After going undefeated in a combined 20 games this season, Nile C. Kinnick’s boys and girls basketball teams tasted defeat.
The Kinnick boys, who were 7-0, fell 58-55 to Robert D. Edgren in the second of two games with the Eagles on Saturday at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Thew Gym.
The Lady Red Devils took two from Edgren but lost twice — 50-46 and 46-41 — to the Misawa Jets, a base interservice team, on Friday and Saturday at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. The Kinnick girls were 13-0 before Friday.
Frustrated from trying to run with the Devils in two previous losses to Kinnick, Edgren boys coach Andre Thibert decided to stick with a 2-3 zone in Saturday’s second game.
“That made the difference,” he said. “We’d come out in the past with a lot of pressure defense. This time, we pulled back and played zone, matching up outside and doubling down inside. That allowed us to relax and just hit our shots. It worked for us. I’m proud of the guys.”
The defensive change, along with Carlos Whatley’s 22 points, helped the Eagles pull ahead by 12.
Kinnick, fueled by Kevin Logan’s seven three-pointers, rallied late, forcing Thibert to shift to a box-and-one. The Red Devils had several chances to tie it, with Travis Ekmark’s three-point attempt from halfcourt hitting the back rim at the final horn.
Fatigue became a factor, Kinnick coach Nathan Brewster said. In addition to playing twice Saturday, the Red Devils outlasted St. Mary’s International 60-49 the previous night.
“I think we ran out of gas,” Brewster said. “We were missing shots and our defense was terrible the whole game. It seemed like 85 percent of [Edgren’s] shots came inside the paint.”
Brewster called the defeat a “good lesson learned.”
“I told the guys afterward, to remember what this felt like. It was a wakeup call. We’re not indestructible. And we have work to do,” he added.
While the Lady Red Devils’ perfect run ended against a military team, coach Henry Falk said he “jumped” at the opportunity to play an older, quicker and more physical team, calling it a rigorous but good way to come off the two-week holiday break.
The Jets “are good, they’re fast and experienced,” Falk said. “It gives my girls a little more of an edge. It really helped us get back in the groove after three weeks of hardly any basketball.”
Organizers expecting 8,000 in Frostbite road race
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — About 8,000 runners, Japanese and American, are expected to enter the Yokota Striders Running Club’s 23rd annual Frostbite Foot Race, scheduled for Jan. 25, organizers said.
The 13-mile, 143-yard half-marathon, run predominantly along Yokota’s north perimeter road, is the longest and most popular foot race on a U.S. base in the Pacific.
Last year, 5,745 runners, predominantly Japanese, entered the race, and organizers say they’re hoping for a field close to the record 8,240 set three years ago. Preliminary 3.1-mile road races are also scheduled, along with a kids run.
The Striders are seeking volunteers for a variety of tasks, ranging from course marshals to cleanup details. Volunteers get a meal ticket, free sweat shirt and may attend a pizza party after the half-marathon ends.
For information, e-mail email@example.com or call DSN 225-8725.