Vilseck stays hot, advances to semifinals
Stars and Stripes February 24, 2011
MANNHEIM, Germany — Don’t try to tell the Vilseck Lady Falcons that the tournament semifinals, ordinarily the territory of the top four seeds, are no place for a No. 7.
Vilseck trashed the pecking order Thursday by upsetting No. 2 Patch, 48-37, to clinch a spot in Friday’s European Division I semifinals.
“We knew our job was to shut down (All-Europe guard Janelle) Loney and (Bianca) Lopez,” Vilseck coach Jim Hall said by telephone from Heidelberg’s Patton Barracks. “We went to a triangle-2 to stop them and make the other three girls play.”
The result of the strategy was a stunning turnaround from the regular-season games between the two teams last month at Patch, where the home team won 62-18 and 52-37.
Thursday, Hall assigned Theresa Trevino to take on 20-plus-point scorer Loney one-on-one and Deraj’ McClinton to handle Lopez the same way. Loney, who scored 22 points in her opening game Wednesday (52-26 over SHAPE), managed just 13 against Trevino & Co. Six of the 13 came too early to be decisive, Hall said.
“Loney made three lay-ups in the first quarter before we took them away,” Hall said. “We knew we had to stop them from getting lay-ups. We knew if we got them into a half-court game we could handle them.”
McClinton allowed Lopez, a double-digit scorer against SHAPE, a mere two points on Thursday.
Vilseck’s Jamila Harvey took game-scoring honors with 19, Hall said. Her teammate Thea Dunn added 17 in Vilsecks’s eighth win in its last nine games.
Patch, which rebounded to bounce No. 3 Kaiserslautern 46-26, lost for just the third time this season. Friday, the 2-1 Lady Panthers close out pool play against ISB. K-town will take a 1-1 record into what’s now become a must-win game Friday against surging Vilseck.
In the first day of single-elimination play, Vicenza’s sixth-seeded girls stayed unbeaten here with a 49-31 victory over Naples, their third in three tries this season against the Lady Wildcats. Vicenza advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 4 Milan.
Also reaching the quarterfinals was No. 3 Black Forest Academy, which ousted Hohenfels 34-9. The Lady Falcons are to meet Mannheim, a 41-22 winner over Bamberg, on Thursday in the quaraterfinals.
DODDS-Europe’s smallest schools opened their European Division III girls’ tournament with No. 1 seeded Menwith Hill, No. 2 Rota and No. 3 Brussels, the defending champion, all posting big wins Thursday.
Menwith Hill got things started for the Big 3, thumping No. 8 Lajes, 44-18, behind balanced scoring from four-year starter Monique McCreary, her fellow seniors Rachael Solini and Alex Furrow, and sophomores Kaia Pierce and Arielle Rogers.
McCreary led the way with nine points, Solini added seven and Furrow, Pierce and Rogers six each in a game that was never in doubt. The Lady Mustangs led 23-4 at halftime and were to take on No. 4 Sigonella, a 32-21 victor Thursday morning over No. 5 Incirlik, later Thursday.
Yasmine Weddle accounted for 14 points, including 12 them in the fourth quarter, for Lajes, the Azores-based school playing its first game of the season against a DODDS team.
Rota, which got 13 points - six of them on three-balls - from Jessie Panis, 12 from Brianna Ammons and 10 from Alanna Shelton, established themselves as title contenders with a 51-13 defeat of Alconbury. The Lady Admirals led 25-7 at halftime.
Unlike Lajes, almost equally remote Rota gets to travel to Alconbury every January for games against Brussels, Alconbury and Menwith Hill. This year, Rota dropped 34-29 and 35-34 verdicts to Menwith Hill.
No. 3 Brussels, which lost twice to Rota in January and split its games against Menwith Hill, also enjoyed a big halftime lead — 26-8 — Thursday against Ankara en route to a 38-12 victory.
“It was a good start for us,” Brussels coach Dexter Bohn said. “Most of our players, except for Alexandra (McVicker), have no tournament experience.”
Friday’s D-III schedule begins with final pool-play games in the morning and crossover semifinals in the afternoon. The championship game is scheduled for the BFV Sports Arena in Mannheim at 3 p.m. Saturday.