King rules courts on opening weekend
With an enrollment of just 143, E.J. King is one of the smallest high schools within DODEA-Pacific. But don’t tell that to their basketball teams, which played big in season-opening games against Robert D. Edgren and Matthew C. Perry at Sasebo Naval Base this weekend.
Led by brothers Dyson and Devin Robinson, King’s boys won their three games by an average of 24.3 points, twice beating Perry - 83-54 on Friday and 56-40 on Saturday - with a 79-51 rout of Edgren sandwiched in between.
The girls had a tougher time, but also won their three openers, edging Perry 30-25 and beating Edgren 46-33 on Friday, then rallying past the outmanned Eagles 60-52 on Saturday.
Laird Small took over the boys team from Scott Jarrard after four seasons as an assistant. He noted that while Cobras boys teams have gotten off to similar starts in the past, he has a different feel about this team.
“This group loves to play,” Small said. “They love basketball and they’re the most athletic team we’ve had in my years here.”
Dyson Robinson averaged 15.3 points and Devin 11 in the three games. The team still features veteran point guard Gemmar Caasi and holdover Seth Hudson, but one of the more pleasant surprises was one of the team’s rare big men, Cameron Rozzell, who had 26 points in Friday’s win over the Eagles.
“We’re still not huge,” Small said of a team that has one player 6-foot-6, one 6-3 and the rest under 5-10. “But they’re a fast group. They run, run and run. They look at lot like Yokota two years ago” when the Panthers won the first of their two straight Far East Division II titles.
For the girls, holdover Zanitta Boyd averaged 12.7 points in the three victories. But they lost rebounding specialist Ariel Horton to an ankle injury on Friday.
Two-time defending champion Yokota’s girls opened their season with two big wins at Yokohama and St. Maur by an average of 53.5 points. Junior transfer Britney Bailey averaged 28.5 points and 18.5 rebounds in the 67-14 and 71-17 wins.
Jordan Miller had 19 points and Robby Riegert 16 as two-time Division I boys champion Kubasaki rallied from an early 6-2 deficit to roar past Chatan 86-59 in its opener Friday.