Looking at the schedule ahead of the season, the opening-night boys basketball game between the Wiesbaden Warriors and Baumholder Bucs looked good on paper. The reality far surpassed that.

When it was over, the head coaches of both teams raved about the game, an 80-70 Warriors victory. The coaches expressed admiration for the quality of play, the effort and sportsmanship of the players, the preparation and in-game strategizing of their counterpart and the atmosphere of the Wiesbaden gym.

“The environment was amazing. We had to open up the other side of the gym to safely seat everyone,” Wiesbaden coach David Brown said.

“I must say the experience was like no other,” Baumholder coach Dewayne Pigge’ said. “It truly felt like a stateside Friday night high school game atmosphere.”

Wiesbaden, an annual Division I powerhouse, and the defending Division III champion Bucs played up to their raucous surroundings, delivering a fast-paced game that Pigge’ described as a 32-minute “track meet” of up-and-down action.

“The kids did not disappoint,” Brown said.

The game even featured a compelling individual duel, as reigning Stars and Stripes boys basketball Athlete of the Year Chandler Pigge’ produced 34 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, six steals and three blocks and Wiesbaden star Dom Bivins countered with a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double along with three blocks and three steals.

“The fans were hyped and the players on both sides were all tuned in with a mindset of making sure they all brought it defensively and offensively with every last ounce of energy,” Dewayne Pigge’ said.

While only one team left the gym with a victory, the game was rewarding for both participating teams.

“Class on both sides on and off the court. Everyone played hard,” Brown said. “Thankful for the win, but more grateful for the attitudes of all involved.

“It was a fun opening night.” Twitter: @broomestripes

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