Vilseck, Kaiserslautern split season openers
By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 1, 2017
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A season-opening girls and boys basketball doubleheader Friday at Kaiserslautern High School offered both participating schools a taste of victory.
The visiting Vilseck Falcons claimed the girls game 30-24, after which the Kaiserslautern Raiders boys squad evened the score with an 83-44 rout. The teams are set to run it back Saturday morning.
Vilseck 30, Kaiserslautern 24: The Falcons absorbed a Kaiserslautern comeback and responded with one of their own to earn the road victory.
Vilseck built a 15-8 halftime lead thanks largely to a hot start by new star forward Tedeja Marshall. The 6-foot junior poured in perimeter jumpers, plucked rebounds from the sky and batted down the shots of unsuspecting Raiders lining up what appeared to be clean looks until Marshall’s long arms proved otherwise.
But that assertive approach landed Marshall in deep foul trouble early in the third quarter. and the Falcons struggled mightily to score or defend without their centerpiece. The Raiders ruthlessly took advantage with a role-reversing rally, pulling ahead on a three-pointer by Brooke Fitzpatrick with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter.
Marshall returned to start the fourth quarter, avoided a disqualifying final foul through game's end and helped the Falcons retake the lead for good, though the bulk of the offense came via Tynniesia Wilson, who led all scorers with 13, and two deadeye three-pointers by Reyne Drasny.
Marshall accepted responsibility for her extended absence and credited her teammates for their perseverance.
"I just had to let them know that they can do it," Marshall said. "It was my fault that I was in foul trouble, that was on me. When I went back in I knew I had to calm myself down, no more swatting, and just play the game right."
Kaiserslautern 83, Vilseck 44: There was no back-and-forth in the evening’s finale as the Raiders coasted to a wire-to-wire win.
The blowout hit its apex with a rousing stretch of home-team highlights in the second quarter.
Big man Tre Dotson hammered in a breakaway slam dunk, then converted an acrobatic layup and ensuing free throw on the next trip. Point guard Isiah Washington drained a pair of three-pointers over the next two minutes to stretch the Raider lead to 20 at halftime.
The impressive win was a promising start for coach Corey Sullivan and a Raider program that has spent the past few seasons on the cusp of a championship breakthrough.
"Coach just kept on pushing us in practice," said Dotson, a very welcome frontcourt addition to the perimeter-oriented squad. "We just listen to him and do what we do."