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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — After being a nonfactor the last time Osan played the Yongsan Runnin’ Rebels, Darrell Harmon made up for it in Saturday’s rematch.

“I felt it was important to come out strong,” Harmon said after scorching the nets for four three-pointers and 28 points as the Defenders held off Yongsan down the stretch 82-78 to win the Osan Pacificwide Invitational Basketball Tournament men’s final.

Three of Harmon’s three-pointers came in the first period, helping Osan avenge an 81-78 loss five days earlier.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Harmon said. “I wanted to get myself into a rhythm, and everything would be smooth.”

It was a far cry from the eight points he tallied in Tuesday’s pool-play loss, Harmon’s first game after taking leave for 30 days in the United States.

“Last time we played them, I played a terrible game,” said Harmon, the tournament MVP. “I was fresh off the plane, I hadn’t touched a ball in 30 days, I hadn’t run, I didn’t have my legs under me, my timing was off.”

It was Osan’s last loss in the tournament.

“As the tournament progressed, I was able to get back in sync,” he said.

While Harmon found his shooting touch, the Rebels couldn’t buy a free throw. Yongsan shot 10-for-25 from the foul line, missing the front end of many one-and-ones.

“That made a difference in the game,” Rebels coach Barry Jones said, adding that he tried to keep defenders with fresh legs on Harmon, but to no avail. “The cream always rises to the top.”

Yongsan advanced to the championship by beating the Anderson Bombers 83-62 earlier Saturday.

James Oliver had 12 of his 14 points in the first quarter, when Yongsan outscored Andersen 22-8.

In the women’s final, backup guard Dee Reed grabbed the spotlight with a fourth-quarter scoring salvo that gave the Okinawa Queens their first Pacificwide invitational title.

“She stole the ballgame,” Osan guard Nicole Bowman said after Reed single-handedly demolished the Defenders with nine of her 13 points in the final frame, lifting Okinawa to a 55-46 triumph.

Reed sank two free throws and hit a field goal in a 15-second span midway through the fourth period, sparking a 6-0 run that gave Okinawa a 47-41 lead with 3:21 left. Osan cut the gap to four on two baskets by Bowman, but that was as close as the Lady Defenders could get.

Osan concentrated on stopping all-tournament guards Trancye Foster and tournament MVP Chrystal Smith (14 points), and that gave Reed her chance.

“She came up big when we needed it,” Queens coach Clarence Franklin said.

Reed, a military spouse and mother of four children, overcame long odds just to play in the tournament, teammate Robin Szilagyi said.

“That’s my girl,” Szilagyi said. “She did everything she possibly could just to get here, and when she did, she brought her game with her and saved it for the right time.”

Bowman scored 17 points earlier in the day as the Lady Defenders beat Yongsan 56-39 to advance to the title game.

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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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