MENWITH HILL, England – Here’s Menwith Hill coach Gregory DeJardin’s coach’s-eye view of Saturday’s 57-52 loss to AFNORTH. His Mustangs were coming off Friday night’s 63-40 defeat at the hands of the Lions of Division II:“We were a re-energized group, and played a solid game today against the Lions,” Dejardin wrote in a Saturday-night E-mail. “Nuri Karaca simply willed AFNORTH to victory, going off for 34 points on 13-of-21 (shooting), including four-of-five from the 3-point line. What was more impressive was the way he created off of dribble drives to the hoop, finishing some tough shots off-balance -- leaning and spinning in the lane. As far as DODDS opponents go, he's the best point guard we've seen by far.“While the Lions led for most of the way, the Mustangs battled back at the end of the third by running the floor and taking advantage of a couple of fast-break opportunities -- both from (Chris) Jackson with (Josh) Willis and (Schuyler) Backlar on the receiving ends. With the score tied 39-39 at the end of the third, Karaca then went to work, scoring 12 of his 34 points in the final frame, including hitting three-of-four from the line. “Tough inside play from … Backlar, 17 points and 9 rebounds, and … Willis, 18 points and 6 rebounds, kept things close. Josh made several nice moves from the high post and is starting to settle in after recently returning from injury. Both post players shot 50 percent from the field, mostly because of some savvy finds by … Jackson, who finished with 12 assists as well as nine rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds. “Karaca also had a knack of finding the open teammate, adding several assists--often to Jamil Pollock -- for jump shots from the wing area.“While both games this weekend were hard-fought for both sides, for the second time in a row, the shooting percentages caught up with the Mustangs. In Saturday's game, shooting was a key factor--the Lions shot 49 percent from the field (26-of-53) while the Mustangs shot 35 percent (22-of-63).”Next up for AFNORTH (6-3, 5-2 in Region I), are home games Friday and Saturday against Lakenheath. Menwith Hill (1-10, 0-5) is to host Alconbury on Friday and Saturday to conclude its regular season. The Mustangs then move on to the European Division III tournament Feb. 23-26 in Mannheim, Germany.

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