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Okinawa Queens center Amanda Dotson grimaces as she comes down with the ball between Yongsan Lady Rebels defenders during Monday's women's championship game.
Okinawa Queens center Amanda Dotson grimaces as she comes down with the ball between Yongsan Lady Rebels defenders during Monday's women's championship game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Okinawa Queens center Amanda Dotson grimaces as she comes down with the ball between Yongsan Lady Rebels defenders during Monday's women's championship game.
Okinawa Queens center Amanda Dotson grimaces as she comes down with the ball between Yongsan Lady Rebels defenders during Monday's women's championship game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Okinawa Queens guard Denise Reed tries to shoot over Sophia King of the Yongsan Lady Rebels during the women’s championship game.
Okinawa Queens guard Denise Reed tries to shoot over Sophia King of the Yongsan Lady Rebels during the women’s championship game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Guard Julius Johnson (15) of Okinawa Truth drives past guard Juandero Hurt (12) of the Yongsan Runnin' Rebels during Monday's men's championship Game 1. Yongsan won 87-81 to force a second and deciding championship game.
Guard Julius Johnson (15) of Okinawa Truth drives past guard Juandero Hurt (12) of the Yongsan Runnin' Rebels during Monday's men's championship Game 1. Yongsan won 87-81 to force a second and deciding championship game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Center Chris McKelvey of the Yongsan Runnin’ Rebels puts up a shot past Mark Childs of Okinawa Truth.
Center Chris McKelvey of the Yongsan Runnin’ Rebels puts up a shot past Mark Childs of Okinawa Truth. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Teams in the 13th Martin Luther King Pacificwide Open Basketball Tournament dialed long distance to earn their championships Tuesday.

Guard Juandero Hurt nailed three clutch second-half three-pointers to fuel a comeback from a nine-point deficit as Korea’s Yongsan Runnin’ Rebels won their first MLK title in five years in a two-game final 87-81 and 80-71 over Truth of Okinawa.

And the Okinawa Queens repeated their women’s championship behind guard Chrystal Smith, who hit three of her four threes in the first half of a 57-32 romp over Yongsan.

Hurt, the smallest player on the court at 5 feet, 5 inches, put the biggest hurt on the Truth when all seemed lost. His squad was trailing 56-47 with 10:30 left after Truth went on a 19-4 run. He scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half, including 12 straight to rally the Rebels to a 64-64 tie with 7:05 left.

Then after he joined three teammates in picking up his fourth foul, he calmly drained two foul shots to put Yongsan ahead for good 72-71 with 3:13 remaining.

“That’s why he’s the team captain. He’s all heart,” Yongsan coach Nelson Birdsong said. “He told us at halftime, we win or we die with the ball in his hands.”

Riding the strength of Hurt’s and Ronald Bartley’s three-point shooting all weekend, Yongsan won eight of 10 games before the final, losing only to Truth, both in round-robin action and in the playoffs.

To combat that in Monday’s second game, Truth came out in a 3-2 zone, covering the perimeter and shutting down the three-pointers early.

Yongsan countered by pushing the ball down low to Chris McKelvey and tournament MVP Kavanos Sublet, who combined for 19 first-half points.

“Experience,” Birdsong said of his two big men. “They’ve played at the collegiate level. It shows in pressure situations. And it showed today.”

Everything went Yongsan’s way in the waning moments. Normally sure-shooting Truth guard Cedric Foster missed three straight foul shots. And Sublet blocked four shots.

“It was a team effort,” Hurt said.

In sweeping Truth, the Rebels captured their first MLK title since 1999 and became the first non-Okinawa team to win it since then.

“It feels great,” Birdsong said. “We’ve put a lot of time in practice, going over every situation, and it paid off today.”

In the first game of the final series, the Rebels zoomed to a 16-3 lead in the first 3:10, as Bartley and Hurt each hit a pair of threes.

From there, Truth spent the rest of the game chipping away, but they could never get even.

Foster rallied Truth to within five, 62-57, on a three with 11 minutes left, then in the waning moments, Julius Johnson nailed one from downtown to make it 84-80 with 38 seconds left. But Truth got no closer.

For the Queens, Smith had been virtually silent up until the championship game, but she broke out in a big way, hitting three of her four three-pointers in the first half.

“I was trying not to get so consumed with how badly I played the first few days,” she said. “It was time for me to play. Either play or sit down.”

After a slow start, Madeline Hurt knocked down a three to help fuel a Queens 9-0 run that made it 10-5 seven minutes in.

Smith credited that run to team defense.

“Whenever we step up the defense a notch and settle down offensively, things fall into place,” she said. “And we focused. One game, one championship.”

A 7-0 run a few mintes later boosted the lead to 20-9, and Denise Reed’s baseline shot made it 31-14 two minutes before halftime. Leila Joyce gave the Queens their biggest lead, 53-25, with 4:25 left.

That the win kept the title on-island was doubly sweet for Smith.

“It’s kind of like the kid comes to your backyard and takes the ball and the prize,” she said. “It’s an honor to be able to keep it [title] in place.”

Men's games

Awards

Most Valuable Player- Kavanos Sublet, Yongsan

All-Tournament coach- Nelson Birdsong, Yongsan

Team sportsmanship award- Truth, Okinawa

All-Tournament team- Kavanos Sublet, Yongsan; Juandero Hurt, Yongsan; Fred McCree, Truth; Cedric Foster, Truth; Donnell Haynes, Camp Casey, South Korea; Theodore Gaines, Kadena, Okinawa.

Slam-dunk competition- 1, Donnell Haynes, Camp Casey; 2, Troy Robinson, Camp Casey.

Three-point long-distance shootout-1, Yuki Yagi, Koza; 2, Jeff Salcedo, Wing Warriors.

Monday’s summaries

Yongsan 97, Camp Casey 54

YONGSAN — Sublet 2 2-3 6, Jones 2 0-0 6, Bartley 10 5-6 26, Johnson 2 2-2 6, Hurt 7 0-0 16, Carter 2 1-3 5, Bradford 1 0-0 2, Montgomery 0 8-8 8, Williamson 2 0-0 4, Franklin 1 0-0 2, Baskin 1 2-4 4, McKelvey 1 1-5 3. Totals 31 21-32 97.

CAMP CASEY — Lewis 3 0-0 6, Haynes 5 0-2 11, Harvin 2 0-0 4, R. Jackson 4 1-4 10, Jones 0 0-2 0, Hudson 7 3-7 17, Myers 2 2-2 6. Totals 23 6-15 54.

Three-point goals-Yongsan 11 (Bartley 7, Jones 2, Hurt 2), Camp Casey 2 (R. Jackson 1, Haynes 1). Total fouls-Yongsan 20, Camp Casey 24. Fouled out-Camp Casey, Hudson, Myers.

Yongsan 87, Truth 81

TRUTH — Foster 7 4-8 23, McCree 8 3-5 20, Gilbert 3 0-0 6, Childs 5 1-2 11, Johnson 2 0-0 6, Riley 3 1-2 7, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Weatherspoon 0 3-3 3. Totals 29 12-20 81.

YONGSAN — Sublet 6 4-6 16, Jones 3 0-0 6, Bartley 7 2-2 22, Hurt 5 6-6 18, Carter 1 0-0 2, Montgomery 3 1-1 8, McKelvey 4 7-8 15. Totals 29 20-25 87.

Halftime-Yongsan 46, Truth 31. Three-point goals-Truth 8 (Foster 5, Johnson 2, McCree 1), Yongsan 9 (Bartley 6, Hurt 2, Montgomery 1). Total fouls-Truth 22, Yongsan 17. Fouled out-Yongsan, McKelvey.

Yongsan 80, Truth 71

TRUTH — Foster 2 4-7 8, McCree 8 6-7 22, Childs 8 5-6 23, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Riley 4 3-3 11, Gilbert 1 0-0 2, White 2 2-2 6. Totals 26 20-25 71.

YONGSAN — Sublet 4 6-6 14, Jones 2 1-2 6, Bartley 3 8-9 16, Hurt 7 7-7 24, Carter 1 1-1 3, McKelvey 6 1-3 13, Franklin 1 0-2 2, Baskin 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 24-30 80.

Halftime-Yongsan 40, Truth 37. Three-point goals-Truth 2 (Childs 2), Yongsan 6 (Hurt 3, Bartley 2, Jones 1). Total fouls-Truth 23, Yongsan 21. Fouled out-Truth, Gilbert; Yongsan McKelvey.

Women's games

Awards

Most Valuable Player-Robin Szilagyi, Okinawa Queens

All-Tournament coach-Howard Reed, Okinawa Queens

Team sportsmanship award-Kubasaki High, Okinawa

All-Tournament team-Chrystal Smith, Okinawa Queens; Robin Szilagyi, Okinawa Queens; Trancye Foster, Okinawa Queens; Jimmia Harris, Yongsan; Theresa Gittens, Kadena High, Okinawa; Shanea McDaniel, Kubasaki High, Okinawa.

Three-point long-distance shootout-1, Katie LaGrave, Kadena High (third straight year); 2, Pumpkin Clinkscales, Kadena, Okinawa.

Monday’s summaries

Yongsan 57, Kadena High 49

KADENA HIGH — Gittens 5 2-2 12, LaGrave 3 0-0 7, Cotto 2 0-0 4, Lyle 1 1-2 3, J. Abel 0 1-1 1, D. Abel 2 0-2 4, Dukes 1 0-0 2, McCauley 5 3-4 13, Shepperson 0 1-2 1, Montes de Oca 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 8-13 49.

YONGSAN — Abernathy 6 2-4 14, King 4 7-10 16, Buie 1 0-0 2, Harris 0 2-4 2, Quincy 10 3-6 23. Totals 21 14-24 57.

Three-point goals-Kadena High 1 (LaGrave 1), Yongsan 1 (King 1). Total fouls-Kadena High 21, Yongsan 13. Fouled out-Kadena High, Dukes.

Okinawa Queens 57, Yongsan 32

OKINAWA QUEENS — Smith 5 0-0 14, Szilagyi 5 0-0 10, Hurt 1 0-0 3, Dotson 3 0-2 6, Maddox 1 0-0 2, Reed 1 0-0 2, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Joyce 1 0-0 2, Foster 4 1-4 9, Handsborough 3 0-2 6. Totals 25 1-8 57.

YONGSAN — Abernathy 4 0-0 8, Harris 1 1-2 3, King 1 0-0 3, Quincy 3 3-4 9, Buie 1 1-2 3, Gardner 2 0-0 4, Larmond 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 5-10 32.

Halftime-Okinawa Queens 31, Yongsan 16. Three-point goals-Okinawa Queens 5 (Smith 4, Hurt 1), Yongsan 1 (King 1). Total fouls-Okinawa Queens 16, Yongsan 11.

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