Naples girls, Lakenheath boys open strongly
By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 2, 2017
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — The Naples girls and Lakenheath boys basketball teams earned back-to-back wins in games played Friday and Saturday.
The Wildcats kicked the first week of the season off strong with big leads against the Lancers in 53-30 and 46-29 victories.
Victoria Sasse led Naples in the first game of the season on Friday with 15 points, seven steals and six rebounds. Jada Williamson added 10 points, six rebounds and Genesis Mendez had six rebounds for the Wildcats.
“She’s here to play steady ball for us. She can score and get some rebounds for us,” Naples coach Tim Smith said of Sasse.
Naples’ Mia Rawlins was the top performer on Saturday with 14 points, six steals and despite some foul trouble Sasse contributed 13 points and five rebounds. Williamson followed with nine points, five rebounds and Erika Hairston had seven rebounds.
Reese Estus and Seraphina Raas stood out both days from the young Lakenheath squad.
Estus totaled 21 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and Raas had nine points, 13 rebounds over both games.
Even coming off a double win, Smith said the next couple games could define the rest of the season for Naples.
“We’re looking forward to next week to see how well we can play against both Stuttgart and Vilseck,” Smith said.
Lakenheath defended its home court with 67-56 and 58-50 victories over the Wildcats.
Lakenheath’s Kobe Cox earned a third of his team’s points with 28 scored Friday and 20 on Saturday.
“Kobe is great; obviously he can drive the lane and do just about anything,” Lancer coach Gregory Mako said.
Also putting the ball consistently through the net were Daniel Uelmen with 29 points and Grady Wright with 24 over the two games.
Tye Thompson led the Wildcats with a total of 37 points.
Mako said his team is still rough around the edges.
“They were playing in an undisciplined manner to begin with and we worked diligently to try to get them to run the plays that we’ve been working on,” Mako said. “They tend to rely on the skills that they have without thinking about the other players.”
Mako said upcoming matchups versus Ramstein and Kaiserslautern could help determine how far his team could advance in the season-ending DODEA European championships.