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Lakenheath’s Greta Gerstner drives against Lydia Grey of International School of Brussels in a Division I tournament game. Second seed ISB beat the third-seeded Lancers, 40-27.
Lakenheath’s Greta Gerstner drives against Lydia Grey of International School of Brussels in a Division I tournament game. Second seed ISB beat the third-seeded Lancers, 40-27. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Lakenheath’s Greta Gerstner drives against Lydia Grey of International School of Brussels in a Division I tournament game. Second seed ISB beat the third-seeded Lancers, 40-27.
Lakenheath’s Greta Gerstner drives against Lydia Grey of International School of Brussels in a Division I tournament game. Second seed ISB beat the third-seeded Lancers, 40-27. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Elizabeth McVicker of the top-seeded Brussels Brigands looks to the basket against Ankara’s Tasmin Tripp during Brussels’ 29-18 Division IV victory.
Elizabeth McVicker of the top-seeded Brussels Brigands looks to the basket against Ankara’s Tasmin Tripp during Brussels’ 29-18 Division IV victory. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Vilseck’s Michael Klein shot over Andrew Watson of Naples on the first day of the 2006 European Division II basketball championships in Mannheim, Germany. Ninth-seeded Vilseck beat No. 3 Naples, 59-31.
Vilseck’s Michael Klein shot over Andrew Watson of Naples on the first day of the 2006 European Division II basketball championships in Mannheim, Germany. Ninth-seeded Vilseck beat No. 3 Naples, 59-31. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Giessen’s Elishea Darby,goes to the basket against Incirlik’s Melisa Siedow in a Division IV matchup.
Giessen’s Elishea Darby,goes to the basket against Incirlik’s Melisa Siedow in a Division IV matchup. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Aviano’s Edmond Johnson shoots over AFNORTH’s Jason Branch, right, as Michael Chase watches the action. Top-seed Aviano beat AFNORTH, 59-19, in an opening day Division II game.
Aviano’s Edmond Johnson shoots over AFNORTH’s Jason Branch, right, as Michael Chase watches the action. Top-seed Aviano beat AFNORTH, 59-19, in an opening day Division II game. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

MANNHEIM, Germany — Würzburg began defense of its Division I basketball crown with victories in pool play Wednesday on the opening day of the DODDS-Europe boys basketball championships.

In pool play of the girls Division I tournament, Kaiserslautern and International School of Brussels opened with victories and appear to be on a collision course for the title.

Divisions II and IV also tipped off the pool play portions of their tourneys Wednesday. Division III begins Thursday.

In Division I boys, second-seeded Würzburg downed No. 3 Kaiserslautern, 39-36, in the morning, then came back after lunch for a 72-32 victory over seventh-seeded Lakenheath.

“My thinking is that if you win the first game you can breathe easier,” Würzburg coach Allen Archie said after his squad pressured Lakenheath into turnover after turnover during a 21-2 run to open the game.

Donald Bryant scored 10 of his 17 points during the opening onslaught. Doiminick Lee added eight first-quarter points before Archie turned to his bench.

The victories ensured Würzburg, which plays sixth-seeded ISB on Thursday, of reaching the semifinals.

In other Division I games, Ramstein’s Whitney McCloud tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to force two extra minutes, and the Royals went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to defeat top-seeded Wiesbaden 45-40.

The loss left Wiesbaden in a must-win situation against Heidelberg later in the day. Heidelberg, fueled by 19 points from Damon Fleming, opened its tournament with a 41-36 win over Ramstein.

Division II: Top-seeded Aviano reduced its workload with a 59-19 courtesy-rule victory over AFNORTH in less than 20 minutes.

Title rivals Hanau, Bitburg and SHAPE kept pace with double-digit victories over Vilseck, Mannheim and AFNORTH, respectively, but third-seeded Naples ran into a shocker against Vilseck, falling 59-31.

Division IV: In the tournament for Europe’s smallest schools, unbeaten Incirlik, seeded fifth, and Alconbury, seeded second, claimed courtesy-rule victories. Incirlik downed No. 8 Livorno, 49-9, and Alconbury thumped No. 9 Milan 52-12.

Top-seeded Giessen played two late games Wednesday.

In the girls tournaments, top-seeded Kaiserslautern took a 28-4 first-quarter lead and romped to a 39-26 victory over fifth-seeded Würzburg, while second-seeded ISB demolished third-seeded Lakenheath 40-27. With the rest of the field coming off .500 or worse seasons, K-town and ISB again established themselves as the dominant teams in Division I.

“This helps us psychologically,” said ISB’s Megan Gibson after her 15-point effort against Lakenheath. “Playing a good team right away helps us focus.”

ISB put its game away with a 14-3 second-quarter run. K-town led Würzburg 28-4 at the end of the first seven minutes.

Defending champion Ramstein, the fourth seed, needed two OT periods to claim a 47-39 victory over Würzburg in the tourney’s opening game.

ISB followed its victory with a 39-32 victory over Wiesbaden later in the day to go 2-0. K-town was playing Ramstein later in the evening.

Division II: At Heidelberg High School, eighth-seeded Bitburg upended No. 5 Naples 32-26, while seventh-seeded Patch downed sixth-seeded Aviano in overtime.

Top-seeded Hanau, the defending Division II champion, stopped Vilseck 37-24 and second-seeded SHAPE turned back AFNORTH 44-31, as did No. 3 Black Forest Academy, 35-30.

Division IV: At Tompkins Barracks, defending champion Alconbury, seeded second, opened with a 31-28 squeaker over Lajes, while top-seeded Brussels whipped Ankara 29-12.

Boys tournament scoreboard

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Division I

Heidelberg 41, Ramstein 36

Würzburg 39, Kaisersalutern 36

Int’l School of Brussels 55, Lakenheath 33

Ramstein 45, Wiesbaden 40

Würzburg 72, Lakenheath 32

Kaiserslautern 50, ISB 42

Division II

SHAPE 59, AFNORTH 39

Patch 45, Black Forest Academy 41

Hanau 63, Vilseck 28

Bitburg 66, Mannheim 55

Vilseck 59, Naples 31

Aviano 59, AFNORTH 19

SHAPE 41, BFA 35

Division III

No games scheduled

Division IV

Incirlik 49, Livorno 9

Alconbury 52, Milan 12

Brussels 49, Lajes 23

Ankara 38, Menwith Hill 35

Girls tournament scoreboard

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Division I

Ramstein 47, Würzburg 39 (2OT)

International School of Brussels 40, Lakenheath 27

Wiesbaden 42, Heidelberg 32

Kaiserslautern 39, Würzburg 26

ISB 39, Wiesbaden 32

Division II

Mannheim 40, Vilseck 29

Bitburg 32, Naples 26

SHAPE 44, AFNORTH 31

Patch 33, Aviano 31 (OT)

Black Forest Academy 35, AFNORTH 30

Hanau 37, Vilseck 24

Division III

No games scheduled

Division IV

Giessen 35, Milan 27

Alconbury 31, Lajes 28

Brussels 29, Ankara 12

Incirlik 32, Giessen 30

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