Wiesbaden takes 3 of 4 from Black Forest
By DAN STOUTAMIRE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 9, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany — A commitment to playing team defense can be seen even in the Wiesbaden Warriors’ pregame warmups, where coach David Brown puts his players through their paces on matchups and rotations.
“Defense wins championships,” Brown’s son and team captain Caleb Brown said. “We haven’t always been a lights-out shooting team but you can always work on defense, no matter where you are.”
That commitment was on full display as the Warriors dismantled traditional DODEA-Europe Division II power Black Forest Academy in a pair of games Friday and Saturday, winning 63-27 and 55-36.
Wiesbaden can go deep into its bench and still find athletic, talented players willing to sacrifice on the defensive end of the floor. Coach Brown prefers to tinker during games with the defensive strategy, often running a full-court press, but he’s just as happy with a more sturdy 2-3 zone.
“We always try to mix it up as much as possible, because we want to keep the other team uncomfortable,” he said.
Jaylen McFadden led the way on offense on Saturday, scoring 16 points, including four three-pointers.
It looks like the Warriors are poised for a deep European championship run, as they get more comfortable on both ends of the floor. Coach Brown said that since the focus has been so much on defense, their offensive sets are relatively basic at this stage of the season - a scary thought for future opponents.
Caleb Brown said this is the best Wiesbaden team he’s been a part of.
“I’d say that this is the strongest team, because we play together,” he said. “Our defense is insane, and we haven’t worked much on offense but we can still put points on the board.”
BFA coach Chris Greathouse could only hand it to Wiesbaden after a tough pair of losses.
“Wiesbaden’s got a great program and we’ve been very impressed by them,” he said.
A strong run in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game gave him hope that his team would be able to bounce back over the rest of the season.
“It tells me they’re fighters, they’re hard workers,” he said.
A slate of mostly Division I opposition will put the Falcons to the test, but should also provide them with a level of competition Greathouse said his team craves.
“We love competing, we’ll compete against anyone we get a chance to compete with,” he said.
On the girls’ side, Wiesbaden and BFA split their weekend series, with Wiesbaden prevailing 33-26 on Friday and BFA taking control early in a 43-16 win on Saturday.
The Falcons had to make do without star point guard Kennedy Wilbanks, whose injured wrist won’t be healed fully until after the holiday break.
“The good news is she’s only out until the week after Christmas, so hopefully this is her last game to miss,” coach Cindy Kennedy said. “But it’s important for our girls to see we can win without her.”
Grace Wettstone led all scorers on Saturday with 14 points, and she added eight rebounds, while teammates Katie Greathouse and Jessica Campbell pitched in with 10 and nine points, respectively.
Greathouse said a key in their improvement on Saturday was their defense.
“In the past couple games we’ve communicated well on defense and working together well there, she said. “Offense needs to improve a little, but it will come.”
That offense was out of sorts on Friday, when the team only managed to take 23 shots, Kennedy said. Wiesbaden’s Corban Jackson benefitted, leading the Warriors to a win with 10 points, while Serenity Owens nabbed 10 rebounds.