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VILSECK, Germany — The Heidelberg girls basketball team improved to 3-1 by holding off Vilseck for the second consecutive day, winning 45-41 Saturday after Friday night’s 46-37 victory.

“We had our ups and downs like we did last night,” Heidelberg coach Jon Mittenzwey said after his team’s win Saturday. “I tell my team you are going to face the ups and downs and you just got to weather the storm. That is what we did two nights in a row and I think we came out with a win both times for that reason.”

With less than 20 seconds left in the game and Vilseck down by two, a technical foul called on the Falcons’ bench for protesting a shooting foul may have cost them any chance of a victory. Heidelberg’s Rebecca Luna capitalized on two of the four free throws she was given to close out the scoring.

The Lady Lions led 14-8 after the first quarter, but the resilient Falcons battled back and were down by only a point at halftime and up 35-34 at the end of third quarter.

But after junior point guard Deraj McClinton - who led the Falcons with 18 points and nine assists Friday - fouled out, Vilseck had trouble finding the basket. That opened the door for Heidelberg, which put the game away.

“I thought it was a pretty good game until our point guard fouled out and, of course, we got the technical which gave them two more points,” Vilseck coach Jim Hall said after the the game. “We didn’t rebound very well and we didn’t shoot very well.”

Despite opening with two losses — last weekend’s games were canceled because of snow — Hall is optimistic about the rest of the season.

“I wasn’t happy with the results, but I am happy with the way we are playing basketball,” he said. “Compared to last year we are playing much better basketball this year early — this is about where we were at the end last year — so I’m happy where we are at.”

Vilseck senior Jamila Harvey was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five steals.

Linae Myhand led Heidelberg with 11 points and sophomore Star Jones had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“We are making good progress,” Luna said of the Lady Lions, who aren’t scheduled to play again until Jan. 14. “We still have a lot to work on, but for the most part early on in the season we are showing a lot of potential.”

blottenbergerd@estripes.osd.mil

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