Pair of defending champions fall to defeat
Back-to-work weekend in girls high school sports produced a pair of upsets as Heidelberg and AFNORTH knocked off defending European champions Ramstein (Division I) and Bitburg (Division II).
Heidelberg ended Ramstein’s 16-game winning streak dating to last January with a 44-41 victory on Friday. AFNORTH handed Bitburg its first defeat of the season, 33-28 in overtime on Saturday.
AFNORTH earns split
BRUNSSUM, Netherlands — A 2-3 zone and a three-minute stall in overtime helped give the Lady Lions their first victory over Bitburg in the high school careers of the current seniors.
“We worked all week on stopping [Bitburg’s All-Europe center Nadia] Parker,” said AFNORTH coach Patty Hittinger, who in three years at the AFNORTH helm had never beaten Bitburg. “We packed in our bottom three and tried to get her in foul trouble.”
The strategy almost worked on Friday in a game in which Bitburg rallied to win 35-31 after trailing 18-10 at halftime. AFNORTH held Parker to four points in that one, too, but was burned by the prowess of Carletta Hernandez, who scored 22 points and matched Parker’s 10 rebounds.
Corinne Griffith, who led all scorers with 11 points, also scored two of the Lions’ three field goals in the fourth quarter. The last came with under 30 seconds to play and tied the game at 28 to force overtime.
Freshman Victoria Webber hit two free throws, and Griffith and Laura Rivera each sank one for the winning margin as AFNORTH stalled for three of the four minutes of OT to win its first game of the season.
Heidelberg knocks off D-I champ Ramstein
HEIDELBERG, Germany — After winning three European Division I titles and 16 games in a row, the Ramstein Lady Royals fell Friday as Heidelberg came back from a 26-17 deficit at halftime.
Grethel Frias-Merritt led the Lady Lions with 16 points and Megan Briggs added 12 points and eight rebounds. Ramstein’s All-Europe guard Krissy Grosselin led all scorers with 19 points. Teammate April Brown added six points and eight rebounds for the Lady Royals.
The last time Ramstein lost was on Jan. 10, 2003, a 43-39 loss to Heidelberg.
On Saturday, the Lady Lions (6-0) defeated Wiesbaden 50-42. Briggs led Heidelberg with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Wiesbaden was led by Precious Johnson, who scored 15, and Shantele Wells who scored nine.
Lakenheath sweeps ISB
Lakenheath sophomore Trinity Bursey led the Lancers to victories over the International School of Brussels Raiders on Friday and Saturday.
Bursey had 18 points, Meme Smith added 11, and Alex Mackay chipped in nine for a 46-21 victory Friday at ISB. Bursey also had a game-high 13 rebounds, along with five steals and four blocked shots.
In Saturday’s 50-23 triumph, Ebony Morris had 13 points with Mackay and Amanda Hood each contributing nine. Bursey had 12 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and four blocked shots. Lakenheath improves to 4-2, while ISB falls to 2-4.
Patch edges SHAPE
Patch defeated SHAPE 56-51 on Friday and 60-56 on Saturday.
The teams fought tooth and nail in Friday’s game until Brianne Gemeinhardt and Ashlee McConnell’s play became too much. Gemeinhardt led Patch with 17 points, and McConnell added 13 points and 15 rebounds to help seal the game.
In Saturday’s game, SHAPE’s Soraya Lakhal led all scorers with 32 points. Gemeinhardt and McConnell led Patch (2-2) again in scoring, but Marilyn Martin and April Armstrong contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.
SHAPE fell to 0-4.
Hanau stays perfect
HANAU, Germany — The unbeaten Panthers (6-0), who posted a 12-0 regular-season record last year, swept previously unbeaten Vilseck 50-32 and 55-44 on Friday and Saturday.
“We only have seven players,” said Hanau forward Courtney Smith, who scored six points but pulled down a game-high 21 rebounds. “But if someone is not on, someone else is.”
Friday night, Tiffany Loyal and Kyri Bye-Nagel picked up the slack with 13 and 14 points, respectively.
Point guard Bye-Nagel, scoreless in the first half, found the range after halftime and scored 14 points as Hanau expanded its 22-12 halftime lead.
Despite missing much of the second quarter and all of the third, Katisha Fauntleroy scored 11 points.
Paige Nicoson, a former Hohenfels star, fouled out with 3:46 to play after scoring six points and grabbing eight rebounds as the Falcons suffered their first setback of the season.
Vilseck’s La Porchea Sanders scored a game-high 20 points, built mainly on 4-for-9 shooting from three-point range on Friday. On Saturday, she scored 27, but lost out on high-scoring honors to Fauntleroy, who scored 29 points along with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
— Staff writer Alex Steele contributed to this report.