evening E-mail describing his team’s 57-36 victory which upped AFNORTH’s record to 9-2 overall and 7-2 in Region I. “Lakenheath’s players came out really fired up, playing with active hands and quick feet and seemed to be a step faster than we were initially. We had to extend our defense in order to get our players going.”When the Lions did get started, though, the situation improved quickly, Goolsby indicated.“Jake Schmidt turned in a very strong performance with 15 rebounds, two blocked shots, four steals and three assists to go along with 12 points,” Goolsby reported. “Nuri Karaca contributed 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four steals. Jamil Pollock added 10 points, and Westin McKinney pitched in with eight rebounds, five assists and five steals to go along with six points.”Friday’s win wasn’t all smooth sailing, either, Goolsby reported on Saturday morning.“AFNORTH defeated Lakenheath 57-32, overcoming inconsistent play, especially in the half-court offense,” Goolsby wrote. “In the end, things looked OK…We had balanced scoring, and over half our baskets came off assists….“…Karaca paced a balanced attack with 22 points… Schmidt chipped in 15 and … Pollock added 12 along with six assists. Karaca also contributed 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals and blocked a shot.”Brinsely Walker led Lakenheath with 19 points on Friday. For AFNORTH’s girls, victory was in the hands of senior guards Brenda Broadwater and Mercedes Ash and a defense which allowed none of their guests to score more than seven points in either game.Broadwater, an All-Europe second-teamer in 2010, scored 13 points in Friday’s 41-28 verdict and came back to register 14 points, three steals and two assists in Saturday’s 46-20 decision.Friday, Ash accounted for 10 points; Saturday, she amassed 13 points, five steals and an assist.AFNORTH improved to 8-4 overall and a final league mark of 5-4; Lakenheath, ticketed for next week’s European D-I tournament in Mannheim, ended its varsity schedule 6-7, 3-3.AFNORTH will enter the D-II event in Mannheim, but has a non-regional game at Bitburg on Saturday left on the regular-season schedule.

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