They’re 6-0 thus far this season, a sharp departure from the Nile C. Kinnick boys basketball team that a season ago went 17-20 overall.

Eight players have reached double figures in a game this season, with Davion Roberts averaging 14 points per game, Gage Henderson 12.8, Aaron Peterson 11 and Kedrick Stockman 10.8. The Red Devils are the first team to top 100 points in a game, doing so in a 102-40 victory last Tuesday over Christian Academy Japan.

What has sparked the turnaround?

“These boys have been together for a long time and their hard work is starting to show,” coach Robert Stovall said of a group whose core players matriculated in youth activities ball during their elementary- and middle-school years and are now on the Kinnick varsity.

They’ve worked with outside adult coaching on the base, including Steve Horton, who took seven of the current Red Devils to Hawaii and won the Pacific Rim Championships as the Yoko Xpress Elite.

“We have a group of adults who’ve been working with these guys from middle school up and it’s starting to show up on our team,” said Stovall, in his eighth season at the Red Devils’ helm.

Despite the solid start, Stovall said the Red Devils still have much to work on, including rebounding and patience. “We have a lot of way to go to get better,” he said.

Their journey continues this weekend when they make their lone visit to Misawa Air Base for a DODEA-Japan weekend series against Robert D. Edgren.

This is the last weekend prior to the start of DODEA-Pacific’s two-week Christmas vacation.

Other events of significance see Okinawa’s, Korea’s and Japan’s wrestling teams venture off base for competition.

DODEA-Korea’s four high schools compete on Saturday at the Daejeon Physical Education School. On Okinawa, Kadena visits Urasoe Tech while Kubasaki travels to Haebaru. And DODEA-Japan’s three Kanto Plain schools head to Christian Academy Japan for its annual invitational.

On the hardwood, defending Far East Division II boys champion E.J. King makes its way to Kobe for one of two Western Japan Athletic Association tournaments this season. The Cobras girls travel to Osaka.

In Korea, Daegu’s boys and girls hit the road for a weekend swing through Seoul Foreign on Friday and Seoul American on Saturday. Humphreys entertains Yongsan on Friday as does Osan on Saturday.

Kadena plays host to Zion Christian’s boys and girls basketball teams. Kadena’s girls close out the weekend by hosting Itoman, a Japanese school, on Sunday.

Twitter: @ornauer_stripes

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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