Some teams worked through the break. Some practiced up to three days a week. Some played "friendly" games, even against company-level teams in base intramural tournaments. Others took the two-week Christmas holiday as just that, a holiday.
So, the return of DODEA Pacific high school basketball teams from the break for conference play resulted in an equally mixed bag of outcomes as teams tried to get their legs back under them.
"You just try to get back in the groove," said coach Michelle Chandler, whose Daegu American girls team failed to score until two minutes remained in the first quarter before romping 56-10 at Korea International.
This despite the Warriors practicing through the break and even playing three "friendlies" against St. Paul Christian of Guam, winning one and losing two.
"We just wanted to keep playing," Chandler said, adding that two of her players were away on holiday and struggled "to get back in the swing of it."
Daegu’s boys split two games with St. Paul.
Daegu’s Antoine Feagin and David Martinez scored most of their combined 33 points in the first half, but Korea International outscored the Warriors 24-3 in the fourth quarter to rally for a 59-51 victory.
"We just fell asleep," coach Phillip Loyd said, adding that the Warriors made mistakes and kept putting the Phoenix at the foul line; KIS went 18-for-24 in the second half. When Feagin and Martinez cooled off, "nobody stepped up to replace them."
What’s the toughest thing about coming back from the holidays?
"Finding your rhythm," said coach Paul Ettl, whose Yokota boys outscored Matthew C. Perry 22-9 in the fourth quarter to rally past the Samurai 45-41. "You can practice, but it’s not the same. Real-world experience, there’s no substitute for it."
"Tempo. That’s what got us," Loyd said. "In the first half, we handled them handily, but we lost our sense of focus, because we lost the tempo of the game."
Others seemed to relish the return, particularly the E.J. King boys, who were 10-for-12 on three-pointers and 16-for-19 at the foul line in an 85-75 victory over Nile C. Kinnick. Ryan Wagner led the region with 30 points Friday.
"They’re capable of shooting that well, and they did it tonight," Cobras coach Mike Milling said.