Mannheim women win title, but men lose final to Aviano
AVIANO AB, Italy – Army-Europe women’s champion Mannheim and USAFE men’s champion Aviano completed unbeaten runs through the four-day U.S. Forces Europe basketball tournament on Sunday with title-game victories.
Mannheim’s Lady Mustangs downed USAFE women’s champion Incirlik 66-50 to win their half of this final four event, and Aviano’s men stopped Army-Europe champion Mannheim 79-66 to emerge atop of the men’s final four field.
Mannheim 66, Incirlik 50: MVP Maynesha James led all scorers with 22 points as the Lady Mustangs got the most out of the bare minimum they brought to Italy. According to USAFE sports director Tim Burkett, Mannheim suited up just five players in their 6-0 stroll through a field comprised of Army-Europe runner-up Schweinfurt and USAFE champion Incirlik and runner-up Ramstein.
Sharon Montgomery added 17 points and De’Atra Holmes 15 for Mannheim, which led 33-16 at halftime.
Denica Cole topped Incirlik’s scoring with 16 points. USAFE tournament MVP Jamila Hodges added 12 before fouling out with 5:40 left in the game. Susan Hill also achieved double-figures for Incirlik by scoring 10 points.
Aviano 79, Mannheim 66: Tournament MVP Kenyatta Price canned four straight three-pointers in the late going to put Mannheim away.
According to Burkett, Mannheim’s Reginald Hawkins, who led all scorers with 31 points he amassed on an assortment of three-pointers and drives to the basket, kept the Mustangs close until Price’s game-ending outburst.
Price finished with 17 points, but teammate Kirk Sheppard took team scoring honors with 23. A.J. Zollicoffer added 12 points as the Dragons downed Mannheim for the second straight day. Aviano pulled out a 93-92 victory on Saturday that sent Mannheim to Saturday night’s losers-bracket final against USAFE runner-up Spangdahlem.
Despite trailing by as many as 23 points at one point in that contest, Mannheim rallied to eliminate the Sabers 81-69 and earn Sunday’s title-game shot at the Dragons.
As voted by participating coaches and officials
Women-Maynesha James (MVP), Sharon Montgomery, Brittany Hambrick and De’Atra Holmes (Mannheim); Denica Cole and Jamila Hodges (Incirlik); Brooke Bozarth and Gwen Soden (Ramstein), and Neshunde Tilhmas and Maryellen Tabor (Schweinfurt).
Men-Kenyatta Price (MVP), Chris Moed, Kirk Sheppard and James Taylor (Aviano); Charles Clark, Reginald Hawkins and Andre Reed (Mannheim); Kris Davis (Spangdahlem); Patrick Bates and Chris Everett (Wiesbaden).