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Kubasaki's Vance Maxey goes up for a shot in the paint as Kadena's De Williams, No. 31, goes for the block during the teams' Thursday match-up in the Boys Class AA tournament on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Kadena won, 61-59.
Kubasaki's Vance Maxey goes up for a shot in the paint as Kadena's De Williams, No. 31, goes for the block during the teams' Thursday match-up in the Boys Class AA tournament on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Kadena won, 61-59. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Kubasaki's Vance Maxey goes up for a shot in the paint as Kadena's De Williams, No. 31, goes for the block during the teams' Thursday match-up in the Boys Class AA tournament on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Kadena won, 61-59.
Kubasaki's Vance Maxey goes up for a shot in the paint as Kadena's De Williams, No. 31, goes for the block during the teams' Thursday match-up in the Boys Class AA tournament on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Kadena won, 61-59. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Kadena's Alex Mierzejewski shoots a jumper over Kubasaki's Tsutomu McCoy during Thursday's game.
Kadena's Alex Mierzejewski shoots a jumper over Kubasaki's Tsutomu McCoy during Thursday's game. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Taegu American's Lynnette Grant drives past Bethany Bauck of Faith Academy to the basket during Thursday's winner's bracket final. The Warriors won 45-43 in overtime.
Taegu American's Lynnette Grant drives past Bethany Bauck of Faith Academy to the basket during Thursday's winner's bracket final. The Warriors won 45-43 in overtime. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Taegu American senior center Kelli Cox gets a hug from coach Michelle Chandler after Thursday's win over Faith Academy.
Taegu American senior center Kelli Cox gets a hug from coach Michelle Chandler after Thursday's win over Faith Academy. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

(Thursday's scores and summaries at end of story)

Four times, Kadena played Kubasaki this season in boys basketball. Each team won twice — by blowout margins — once at home and on the road.

Four times, Zama American battled Nile C. Kinnick in the regular season. They, too, split their four contests, each routing the other once.

It took Thursday’s Class AA tournament quarterfinals for the arch-rivals to engage in nip-and-tuck nailbiters. Zama prevailed 58-50 over Kinnick to reach its first semifinals in 21 years, and defending champion Kadena outlasted Kubasaki on the Panthers’ home court 61-55.

Both winning coaches were glad to maske the semifinals but sad to do it at the expense of their league brethrens.

“We’d rather have played them [Dragons] in the semifinals or the final,” Panthers coach Bob Bliss said. Kadena has battled the Dragons in Class AA championships three times, winning all three.

“It’s a special rivalry,” he said. “It always will be. I was happy we played a close one at last, a classic, back-and-forth Kadena-Kubasaki game. I’m glad we won it.”

Tournament directors do their best to separate rival teams during pool play, hoping those matchups will wait until deep into the playoffs. But that can’t always happen, Bliss said.

“It just happened to fall that way,” he said.

Zama coach Tom Allensworth said he knew his Trojans would be in for a battle with the Red Devils, who roared in front early and led by six after three quarters. But then Zama switched to a man-to-man press and outscored Kinnick 26-12 in the final period.

“We knew this would be a good game, a close game, especially since we had split our four games,” Allensworth said.

Coupled with Seoul American and Yokota’s quarterfinal victories, the Class AA championship game was assured of an all-DODDS pairing for the fourth straight year.

And yes, Friday’s first semifinal pitted Zama against Yokota — another Japan leauge rivalry.

Pusan hoops era endsA Pacific high school era ended Thursday when the Pusan American girls team played the last basketball game in school history, a 43-11 loss to Osan American in the Far East Class A Tournament in Taegu, South Korea.

Pusan American, in existence since 1960 and a high school since 1968, will close a week after graduation in June. With Thursday’s contest, the book closes on a program tiny in numbers — the school’s 9th- through 12th-grade enrollment is 35 this year — but long on heart, coach Jonathan Parker said.

“This team may have more courage than any I’ve had the last 12 years,” said Parker, whose team adopted the motto “Tiny But Mighty” for this week’s tournament. “We mean in attitude and spirit,” he said.

The Panthers entered the season minus four-year All-Far East star Brieanna Carroll, who graduated.

“Everybody thought we’d finish last,” Parker said of a team that went 13-4 in KAIAC Division II play.

The Panthers failed to win a game in seven tries this week, losing one game 51-1 to Guam’s St. Paul Christian, a tournament record-setter; Pusan failed to hit a field goal.

But Parker said he was proud of how his team hung in, game after game. “You might beat us, but you can’t break us,” he said.

Pusan American’s boys lost their final contest in school history 70-47 Wednesday to host Matthew C. Perry in the Class A Tournament at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan.

Edgren boys settle for thirdRobert D. Edgren of Japan simply couldn’t solve the St. Paul puzzle, settling for third place in the boys Class A tournament after losing 64-41 to the Warriors on Wednesday and 68-60 on Thursday, in double-elimination play.

While happy with a bronze-medal finish, the Eagles “could have finished higher,” coach Andre Thibert said. “If we had done a lot of the little things, hold the ball on the rebound, lane violations, traveling calls, we’d have done better. St. Paul took it to us, and when we had the opportunities, we didn’t take it to them.”

The Eagles fared better against their Department of Defense Dependents Schools opponents, winning all four tries against them, but went only 1-2 against international school foes, who were “much better prepared,” Thibert said.

Thursday’s victory catapulted the Warriors into Friday’s title game for the third straight year and the fourth time in six years. St. Paul squared off with Faith Academy of the Philippines, needing to beat the Vanguards twice to capture their third title in six years.

Grant boosts Warriors into finalAll season, coach Michelle Chandler never has hesitated to hitch the Taegu American girls team’s wagon to senior star Lynnette Grant when needed most.

Grant came through again Thursday. She scored eight of her 23 points in overtime to cap a Warriors rally from a 37-31 fourth-quarter deficit past Faith Academy 45-43. It put Taegu in its first championship game since 2001.

“We were worried,” Grant said of the fourth quarter when Taegu trailed by 6 and Grant and guard Tank Hancock sat on the bench with four fouls each. “We knew we had to come out and play hard. This feels great.”

Taegu needed to win only once in Friday’s double-elimination final to capture the first Class A title in school history.

Far East basketball scoreboard(Jump ahead to Girls Class AA, Boys Class A, Boys Class AA)

Girls Class A tournament

At Kelly Fitness & Sports Center, Camp Walker, and Taegu American School, Camp George, South Korea

Double-elimination playoffs

Thursday's games

Game 9-E.J. King 50, International Christian-Seoul 43; International Christian-Seoul eliminated

Game 10-International School of the Sacred Heart 49, International Christian-Uijongbu 7; International Christian-Uijongbu eliminated

Game 11-Matthew C. Perry 42, Robert D. Edgren 37; Robert D. Edgren eliminated

Game 12-Osan American 43, Pusan American 11; Pusan American eliminated

Game 13-Taegu American 44, Morrison Christian Academy 40

Game 14-Faith Academy 49, St. Paul Christian 44

Game 15-Osan American 49, Matthew C. Perry 47; Matthew C. Perry eliminated

Game 16-International School of the Sacred Heart 44, E.J. King 28; E.J. King eliminated

Game 17-St. Paul Christian 47, Osan American 24; Osan American eliminated

Game 18-International School of the Sacred Heart 49, Morrison Christian Academy 45; Morrison Christian Academy eliminated

Game 19-Taegu American 45, Faith Academy 43, OT

Friday’s games

Game 20-St. Paul Christian vs. International School of the Sacred Heart

Game 21-Faith Academy vs. Game 20 winner

Game 22-Taegu American vs. Game 21 winner

Game 23-Taegu American vs. Game 21 winner, if Taegu American loses Game 22

Thursday’s summaries

E.J. King 50, ICS-Seoul 43

E.J. King.....15 8 17 10-50

ICS-Seoul.....6 14 10 13-43

Leading scorers-E.J. King, Yudia Johnson 20, Kristia Suriben 19; International Christian-Seoul, Michelle Lee 19.

Sacred Heart 49, ICS-Uijongbu 7

ICS-Uijongbu.....0 0 5 2- 7

ISSH.....15 8 10 16-49

Leading scorers-International School of the Sacred Heart, Alecia Wallingford 10; International Christian-Uijongbu, Darlene Black 4.

Matthew C. Perry 42, Edgren 37

Edgren.....15 8 5 9-37

Perry.....12 14 7 9-42

Leading scorers-Matthew C. Perry, Cristina Sindac 11; Robert D. Edgren, Krystine Horsley 17 (3 three-point goals).

Osan American 43, Pusan American 11

Pusan.....3 0 4 4-11

Osan.....10 8 17 8-43

Leading scorers-Osan American, Jessica Richert 11; Pusan American, Kristina Bergman 7. Noteworthy-Last game for Pusan American, which closes in June.

Taegu American 44, Morrison 40

Morrison.....7 7 14 12-40

Taegu.....12 17 6 9-44

Leading scorers-Taegu American, Lynnette Grant 24, Tank Hancock 10; Morrison Christian Academy, Jess Lu 14.

Faith Academy 49, St. Paul 44

St. Paul.....6 13 6 19-44

Faith.....22 10 6 11-49

Leading scorers-Faith Academy, Kelly Youngman 14, Bethany Bauck 10; St. Paul Christian, Becca Tomada 10.

Sacred Heart 44, E.J. King 28

E.J. King.....5 12 7 4-28

ISSH.....9 10 9 16-44

Leading scorers-International School of the Sacred Heart, Leyna Arbour 18, Alecia Wallingford 11; E.J. King, Kristia Suriben 10.

Osan American 49, Matthew C. Perry 47

Perry.....13 6 16 12-47

Osan.....10 20 7 12-49

Leading scorers-Osan American, Jessica Richert 25; Matthew C. Perry, Cristina Sindac 14, Ashley Taylor 10.

Taegu American 45, Faith 43 (OT)

Taegu.....7 14 10 8 6-45

Faith.....10 14 11 4 4-43

Leading scorers-Taegu American, Lynnette Grant 23 (8 in overtime); Faith Academy, Kelly Youngman 15, Charis Jones 14.

St. Paul 47, Osan American 24

St. Paul.....14 13 9 11-47

Osan.....8 6 8 2-24

Leading scorers-St. Paul Christian, Sheryl Padilla 16, Becca Tomada 10; Osan American, Jessica Richert 15.

Sacred Heart 49, Morrison 45

Morrison.....12 13 10 10-45

ISSH.....14 12 18 5-49

Leading scorers-International School of the Sacred Heart, Leyna Arbour 23, Alecia Wallingford 12; Morrison Christian Academy, Jen Craker 14 (12 first half).

Girls Class AA tournament

At Collier Field House and Falcon Gym, Seoul American High School, South Post, Yongsan Garrison, South Korea

Round-robin standings

Pool A

Seoul American.....6-0

Christian Academy In Japan.....5-1

Zama American, Japan.....4-2

Kubasaki, Okinawa.....2-4

Guam High.....2-4

Yokota, Japan.....1-5

Southern, Guam.....1-5

Thursday’s scores

Southern 51, Kubasaki 35

Guam High 43, Yokota 40

Christian Academy In Japan 45, Zama American 35

Pool B

Kadena, Okinawa.....6-0

Hong Kong International.....5-1

John F. Kennedy, Guam.....4-2

Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.....3-3

American School In Japan.....2-4

Seisen International.....1-5

Seoul American junior varsity.....0-6

Thursday’s scores

Nile C. Kinnick 80, Seoul American junior varsity 35

Kadena 34, John F. Kennedy 18

American School In Japan 38, Seisen International 26

Single-elimination playoffs

Thursday’s games

Game 1-Nile C. Kinnick, Japan, 60, Guam High 40

Game 2-Zama American, Japan, 44, Seisen International, Japan, 22

Game 3-Hong Kong International 61, Southern, Guam, 37

Game 4-Christian Academy In Japan 47, Seoul American junior varsity 16

Game 5-Yokota, Japan, 46, John F. Kennedy, Guam, 34

Game 6-Kubasaki, Okinawa, 40, American School In Japan 35

Game 15-Guam High 31, Seisen International 26

Game 16-John F. Kennedy 41, Seoul American junior varsity 27

Friday’s games

Game 7-Seoul American vs. Nile C. Kinnick

Game 8-Zama American vs. Hong Kong International

Game 9-Yokota vs. Christian Academy In Japan

Game 10-Kadena vs. Kubasaki

Game 11-Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner

Game 12-Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner

Game 17-Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser

Game 18-American School In Japan vs. Game 15 winner

Game 19-Southern vs. Game 16 winner

Game 20-Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser

Game 21-Game 17 winner vs. Game 18 winner

Game 22-Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner

Saturday’s games

Game 23-Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner (fifth place)

Game 13-Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser (third place)

Game 14-Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner (championship)

Thursday’s summaries

Nile C. Kinnick 60, Guam High 40

Kinnick.....17 24 13 6-60

Guam High.....15 8 7 13-40

Leading scorers-Nile C. Kinnick, Lualhati Johnson 16, Sarah Greenert 13; Guam High, Keonna Jukes 18, Christina Sheaks 11.

Zama 44, Seisen 22

Seisen.....0 10 8 4-22

Zama.....9 14 8 13-44

Leading scorers-Zama American, Tiffani Wright 26; Seisen International, Lisa Sizemore 8.

Hong Kong International 61, Southern 37

Hong Kong.....16 20 15 10-61

Southern.....6 11 11 9-37

Leading scorers-Hong Kong International, Lauren Hsu 22, Nikita Stallbom 13; Southern, Chelsie Gofigan 9, Mayann Pajaro 9.

CAJ 47, Seoul American JV 16

Seoul JV.....1 2 11 2-16

CAJ.....17 14 8 8-47

Leading scorers-Christian Academy In Japan, six players with 6 points each; Seoul American junior varsity, Jennifer Simmons 8.

Yokota 46, John F. Kennedy 34

Yokota.....7 9 12 18-48

JFK.....8 11 4 11-34

Leading scorers-Yokota, Chyna Roach 24; John F. Kennedy, Emily Pardilla 12.

Kubasaki 40, ASIJ 35

Kubasaki.....9 9 14 8-40

ASIJ.....7 13 7 8-35

Leading scorers-Kubasaki, Cyera Moore 7, Nikki Reddick 7; American School In Japan, Erin Morris 16.

Guam High 31, Seisen International 26

Guam High.....8 5 6 12-31

Seisen.....4 4 10 8-26

Leading scorers-Guam High, Christina Sheaks 17, Keonna Jukes 12; Seisen International, Sarah Riley 6.

John F. Kennedy 41, Seoul American JV 27

Seoul JV.....5 3 12 7-27

JFK.....7 12 10 12-41

Leading scorers-John F. Kennedy, Catherine Aquinde 10; Seoul American junior varsity, Jennifer Simmons 17.

Boys Class A tournament

At Ironworks Fitness & Sports Center, Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan

Double-elimination playoffs

Thursday’s games

Game 13-International Christian-Seoul 63, Matthew C. Perry 58, OT; Matthew C. Perry eliminated

Game 14-Robert D. Edgren 69, Osan American 56; Osan American eliminated

Game 15-Faith Academy 62, St. Paul Christian 50

Game 16-Robert D. Edgren 68, International Christian-Seoul 29; International Christian-Seoul eliminated

Game 17-St. Paul Christian 68, Robert D. Edgren 60; Robert D. Edgren eliminated

Friday’s games

Game 18-Faith Academy vs. St. Paul Christian

Game 19-Faith Academy vs. St. Paul Christian, if Faith Academy loses Game 18

Thursday’s summaries

Edgren 69, Osan American 56

Edgren.....10 23 22 14-69

Osan.....6 9 12 29-56

Leading scorers-Robert D. Edgren, Kylel Blackmon 34; Osan American, Corey Black 21.

ICS-Seoul 63, Matthew C. Perry 58 (OT)

ICS-Seoul.....10 18 15 11 9-63

Perry.....11 7 9 27 4-58

Leading scorers-International Christian-Seoul, Brian Kim 20 (4 three-point goals); Matthew C. Perry, Trandon Cole 15 (3 three-point goals).

Faith Academy 62, St. Paul Christian 50

St. Paul.....15 9 15 11-50

Faith.....21 10 16 15-62

Leading scorers-Faith Academy, John Bright 25 (4 three-point goals, 9-for-11 foul line); St. Paul Christian, Tony Thacker 21 (3 three-point goals, 5-for-6 foul line).

Edgren 68, ICS-Seoul 29

ICS-Seoul.....4 7 2 16-29

Edgren.....21 16 15 15-68

Leading scorer-Robert D. Edgren, Shamar Riddick 20.

St. Paul 68, Edgren 60

St. Paul.....19 16 16 17-68

Edgren.....17 6 16 21-60

Leading scorers-St. Paul Christian, Tony Thacker 28 (4 three-point goals); Robert D. Edgren, Shamar Riddick 23.

Boys Class AA tournament

At Falcon Gym and Kadena High School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Single-elimination playoffs

Thursday's games

Game 9-Southern 54, John F. Kennedy 52

Game 10-St. Mary’s International 44, Christian Academy In Japan 37

Game 11-Father Duenas Memorial 46, Guam High 34

Game 12-American School In Japan 54, Simon Sanchez 46

Game 13-Zama American 58, Nile C. Kinnick 50

Game 14-Yokota 55, Morrison Christian Academy 52

Game 15-Seoul American 78, Hong Kong International 65

Game 16-Kadena 61, Kubasaki 55

Game 17-Southern 92, Kubasaki 70

Game 18-St. Mary’s International 45, Hong Kong International 39

Game 19-Morrison Christian Academy 53, Father Duenas Memorial 48

Game 20-Nile C. Kinnick 58, American School In Japan 46

Friday’s games

Game 21-John F. Kennedy vs. American School In Japan

Game 22-Christian Academy In Japan vs. Father Duenas Memorial

Game 23-Guam High vs. Hong Kong International

Game 24-Kubasaki vs. Simon Sanchez

Game 25-Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner

Game 26-Game 23 winner vs. Game 24 winner

Game 27-Southern vs. St. Mary’s International

Game 28-Morrison Christian Academy vs. Nile C. Kinnick

Game 29-Zama American vs. Yokota

Game 30-Seoul American vs. Kadena

Saturday’s games

Game 31-Game 25 winner vs. Game 26 winner (ninth and 10th place)

Game 32-Game 27 loser vs. Game 28 loser (seventh and eighth place)

Game 33-Game 27 winner vs. Game 28 winner (fifth and sixth place)

Game 34-Game 29 loser vs. Game 30 loser (third and fourth place)

Game 35-Game 29 winner vs. Game 30 winner (championship)

Thursday’s summaries

Quarterfinals

Zama American 58, Nile C. Kinnick 50

Kinnick.....13 12 13 12-50

Zama.....12 11 9 26-58

Leading scorers-Zama American, Wilberto Badillo 17, Aaron Tabor 12, Ben Bishop 10; Nile C. Kinnick, Travis Ekmark 25.

Yokota 55, Morrison 52

Morrison.....17 11 16 8-52

Yokota.....22 4 15 14-55

Leading scorers-Yokota, Caiveon Thomas 19, Cameron Cooper 14; Morrison Christian Academy, Paul McDonald 26.

Seoul American 78, Hong Kong Int’l 65

Hong Kong.....16 17 13 19-65

Seoul.....18 10 25 35-78

Leading scorers-Seoul American, Andrew Luna 23, Jamaal Mohn 21, Jeremy Christopher 14; Hong Kong International, David Mock 29.

Kadena 61, Kubasaki 55

Kubasaki.....12 11 10 22-55

Kadena.....10 17 14 20-61

Leading scorers-Kadena, Shmarua Phelps 16, Anthony Soroka 11, Jamil Barney 11, Marquis Newton 10; Kubasaki, Vance Maxey 24, Steven Ellis 13.

Consolation

Southern 54, John F. Kennedy 52

Southern.....12 19 12 11-54

JFK.....15 14 8 15-52

Leading scorers-Southern, Gerald Paulino 19; John F. Kennedy, Jerry Torres 18.

St. Mary’s 44, CAJ 37

St. Mary’s.....11 9 13 11-44

CAJ.....10 10 9 8-37

Leading scorers-St. Mary’s International, Tobi Taniguchi 21; Christian Academy In Japan, Ben Clark 13.

Father Duenas 46, Guam High 34

Father Duenas.....15 13 13 5-46

Guam High.....9 6 9 10-34

Leading scorers-Guam High, Ashton Adams 6, Mike Campbell 6.

ASIJ 54, Simon Sanchez 46

Sanchez.....6 13 12 15-46

ASIJ.....11 19 11 13-54

Leading scorers-American School In Japan, Tyler Christianson 13; Simon Sanchez, Nill Colitoy 15.

Morrison 53, Father Duenas 48

Father Duenas.....12 9 11 19-48

Morrison.....10 8 26 14-53

Leading scorers-Morrison Christian Academy, Elliott Tan 20; Father Duenas Memorial, Jude Martinez 14.

Southern 92, Kubasaki 70

Southern.....27 26 19 20-92

Kubasaki.....20 10 22 18-70

Leading scorers-Southern, Gerald Paulino 24, Roque Chargualaf 24, Jarvis Duenas 23; Kubasaki, Vance Maxey 20, Steven Ellis 15.

Kinnick 58, ASIJ 46

Kinnick.....13 11 20 14-58

ASIJ.....8 10 12 13-46

Leading scorers-Nile C. Kinnick, Travis Ekmark 19, Emanuel Wuyckoff 13.

St. Mary’s 45, Hong Kong Int’l 39

St. Mary’s.....13 8 10 14-45

Hong Kong.....6 7 14 12-39

Leading scorers-St. Mary’s International, Tobi Taniguchi 12, David Willis 11, Young Do Yeon 10; Hong Kong International, David Mock 17.

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