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American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Mikey Henagan (32) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47.
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Mikey Henagan (32) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47. (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Mikey Henagan (32) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47.
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Mikey Henagan (32) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47. (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima (11) shoots past defender Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47 (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
Liam Fukushima (21), Henry Wallrapp (32) and Drogan James (13) of American School In Japan Mustangs and Yokota Panthers' Morgan Breazell chase down a loose ball during the championship games Dec.. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament
Liam Fukushima (21), Henry Wallrapp (32) and Drogan James (13) of American School In Japan Mustangs and Yokota Panthers' Morgan Breazell chase down a loose ball during the championship games Dec.. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
American School In Japan Mustangs' forward Sam Hopkins (33) shoots past defender Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers during championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47.
American School In Japan Mustangs' forward Sam Hopkins (33) shoots past defender Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers during championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47. (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
American School In Japan Mustangs' forward Sam Hopkins (33) shoots past defenders Mikey Henagan (32) and A.J. Leake (43) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47.
American School In Japan Mustangs' forward Sam Hopkins (33) shoots past defenders Mikey Henagan (32) and A.J. Leake (43) of the Yokota Panthers during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47. (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima prepares to shoot as Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers defends during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47.
American School In Japan Mustangs' guard Ken Yajima prepares to shoot as Jarred Morgan of the Yokota Panthers defends during the championship game Dec. 18, 2011, in the American School In Japan Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament at Mustang Valley Fitness & Sports Center, ASIJ Chofu Campus, Tokyo. ASIJ beat Yokota 69-47. (Ansel Marsh/special to Stars and Stripes)

TOKYO – They’d just survived the closest first half they’d played all season. Senior Sam Hopkins and the American School In Japan Mustangs ensured the second half wouldn’t mirror the first – and captured the title in the ASIJ Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament.Hopkins scored 16 of his 28 points in a torrid third quarter in which the Mustangs outscored Yokota 26-5, turning what was a two-point halftime lead into a 69-47 triumph in Sunday’s final at Mustang Valley.“We’re not really used to that,” Hopkins said of the Mustangs leading by such a close margin. “Somebody needed to step up and I just did what I could. I got the open shots. Everything was flowing.”“It was fun to see him play that way,” first-year Mustangs coach Brian Kelley said. “He has that look in his eye. He wants the ball. He wants to lead from the front. He’s understanding what it’s like to be the leader of a good team.”The win boosted the Mustangs to 8-0 on the season, their best start since last winning the Far East Division I Tournament title in 1983.But it was far from the total runaway ASIJ enjoyed in Friday’s pool-play game in which the Mustangs outscored Yokota 31-8 in the first half en route to a 65-27 romp.In Sunday’s final, Warren Manegan scored 18 of his 21 points in the first two periods, hitting five three-point goals. There were eight lead changes and four ties in the first half.“What a first half they played,” Kelley said of Yokota. “I told the guys, it’s awfully hard for a guy (Manegan) to play a whole game like that. He had such a brilliant first half.”From there, Hopkins pulled out all the stops. He hit six straight field goals to break open the contest.“You’re in such a zone,” Hopkins said. “You’re seeing pretty much the whole court. You’re not thinking about the fans, you’re not thinking about anything else, you’re just thinking about making the next shot.”“We didn’t have enough fingers to plug all the holes in the dyke,” Yokota coach Tim Pujol said. “They seemed to step it up a notch. The intensity. You could see it in their transition game and on the boards. That third quarter was an absolute runaway.”Henry Wallrapp gave ASIJ its biggest lead, 58-33, on a foul shot with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. Subs played most of the final period for both teams.“I have to hand it to the Mustangs. They were the better team today,” Pujol said.“It’s good to be challenged,” Kelley said. “I’m glad Yokota gave us a great final. The tournament needed it.”Ken Yajima added 12 points for ASIJ. Mikey Henagan scored 11 for Yokota.ornauerd@pstripes.osd.mil

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