By Greg Mitchell, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka’s Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils Boys basketball team opened the 2013 season at Zama American, loosing a closely fought 58-55 contest.
“We talked in the locker room about the questions we need to answer in order to win the game,” said varsity head coach Robert Stovall. “We missed 20 free throws on a 3-point game. Turnovers, fouls, you name it. Everything happened. But this is only the first game. Despite all of that, we remained competitive to the last whistle. Obviously we want the win, but I like the intensity
After a Zama 29-20 lead at halftime, Kinnick rallied in the second half to tie the game up on junior forward Kyle O’Brien’s pull up jump shot. But from there, Zama was able to separate themselves by causing several costly turnovers, which eventually led to the Red Devils downfall.
“I think we have a lot of underclassmen with first time jitters,” said senior point guard Casuan Caudle. “It took a while to get relaxed and adjust to the tempo of the game. I think in the second half, we played well and the intensity was better. I think we have a great group of guys that over time will gel and get things going.”
Caudle led all scorers with 13 points. Lavance Rolland had 11 and O’Brien had 10, rounding out the top scorers. Caudle said there is definitely room for improvement on both side of the ball.
“We just have to improve on communication,” said Caudle. “This alone will help us cut down on turnovers. I see that the chemistry amongst us is getting better with each practice. We have a lot to be optimistic about.”
The Red Devils next game is scheduled for Dec. 3 at Saint Maur International.
“With some of our players out, this will definitely be a good chance for the new varsity kids to step up and get some playing time,” said Stovall. “I am looking for some intensity for this game to come out, and I am fully confident these guys will respond.”