Rota to meet Sigonella in D-III finals
February 25, 2011
MANHHEIM, Germany — Menwith Hill’s boys were trailing top-seeded Rota just 8-7 in the first two minutes of their European Division III semifinal Friday when the tree fell on them.
That’s “tree” as in Tre’von Owens. All the 6-foot-5-inch All-Europe junior wing did over the next six-plus minutes was sink four 3-pointers and score 15 points to launch Rota on a 32-0 run that lasted until just before halftime.
By the time the barrage was over the result of the game was no longer in doubt. It ended with a running clock and a 68-29 Rota win.
Asked whether he prefers to take the shot or dish off to a teammate, Owens said, “We take whatever’s open. Coach (Benjamin Anderson) tells me to shoot it if I’m open.”
Owens finished with a game-high 25 points in a contest which saw him spend long stretches on the bench as the score mounted. He finished the game with his warm-ups on.
While he sat, Terence Paris and Tim Drake provided the offense. Paris, a junior guard, scored 16 points, including two early 3-balls that allowed Rota to turn a 7-2 deficit into the 8-7 launching-pad for Owens.
Drake, a burly junior forward, scored 11 points, but, more important, pulled down 14 rebounds.
Chris Jackson scored 15 points, nine of them on treys, for seventh-seeded Menwith Hill, which never quit scrapping even during the ordeal of the 32-0 run.
Sam Ehrhard was next with seven points, all in the second half, long after the game had been decided.
Rota is to defend its European D-III title at 4:30 p.m. today at the Benjamin Franklin Village Sports arena against second-seeded Sigonella, the 2009 small-schools champion here.
Sigonella, the Region IV runner-up to D-II top-seed Naples, turned back surprising No. 8 Lajes, 60-41, in Friday’s other semifinal. It will be the third straight title-game showdown for the Navy schools.
Predicted Rota’s Anderson: “It’ll be a great game.”
• In Friday evening’s D-II semis, Bamberg bounced top-seeded Naples, 51-44, and Hohenfels ended Mannheim’s bid for a final basketball championship, 48-32.
Bamberg claimed its berth in Saturday’s title game with a coolly played second half. The Barons, who jumped out from a 19-19 halftime tie to lead by as many as nine points with 4:25 to go, then had Brandon Webb go 3-for-4 from the line in the final going to hold on. The Wildcats made it a one-possession game - down 47-44 with 1:22 to go on three free throws by Jun Jun Gallardo - but could get no closer.
“We’ve got four returning seniors,” said Quadell Webb, who led Bamberg with 15 points, all on three-balls. “They keep us calm.”
The Barons needed to be. After turning the ball over on an inbounds failure with 1 minute to play, Naples took a shot at a tying 3-pointer. When it missed, rebounding machine Nigel Alexander grabbed the biggest offensive board of the day, but missed his put-back try. Naples rebounded and missed again before Javonte Knuckles could tap the rebound to Webb.
Alexander, a 6-3 junior, scored a game-high 17 points and caused problems for Bamberg all game.
“He’s an outstanding player,” Webb said. “When he gets the ball down low, he’s very hard to control.”
Gallardo and Ryheam Trahan each scored eight for Naples.
Bamberg will take take on 2010 runner-up Hohenfels for the D-II title at 1:30 p.m. at the BFV Sports Arena.
Hohenfels downed Bamberg twice last weekend in the regular-season finale for both teams, but that doesn’t faze Webb.
“We’ve beaten (D-I top seed) Heidelberg,” he pointed out. “We know we can play with anybody.”