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Brock BlakenshipWrestling

AFNORTH

Last week: Blankenship, a junior who won the European 171-pound title last season, pinned his first two foes of the season in a total time of 3 minutes, 7 seconds last Saturday to open his quest for a 189-pound title. Included in that time was a 2:43 fall against Ramstein’s Darin Fomin, last season’s 171 bronze medalist.

In an e-mail to Stars and Stripes on Tuesday, AFNORTH coach Greg Blankenship, while cautioning that December matches are times of experimentation and risk-taking for wrestlers, wrote, “I believe the rematch of the 2007 semifinal clash between Brock and Darin was a preview of the 2008 189-pound semifinal or championship match… “Darin was wrestling with good balance, power and technique but made a mistake with the score tied 2-2 on a throw attempt…. Brock used a new technique taught by coach Teddy Nelson to escape the throw and secure a fall. I watched Brock and Coach Nelson practice the move throughout the week and was pleased to see Brock so quickly incorporate the move into his match repertoire.”

Chakeira GilbertGirls basketball

Vicenza

Last week: Gilbert, a 5-foot-5 senior, led Vicenza to a sweep of visiting American Overseas School of Rome last weekend, scoring 18 and 23 points, in the games. But the best news for Vicenza was that she did not have to do it alone.

“Gilbert … has not had to do everything herself” this year, Vicenza coach Garrett Barton wrote in a Tuesday e-mail that noted the arrival of Adriona Cleveland (14 points in Friday’s 51-22 victory and 11 in one quarter of Saturday's 49-16 triumph) to the 13-strong Lady Cougars’ squad. “This year [Gilbert] can be a more complete player, assisting as well as scoring.” The increase in numbers and experience allows Gilbert to rest occasionally, Barton wrote, unlike last season, when the team needed Gilbert to play every minute. “Gilbert is a little bit slowed with a minor foot injury,” he continued. “Nonetheless, she scored most of her points on drives, finishing with either a layup or a short jump shot. She also fought on the boards for the second shot after a miss…. She remains a player who scores through strength.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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