Pacific athletes of the week
Kelli CoxGirls basketball
Taegu American, South Korea
Last week: Came off a two-week injury layoff to average 17 points and 15.5 rebounds to power the Warriors to two Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference victories 15 hours apart, one on the road, the other at home.
The Warriors improved to 13-7 overall and 12-2 in league play.
Cox, a senior post player, tallied 10 points and 16 rebounds as the Warriors survived a second-half onslaught and downed the Taejon Christian International Dragons 48-36 on Friday. Hours later, after the bus ride home, Cox scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to boost the Warriors over the Seoul International Tigers 55-27.
“She’s got a good work ethic,” coach Michelle Chandler said, describing Cox as “kind of a quiet leader. She’s one I can put in to play the whole game. She’s a smart player, a smart athlete, just a smart kid, one of the cornerstones of the team the past four years.”
Last week: Won the clinching bout that gave the Panthers their ninth straight dual-meet victory over their archrival Kubasaki Dragons and their third consecutive unbeaten regular season and Okinawa Activities Council championship.
Copeland, a senior 168-pounder, pinned his Kubasaki opponent, Brandon Murphy, in 1 minute, 14 seconds. The victory put the Panthers ahead of the Dragons 31-15, more than enough to seal the deal as Kadena cruised to a 36-25 triumph at the Dragons’ Den on Camp Foster.
“Ian is the kind of kid you want on your team, no matter what the sport,” coach Steve Schrock said. He praised Copeland for volunteering to move down to 158 pounds for the Far East tournament, despite the presence of defending Far East champion Steve Courtney of Kubasaki at that spot, to allow 168-pounder Brandon Stout his spot in the lineup.
“That’s one of the most unselfish, team-oriented decisions I’ve been a part of in my 23 years as a coach,” Schrock said.
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff