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Seoul American seems to be cornering the market on bringing its “A” game to the table when it counts most.

The Falcons boys and girls basketball teams are two victories from claiming Far East titles after both won handily on Thursday.

That comes on the heels of Seoul American’s first Far East Wrestling Tournament dual-meet title last Friday.

“We’re peaking at the right time,” Seoul American girls coach Charlotte Hicks said after the Falcons routed Guam’s Simon Sanchez 62-35 to reach the semifinals, where they will face host Kubasaki of Okinawa. Kadena of Okinawa plays John F. Kennedy of Guam in the other semifinal.

The Seoul American boys reached the winner’s bracket final of their double elimination tournament by dispatching Morrison Christian Academy of Taiwan 69-50 on Thursday.

“Our bench players and starters are doing exactly what they need to do to win a championship,” All-Far East senior guard Daniel Chicko said.

A win Friday over Nile C. Kinnick would put the Falcons back in the championship game, which they won last year, also at Seoul American’s Falcon Gym.

Recent tournament history would favor Kubasaki’s girls and Seoul American’s boys in their bids for title game berths. Six times in the past eight years, both the boys and girls host teams have played in the final.

Hicks, whose Falcons have reached the final four every season since 1998, isn’t willing to concede a championship to the host team.

“That’s what I’m aspiring to, and the kids want it, too,” Hicks said. “The kids are playing together. They’re really working hard.”

Chicko expressed cautious optimism about the Seoul American boys’ chances, knowing the other teams still alive in the tournament (Zama, Kadena, Morrison and St. Mary’s) have title fever as well.

“They’re very tough teams,” Chicko said. “I’m looking forward to playing them.”

Nurse’s health concerns Cougars

Osan American’s girls lineup was noticeably shorter Wednesday and Thursday, mainly due to the absence of 6-foot-2 sophomore center Margaret Nurse, who was bedridden Wednesday and saw limited action Thursday because of a stomach virus.

She played sparingly in the Cougars’ 63-30 win over Taegu American, which got Osan within two wins of their third title in four years. Nurse scored eight points, including two putback baskets, and blocked a shot.

“I felt OK,” Nurse said. “Sometimes, I felt a little uneasy. But I want to play. Tomorrow, I’ll play for sure.”

Stepping in was junior forward Mina Davis, who netted 16 of her 32 points in the third period and snared 10 rebounds.

“It makes us stronger when she plays, but we can win even when we’re one down,” Davis said.

“When you have somebody who’s sick, that she shows up is important to her teammates,” coach Bruce Barker said.


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