Cougars stay unbeaten by topping Panthers
This is what passes for a close call in Vicenza's dominant girls basketball season.
The host Cougars improved to 10-0 in DODDS-Europe play this fall with a 38-25 defeat of the Stuttgart Panthers on Saturday, completing a weekend sweep of visiting Division I rivals that included a Friday rout of Vilseck.
Vicenza overcame a first-quarter deficit, some off-target shooting and a dose of foul trouble up front on the way to its narrowest margin of victory of the season.
The Cougars had won every game coming into Saturday by at least 28 points.
Adrianna Lovelace led the balanced Cougars with 12 points while also grabbing nine rebounds. Jordan Wakefield chipped in nine points and 12 rebounds and Emma Knapp tossed in seven points.
Marissa Encarnacion led the Stuttgart resistance with a game-high 13 points.
Vicenza has now handled Naples, Stuttgart and Vilseck, the only three teams on its light Division I schedule. The Cougars return to their lower-division schedule in February, facing Division II American Overseas School of Rome and Aviano before entering the European tournament.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Stuttgart, a run that included last weekend's sweep of Kaiserslautern and a Friday defeat of Naples.
Kaiserslautern 46/51, SHAPE 28/11: At Kaiserslautern, the Raiders earned their first Division I doubleheader sweep of the season.
Byanca Powell scored 19 points and Le'Jhanique Brown posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double to power Friday's victory. Powell scored 15 and Brown 14 on Saturday as Kaiserslautern finished the job.
SHAPE's Begona Rodriguez scored a game-high 20 points on Friday.
The pair of wins puts the Raiders back at .500 for the season overall. They'll take a 5-5 record on the road next weekend for a Friday-Saturday set at Lakenheath.
Rota 39/45, AFNORTH 33/36: At Brunssum, Netherlands, the Admirals made good on their annual regular-season cameo appearance.
Rota, visiting from Spain for its only DODDS-Europe action prior to the upcoming European tournament, ranks as one of two unbeaten teams in Division II alongside reigning champion Bitburg.
Shardosia Wilson scored a combined 38 points over the two games to pace Rota, including 17 points on Saturday. Sierra Matteson scored 11 and Laniyah Chester added 10 on Friday, while Hailey Greuter chipped in 12 on Saturday.
The Admirals won the two games under very different circumstances. They used an 18-8 fourth-quarter run to secure Friday's victory, then avoided that late drama with a 16-4 first-quarter run to put Saturday's rematch away early.
AFNORTH's Amelie Essrich recorded a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double in Friday's loss.
Bitburg 44/53, Ansbach 20/14: At Spangdahlem, the reigning Division II champions stayed unbeaten at the expense of a former divisional foe.
Bitburg improved to 10-0 overall this fall with the pair of convincing wins over Ansbach, a recent Division II contender dropped to the Division III level this school year.
Star post Elise Rasmussen missed Friday's game, but the deep Barons easily filled her shoes. Point guard Alexa Landenberger totaled 15 points, six rebounds, four blocks and three steals, while Hailey McKenna scored 10 points and Victoria Porras grabbed 11 rebounds.
Rasmussen went immediately back to her dominant ways upon her Saturday return, posting game-high totals of 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
The Barons need February sweeps of AFNORTH and Baumholder to enter the Division II tournament unbeaten.
Baumholder 26, Alconbury 19: At Baumholder, the defending Division III champion Bucs knocked off a small-school rival.
Baumholder standouts Imaya Sharpe and Eliyah Tillman were at the top of their games on the weekend. Sharpe was good for a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double on Friday, while Tillman took the lead Saturday with 21 points, 14 rebounds, six steals, two assists and two blocks.
Roni Teti continued her prolific season for the Dragons, who last week recorded their first win of the season. Teti scored 11 points Friday and 13 more the next day.
Baumholder travels to Brussels next weekend to confront another Division III challenger.
Sigonella 47/42, American Overseas School of Rome 17/15: At Sigonella, the Jaguars made quick work of the visiting Falcons. Sigonella outscored AOSR 10-2 in Friday's first quarter, then built a 20-4 halftime lead Saturday as it recorded consecutive runaway wins.
Elizabeth Camus led all scorers with 16 points Friday; Kisiah Chandler totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and six steals and Marika Wojtal collected 11 points, seven steals and six rebounds Saturday.