By Randy BehrFebruary 5, 2009
OKINAWA, JAPAN - On the morning of Jan. 15, the Men's and Women's basketball team departed Korea for the Pacific-Wide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Basketball Tournament. The competition was held in Camp Foster Field house, Okinawa, Japan from Jan 15 - 19.
The tournament began with a single round robin to seed all the teams, followed by double elimination bracket play and the current National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.
The women's team finished the tournament with a second place trophy and an overall record of 3-4 and a 2-2 record in double elimination play with their only defeats coming by way of the eventual champs of the Yokota Air Force team.
The team dropped the first game to rival Yongsan with a close battle and a score of 28-22. Leading scorer for the Warrior's was Lt. Megan Maimone of 2ID PMO with a respectable 9 points.
The women bounced back quickly with a defeat of Kadena led by Pvt. Sakeera McNeil and her 15 points and strong inside play, followed by Sgt. Brandie Dickenson of 70th BSB with 9 points.
The ladies were able to get some revenge with a victory over Yongsan 39-34, again led by McNeil, Dickenson and Maimone with 13, 10 and 8 points.
Yakota proved to be too much with their first win of 72-58 over the Warrior's and in the championship game they did close the margin to a respectable 58-51.
Women's coach Sgt. Major Richards ("Rich") of 210 Fires Brigade said, "All in all, the tourney was a good experience for our young team and we grew from it"
The Casey team was honored by sending three players to the All-Tournament team that included team captain Maimone, Dickenson and Laura Weymon.
Maimone added, "It was a privilege to be able to play in the tournament hosted by Camp Foster's FMWR. The competition hosted some outstanding basketball teams and it was a great opportunity for Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, women, and family members to showcase their basketball skills."
The men's team finished third. They began the round robin play with a 54-48 victory over the "Kings", followed by a narrow loss to the "Knights" by 4. They bounced back with a five-game win streak with monstrous victories of 20, 47, 40 and 19 points. Their streak ended with a loss to the "Bombsquad" in the quarterfinal and a loss to the eventual champs; the Yokota Air Force team.
Even though the men's team had many different line-ups they still seemed to get some great performances by several players who stood out during the course of the weekend. Leading scorer for the team was Spc. Corey Washington with a supporting cast of Lt. Tim Cox and Simeon Handy. Others chipping in were Spc. Barry Brock and Spc. Balou Faustin. All in all everyone played their role for the team. The team ended with an overall record of 6-3.
The tournament also hosted a 3-point shoot-out, which witnessed Cox winning the event.
Everyone was excited to return to Japan to improve on their performances and bring home more awards.