Interservice basketball: Long-range shooting lifts Spangdahlem, Stuttgart in MLK
HEIDELBERG, Germany — Long-range shooting proved decisive in Monday night’s championship games of the 18th annual Martin Luther King Invitational basketball tournament.
Stuttgart’s Lady Stallions used three-pointers by Court Kaiser and Corrie Schaub to open the inside game in a crisply played 51-50 victory over the Kaiserslautern Lady Panthers.
In the men’s championship, Davon Martin sank two second-half three-pointers as the Spangdahlem Sabers pulled away for a 29-21 victory over the Lakenheath Eagles.
Stuttgart 51, Kaiserslautern 50: Given room to operate behind two quick field goals by Kaiser and a Schaub three-pointer, the Lady Stallions’ frontcourt duo of tournament MVP Robin Hess and Raina Goodlow combined for 21 of Stuttgart’s 26 second-half points.
"I’m glad our guards got some shots," Goodlow said about the backcourt’s role in erasing a 10-point deficit and opening the way to the frontcourt’s success in the second half. "They kept us in the game."
Goodlow, who finished with 12 points, all but iced the game with 1:09 left and the score tied at 49 when she converted two free throws.
K-town’s Beth Berry made one of two free throws with 5.3 seconds left, and Stuttgart was able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.
Hess, a mother of four who was celebrating her 42nd birthday on Monday, also praised the guards’ contribution.
"Our guards shot well," she said. "We’re pretty strong inside, and we pulled together."
Spangdahlem 29, Lakenheath 21: Martin opened the second-half scoring with the first of his two three-pointers to help the Sabers erase the memory of the team’s lackluster first half, which ended with the score tied at 9-9.
"We were focusing on defense," Martin explained of the single-digit first half, which saw him hoist two air balls from behind the arc.
Martin wasn’t discouraged.
"Sometimes, you’ve got to keep shooting," said Martin, who took game-scoring honors with 10 points, eight of them after intermission. "If you stop shooting, you can’t win."
Tournament MVP Mike Johnson, held to four points, said his team never got down, even while going a dismal 9-for-26 from the floor.
"We stress defense," he said after his team held Lakenheath to 7-for-27 shooting. "Defense is the only thing you can do well all the time."
Martin said the Sabers will reap benefits at the U.S. Forces event from the games they played at the MLK.
"We got to play some Army teams," he said about his team’s four-day run here. "Playing Army teams toughens us up."
MLK InvitationalMonday at Heidelberg12-minute halves
Stuttgart 51, Kaiserslautern 50Halftime—Stuttgart 25, Kaiserslautern 23.Scoring—Stuttgart: Robin Hess 19, Raina Goodlow 12, Court Kaiser 10, Corrie Schaub 8, Nesia Haines 2; Kaiserslautern: Salonika Owens 17, Crystal Samuel 17, Beth Berry 14, Ashley Vazquez 2.
Spangdahlem 29, Lakenheath 21Halftime—Lakenheath 9, Spangdahlem 9.Scoring—Lakenheath: Corie Hudson 6, Osborne Gardner 5, Urese Taylor 4, Marquell Stalling 3, Danica Perry 2, James Taylor 1; Spangdahlem: Davon Martin 10, Gregory Williams 6, Artis Gandy 4, Mike Johnson 4, Jeffrey Caudle 3. Leland Allison 2.