Favorites separating themselves from the pack
The frontrunners of DODEA-Europe Division I girls basketball further separated themselves from the pack this weekend.
Unbeaten Stuttgart and defending champion Ramstein picked up two lopsided wins apiece at the expense of Division I opponents, while Naples pounced all over overmatched Marymount to add a pair of wins to its season tally.
Those three, along with idle Kaiserslautern, comprise the clear top tier of Division I girls hoops with less than a month to play before the European tournament.
Stuttgart 32/26, Wiesbaden 10/14: At Wiesbaden, the Panthers stayed undefeated with two sound defeats of the host Warriors.
Stuttgart got off to a slow start Friday, outscoring the Warriors just 2-0 through the first quarter. But a 25-3 run over the following two quarters more than made up for the early adversity.
The Panthers avoided that trap Saturday, building a 10-2 lead through the first quarter. A 14-2 run in the third quarter put away a persistent Wiesbaden squad.
Meaghan Ambelang scored a combined 17 points for Stuttgart, while Marissa Encarnacion posted a line of four points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists on Saturday.
The Panthers have just one more set of games against a Division I rival; they’ll visit Kaiserslautern on Feb. 17-18.
Ramstein 35/48: SHAPE 11/19: At Mons, Belgium, the reigning champion Royals outpaced the host Spartans.
Kaitlyn Daniels scored eight points in each game and Ashley Mateo scored six in each to lead a balanced Ramstein attack. Yhari Dupree broke out Saturday for 16 points and six rebounds.
The wins extended Ramstein’s win streak to four in the wake of its losses to Stuttgart on Jan. 13-14. The Spartans hit the road for games at Brussels and Bitburg over the next two weeks.
Naples 33/46, Marymount 9/8: At Rome, the Wildcats blasted the host Royals.
Victoria Sasse scored 10 points to lead the way Friday; teammate Mia Rawlins matched that output on Saturday. Rawlins finished with 14 total rebounds on the weekend.
Naples hosts tough Division III program Sigonella next weekend.
Sigonella 32/15, American Overseas School of Rome 30/28: At Rome, the Jaguars and host Falcons played to a doubleheader split.
Kisiah Chandler posted a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead Friday’s narrow victory for the visiting Jaguars.
AOSR rebounded on Saturday, though Sigonella coach and athletic director Michelle Chandler said she sat her starters in the second half to protest what she considered poor officiating. Chandler noted that she planned to appeal the game’s outcome.
Black Forest, Bitburg dominate: Defending Division II European champion Black Forest Academy and runner-up Bitburg are set to face off this weekend. Both took care of business ahead of that matchup.
BFA blasted host Hohenfels 60-24 and 58-18. Kennedy Wilbanks totaled 35 points and Katie Greathouse posted a combined 26 points in the victories.
Bitburg, meanwhile, earned 28-16 and 37-8 wins at Ansbach. Elise Rasmussen scored 15 and 18 points, respectively, in the Friday-Saturday sweep.
The DII archrivals have been fixtures of the Saturday finals in recent years. BFA beat Bitburg in last year’s title game 25-16.
Baumholder 27/30, AFNORTH 21/15: At Baumholder, the Bucs earned two double-digit wins over the visiting Lions.
Baumholder’s Eliyah Tillman posted her usual prolific stat lines in the sweep. Tillman totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals Friday, then six points and eight rebounds on Saturday.
Teammate Tytianna Martinez scored 10 points and added eight rebounds and three steals on Saturday.