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Nile C. Kinnick boys basketball coach Nathan Brewster had to be worrying whether his team would win another game.

Never in his three-plus years as coach had the Red Devils lost three straight games. Before Tuesday, Kinnick had never lost at St. Mary’s International.

Kinnick (5-3) got back on track Friday with a 62-45 victory over Matthew C. Perry at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Fleet Gym.

“I was beginning to wonder what winning was like again,” Brewster said.

The Red Devils won Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools and DODDS-Japan Basketball League titles in 2004-05 and finished second last season, but those honors were won with the help of Travis Ekmark, who now plays for the University of Dallas. During Tuesday’s 57-52 loss at St. Mary’s, Brewster chatted with Titans coach Fred Sava about what it’s like to lose players such as Ekmark.

“It’s not easy,” Brewster said, adding that his Red Devils are “eventually going to be a good team. We just need some work.”

Kinnick’s results after the holiday break have been mixed, but teams which entered the break unbeaten, such as Zama American’s boys and E.J. King’s girls, stayed that way.

Wilberto Badillo scored 23 points and Carlos Walter had his second successive double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds as Zama’s boys (16-0) crunched American School In Japan 66-51 at Atsugi Naval Air Facility’s Ranger Gym. Technically, it was a home game because half of Zama American’s population lives at Atsugi. But “it didn’t feel like a home game,” coach Tom Allensworth said.

Kristia Suriben scored 42 points and Yudia Johnson grabbed 31 rebounds as E.J. King’s girls improved to 15-0, defeating Kinnick 32-30 and Matthew C. Perry 45-35 at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station.

“We’re on fire,” coach Bridget Vertin said, adding that her girls told her they’d stayed in shape over the holidays despite only two practices. “I believe them.”

Despite the loss, Perry (10-6) is has the best record in school history.

“They played well. Their shots just didn’t go in,” coach Nikki Flick said.

The Taegu American girls played four games in the Taegu Holiday Post-Level Tournament the last week of December.

“And we practiced,” said coach Michelle Chandler of her team, the defending Far East Class A champions.

But their 38-17 loss to Seoul Foreign “most definitely … looked like the first game back from holiday break,” she said. “It was like we were starting over. We have to work on everything. It’s the young factor.”

Also contributing: Defensive sparkplug Hannah Oh was in the States on emergency leave. That “kind of hurt us,” Chandler said.

Hurt of another kind visited defending Class AA boys champion Yokota. It lost senior center and main scoring option Caiveon Thomas with a damaged left ankle in the opening minutes of the Panthers’ 58-51 home victory over Robert D. Edgren.

The Eagles led by six points early in the final period before Yokota rallied despite Thomas missing the rest of the game.

“We just kind of hung in there,” coach Paul Ettl said.

Thomas is listed as doubtful for Yokota’s Tuesday game at ASIJ and for next Friday’s home game against unbeaten Zama.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Ettl said.

High school basketballBoys

Zama American 66, ASIJ 51

At Atsugi Naval Air FacilityASIJ..........12 10 14 15—51Zama..........17 12 16 21—66Scorers-Zama American, Wilberto Badillo 23, Carlos Walter 22, Ben Bishop 10; American School In Japan, Sean Eddy 18, Taro Yaguchi 11. Rebounders-Zama American, Ben Bishop 13, Carlos Walter 10.

Yokota 58, Robert D. Edgren 51

At Yokota Air BaseEdgren..........11 19 14 7—51Yokota..........17 13 12 16—58Scorers-Yokota, Cameron Shelton 16, Riki Byrnes 11, Peter Weaver 11; Robert D. Edgren, Darrick Lang 31. Noteworthy-Panthers' leading scorer Caiveon Thomas turned his left ankle five minutes into the contest and did not return. His status for the next few games is doubtful.

St. Mary’s 100, Nittai Univ. Freshmen 82

At TokyoHalftime-St. Mary’s International 49, Nittai University Freshmen 42. Scorers-St. Mary’s International, Young Do Youn 16, Sean Reyes 14, Woo Jun Kim 12, Nobu Mitsui 12. Rebounders-St. Mary’s International, Ye Won Yun 12, Thomas Whitson 10. Noteworthy-First 100-point game for Titans in eight seasons.Friday

Seoul Foreign 76, Taegu American 48

At SeoulTaegu..........13 14 7 14—48Seoul..........26 16 23 11—76Scorers-Seoul Foreign, George Rudolph 27, Matt Kearney 20; Taegu American, Wil Galbreath 20, Thomas Brooks 11, Nick Dunsmore 10.ICS-Uijongbu 53, Centennial Christian 43At SeoulQuarter scores and individual statistics not available.

Girls

E.J. King 32, Nile C. Kinnick 30

At Iwakuni Marine Corps Air StationE.J. King..........6 10 6 10—32Kinnick..........5 9 4 12—30Scorers-E.J. King, Kristia Suriben 17; Nile C. Kinnick, Charlemagne Cameron 14. Rebounder-E.J. King, Yudia Johnson 17.

E.J. King 45, Matthew C. Perry 35

At Iwakuni Marine Corps Air StationE.J. King..........8 16 11 10—45M.C. Perry..........6 12 7 10—35Scorers-E.J. King, Kristia Suriben 25; Matthew C. Perry, Ashley Taylor 11. Rebounder-E.J. King, Yudia Johnson 14.

Zama 27, Christian Academy In Japan 23

At Camp ZamaCAJ..........5 8 6 4—23Zama..........5 8 8 6—27Scorers-Zama American, Gina Reives 8; Christian Academy In Japan, Amanda Justiniano 7.Thursday

Zama American 32, Yokohama Int’l 24

At Camp ZamaYIS..........4 7 7 6—24Zama..........6 9 9 8—32Scorer-Zama American, Elizabeth Powell 17. Rebounders-Zama American, Brittanie Williams 10, Ashleigh Youngblood 8.Friday

Seoul Foreign 38, Taegu American 17

At SeoulTaegu..........1 3 6 7—17Seoul..........8 7 8 15—38Scorers-Seoul Foreign, Ariel Rhoda 10; Taegu American, LaShae Denson 8. Rebounders-Seoul Foreign, Brittney Rader 5, Kat Barennes 5, Todd 5.

ICS-Uijongbu 41, Centennial Christian 5

At SeoulQuarter scores and individual statistics not available.


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