Four players instrumental in leading Seoul American to a league title and third-place finish in the Far East tournament have been named to the All-Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference girls basketball team for the 2002-03 season.

Chelsi Butler, Jio Bruce, Ashley Grandy and Kathy Bradham of the Lady Falcons landed on the All-KAIAC team, while Charlotte Hicks was named the league’s Coach of the Year.

Seoul American took third in the Class AA Far East Tournament last month on Okinawa.

Also named to the All-KAIAC squad were Osan American’s Jennifer Gates and Jessica Hagmaier, the team’s only two seniors.

The Lady Cougars finished second in the league and runner-up at the Class A Far East Tournament last month in Pusan.

Others selected to the all-conference team were Pusan American’s Brieanna Carroll and Breanne Robison, Ashley Gooch of Taegu American, Seoul International’s Jean Chung, Sharon Garwood of Seoul Foreign, Taejon Christian International’s Gloria Kim and Joyce Kim of International Christian-Seoul.

Guzzlers finish second in Manila Invitational

MANILA, Philippines — After dominating the first six games, South Korea’s International Guzzlers fell short in their bid for a second straight Manila Invitational Softball Tournament title, falling 35-17 to 3N2 of Taiwan in last Sunday’s championship game.

The disappointing finish came after the Guzzlers, a team comprised mainly of GIs and civilians from Army and Air Force bases in Korea, outscored their first six foes 187-23.

The tournament is part of the Southeast Asian corporate circuit, and the Guzzlers had been on a roll, capturing a title in Jakarta last October and a championship in Thailand a month later, in addition to the 2002 Manila crown.

En route to Sunday’s final, the Guzzlers whipped American Eye Manila 28-3, the Singapore River Rats 49-4, World Wide Movers of Jakarta, Indonesia, 21-4, the Tokyo Tigers 30-9 and Meralco Philippines 27-3. In the single-elimination playoffs, they beat the Singapore Fattboyz 32-12 before falling to 3N2.

The Guzzlers pounded 58 homers — 17 against the Fattboyz. All-Army coach Andy Watts, who was once stationed in Korea but traveled from Fort Bragg, N.C., to play in Manila, won the home run award by hitting 18 in seven games, including five against the River Rats.

Billy Laxton, a civilian contractor at Yongsan Garrison, earned the best pitcher award for the second consecutive year.

Jason Kresser of Camp Howze was voted the team’s MVP for the tournament. The Guzzlers’ leadoff hitter batted .800 with nine homers.

Despite the disappointing outcome, coach Tom Costello expressed pride in his ballclub.

“The team set an excellent example for the U.S. military off the field and on,” he said. “Great sportsmanship on the field and well behaved off. Several of the players and coaches shook our hands and thanked us for what we are doing to fight terrorism down there and around the world.”

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