Ramstein, Schweinfurt capture Mannheim holiday hoop titles
October 11, 2010
MANNHEIM, Germany – With the Mannheim military community on a fast track for closure, teams came from as far away as Naples to what figures to be the final Mannheim Columbus Day community-level basketball tournament.
But when play ended Sunday in the venerable Benjamin Franklin Village Sports Arena here, two Germany-based teams walked away with the titles. Schweinfurt’s Lady Magicians bested the Heidelberg Lady Generals 55-41 for the women’s crown of this three-day event, and the Ramstein Rams turned back the Kaiserslautern Panthers 91-80 to earn the men’s title.
Schweinfurt women 55, Heidelberg 41
Former U.S. Military Academy performer and Columbus Day tournament MVP Alex McGuire displayed her talents inside the paint and beyond the arc in leading her new teammates to the victory.
"We just started practice about a week-and-a-half ago," said McGuire, who arrived in Germany in May. "This is my first tournament over here."
McGuire made it a good one, scoring a team high 15 points, 60 percent of them on three 3-pointers in the title game. McGuire made it a Sunday double-double with 10 rebounds.
The victory avenged a 38-37 loss to the Lady Generals on Friday, the last the Lady Magicians would suffer in this double-elimination event. Earlier Sunday, Schweinfurt bounced Mannheim 52-31 in the semifinals.
"We just played smarter," McGuire explained about the turnaround against Heidelberg, "and knocked down some shots."
Takisha Watkins of Heidelberg took game-scoring honors with 20 points, but the Lady Magicians held Heidelberg veteran Tania Spann to just nine.
"We had more communication on defense," said Schweinfurt’s Evonne Baker, an eight-point score against Heidelberg, about Sunday’s outing. "Our chemistry improves with every game."
Ramstein men 91, Kaiserslautern 80
Just when Mannheim’s venerable three-ball ace Lavelle Perry was sinking three of his specialties in a a 2:30 span that helped take K-town from a 56-52 deficit to a 66-59 lead with 7:26 to play, Ramstein’s Antonio Perez pulled a couple of daggers himself. Perez parried Perry’s treys with two of his own in the late going to defuse the threat and help fuel the champs during their decisive 32-14 run over the final 6:43.
But Perez wasn’t claiming any glory.
"I didn’t win any three-ball battles," said Perez, who finished with 17 points. "This was a whole-team effort. We have a great point guard (tourney MVP Jensen Turner) and a great team."
For the game, Ramstein was nine-of-18 from behind the three-point arc. Benjamin Judie led the category with four en route to his 17-point night.
Turner led all the Rams with 18 points.
Strictly speaking, Perry, a fixture in Army-Europe basketball since the turn of the century, won the 3-point battle with five in nine tries. K-town’s Phillip Tally took game scoring honors with 21 points, 19 of them in the final 20 minutes.
The conclusion of the Mannheim event leaves military hoopsters in Europe scrambling for games. There is no regular season, and the next holiday tournament is a Thanksgiving event in Wiesbaden.
"We try to schedule pick-up games," Perez said. "We keep hoping to get a call from the other teams."
Championship box scores(Sunday at Mannheim)
Schweinfurt women 55, Heidelberg 41Halftime—Schweinfurt 27, Heidelberg 17Scoring—Schweinfurt: Alex McGuire 15, Marissa Ward 11, Kaylynn Slater 9, Evonne Baker 8, Charletta Carlege 8, LaQuetta Cowley 2, Jackie Miller 2. Heidelberg: Takisha Watkins 20, Tania Spann 9, Ranice Jackson 6, Nikki Smith 4, Paris McFarland 2
Ramstein men 91, Kaiserslautern 80Scoring—Ramstein: Jensen Turner 18, Benjamin Judie 17, Antonio Perez 17, Aeromis Harris 13, Detras Graham 12, Delvon Newbill 8, Michael Sloan 6. Kaiserslautern: Phillip Talley 21, Lavelle Perry 17, Ayo Lawson 14, Morris Porter 8, Kenneth Stewart 8, Marcelain Saturne 5, Damon Rush 3, Patrick Perry 2, Nathan Witherspoon 2.