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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Kubasaki girls again feasted on an opponent in the third quarter, and it paid off Saturday with another title.

Trailing 24-16 to Guam’s John F. Kennedy at halftime of the Far East Class AA championship game, the Lady Dragons shut down the Lady Islanders’ perimeter game and went to work inside, outscoring JFK 15-5 in the third period.

Kubasaki help on for a 46-41 victory to win its second crown in three seasons, its record ninth overall and the fourth for head coach Bob Driggs.

“This group has a special thing, one thing, and that’s the third quarter,” said Driggs, whose club consistently rallied from double-digit deficits in Okinawa- American League games with Japanese teams during the regular season.

This time, the Lady Dragons came back when it counted the most, denying JFK its first Class AA championship in 21 years. The Lady Islanders lost to Kadena in last year’s title game.

“They got good penetration in the first half,” Driggs said of JFK, which got 21 points from tournament MVP Jocelyn Pardilla and led the entire first half by mixing its press-and-transition game with a few three-pointers.

“They picked up the pace, caught us flat-footed a little,” Driggs said. “But we came back in the third, got into some good sets, some good double-posts. Nobody matches up with us underneath.”

Shanon Sumter had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Kubasaki. Ka’leen Mathieu added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Atana Grady had 10 points and nine boards. Shanea McDaniel chipped in with 12 rebounds as the Lady Dragons dominated the interior against a tough opponent.

“If you don’t play them well, you won’t take anything home with you,” Driggs said. “[JFK coach Joe Taitano] has been around a long time. They’re always a good ballclub. They come out man-to-man and make you work for everything.”


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