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BRUNSSUM, Netherlands – Defending Division III girls basketball champion Brussels earned its first win of the season in impressive fashion Friday, beating higher-division foe AFNORTH 26-19.

The Brigands leapt out to a 12-2 lead after one quarter, survived a second-quarter lull and held on to record a record-evening win over the Division II Lions.

Ali DeFazio, the team’s high scorer in last February’s 31-29 European championship-game win over Bamberg, led the offense again Friday with a 10-point effort. Fellow returning standout Aleeza Vitale added six points and 11 rebounds.

While guards DeFazio and Vitale carried the scoring load, the Brussels frontcourt dominated the glass. Teodora Vasileva grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and sister Ana-Marija Vasileva chipped in 12 boards.

Jena Solorzano scored a game-best 14 points for AFNORTH.

The Brigands opened their season Tuesday with a 37-21 loss to intracity rival International School of Brussels.

Regional rival Alconbury visits Brussels for a Friday-Saturday set next weekend. AFNORTH plays a home-and-home series against ISB.

AFNORTH 29, SHAPE 26: The Lions shook off their Friday loss with a narrow win over the visiting Spartans.

Grace Phillips scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Natasha Arrington nabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Lions. Begona Rodriguez-Bravo scored 11 for SHAPE.

The Spartans entered the fourth quarter facing a formidable 12-point deficit and almost pulled off a stunning comeback, holding the Lions scoreless over the final eight minutes. But the Lion cushion proved too much to overcome.

Wiesbaden 51, Baumholder 9: Friday at Wiesbaden, the Warriors opened their pursuit of a European title in dominant fashion.

Wiesbaden held the Bucs to just five first-half points and coasted to the season-opening victory. Catherine Klein led the attack with 19 points and nine rebounds, both the game’s high totals.

Eliya Tillman scored six points for the Bucs, who will test themselves against a fellow Division II opponent next weekend with a home-and-home series against Bitburg.

Ramstein 50, Bitburg 11: Saturday at Bitburg, the Royals completed a convincing weekend sweep.

Ramstein opened its season at home Friday with a 58-23 win over the Barons, and duplicated the feat Saturday with another rout at Bitburg.

Lindsey Breton led the Royals in scoring for the second consecutive game, totaling 16 points. Point guard Desiree Palacios rang up 14 points and six assists for Ramstein.

Alexa Landerburger scored seven points to lead the Barons.

Ramstein travels to England to face fellow Division I contender Lakenheath next Friday and Saturday.

Sigonella 35/31, Marymount 9/7: At Rome, the visiting Jaguars handled the home team in Friday and Saturday routs.

Sydney Moore totalled 13 points and 16 rebounds Friday and Katie Cauble produced 16 points and six steals Saturday to lead Sigonella to a 2-0 start to the season. They’ll take that record into the new year, as their next game is a Jan. 10 visit to Aviano.

Vilseck 44, Ansbach 28: Saturday at Vilseck, a 23-point, 14-rebound effort by guard China Sumpter sparked a season-opening Falcon win.

The prolific Sumpter was aided by a strong game by teammate Vivian Tanner, who added nine points and eight rebounds to the cause.

Alyssa Solis, an All-Europe returnee from last year’s Division II runner-up squad, paced Ansbach with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.


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