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Flames Basketball Foreign Tour Blog Day 7- Game 5
Day 7 – The Liberty men's basketball team has settled in nicely to its hotel in Kaysersberg, France, located in the Alsace-Lorraine region. Famous for its vineyards and its Christmas celebrations, the region also boasts a number of medieval towns, including Kaysersberg and Riquewhir, which the Flames also visited.
The Alsace region has passed from German to French control on several occasions. The Germans lost the region after WWI, but Hitler seized control of it again, later relinquishing it to France for good during WWII.
After spending time in the Riquewhir shops, the team headed to the Chateau de Haut in Konigsberg, France. First built in the 12th century, the castle was restored in the early 1900s thanks to the efforts of German emperor Wilhelm II, who wanted the castle to be seen as a medieval museum. On a clear day, visitors can view the Swiss Alps and the Black Forest in Germany from the castle.
Tonight's game once again has special meaning. The contest was organized by Soce, a former player for head coach Dale Layer at Queens University in the mid 1980s. Soce, a native of Senegal, Africa, partnered with Madame Keller, the hotel proprietor where the Flames are staying, to help raise money for a school in Senegal. Proceeds from tonight's game will help provide utilities for the school.
The Flames also met another longtime friend of Coach Layer's, today. Randy Kent is an American pastor who has have lived in France with his wife Jan for 22 years.
Kent first met Layer at a basketball tournament in Orleans, France 1990. The event is known as the largest 24-hour international basketball tournament in Western Europe. Layer's team defeated Kent's French team and a number of other international squads in route to winning the entire tournament. Together, the two used the event as a way to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with other participating teams.
In addition to serving as pastor, Randy is also a basketball coach for a French club known as Guebwiller and helps organize outreach camps for Crossover International and News Release Basketball.
Two members of the Flames' coaching staff are celebrating their wedding anniversaries with their wives on this international tour. On Friday, assistant coach Brian Joyce and his wife Tina celebrated their 16th anniversary in Brussels, Belgium. Today, Layer and his wife Brenda celebrated their 30th anniversary in Kaysersberg. LibertyFlames.com would like to give a special congratulatory shout out to both happily married couples.
Liberty Garners Fourth Overseas Win
The Liberty men's basketball team picked up its fourth win overseas on Monday, defeating Kaysersberg, 79-64. The Flames are now 4-1 in exhibition play.
David Minaya paced the Flames with 18 points, with all of his tallies coming in the second half. Jesse Sanders finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. John Caleb Sanders, Joel Vander Pol and Taveres Speaks had 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Flames pulled out an early 9-2 lead in the opening 2:15 thanks to buckets from Joel Vander Pol and Jesse Sanders. Liberty maintained the seven-point gap for the majority of the period, but were able to up its advantage to eight thanks to a Vander Pol free throw in the final 29 seconds of the period. The shot from the charity stripe gave the Flames a 19-11 edge at the conclusion of the quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Sanders helped maintain the Flames' cushion with a traditional three-point play. Over the course of the next two minutes, the French club chipped away at the bulge, cutting its deficit to two, 22-20, with an old-fashioned three-point play of its own at the 7:30 mark.
Liberty began to pull away in the closing minutes of the half. With just over four minutes left, Sanders found an open Vander Pol under the basket for the easy layup. Thirty ticks later, Sanders connected with Hart Gliedman for a three-pointer on the far side of the court. Tavares Speaks helped cap off the 7-0 run with a quick steal and a fast break layup to give the Flames a 34-22 edge.
John Caleb Sanders gave Liberty a 16-point lead with less than one minute remaining, knocking down a key three-pointer to make it 41-25 at halftime.
Jesse Sanders led the Flames at the end of the first half with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Speaks and Vander Pol finished the opening half with six points, apiece.
In the opening 40 seconds of the second half, David Minaya knocked down a trey from the top of the key to boost the Liberty lead to 19. The Flames continued to pour on the points with another Minaya three-pointer, followed by a John Caleb Sanders trey, an Antwan Burrus layup and a Vander Pol dunk. Two more Minaya baskets allowed the Flames to take a 61-32 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the period.
Kaysersberg closed the gap with a 14-2 run before the end of the third quarter, resulting in a score of 63-46. In the third quarter alone, Minaya netted 13 points, including nine-point on 3-for-3 shooting from behind the three-point arc.
Minaya picked up where he left off entering the fourth quarter, knocking down his fourth trey 40 ticks into the period.
With 7:10 remaining in the quarter, Speaks picked off a Kaysersberg player and rushed to the basket for another fast break layup to give Liberty a 72-54 advantage.
Liberty held the French club at bay in the remainder of the quarter for the 79-64 final.
The Flames head to Mulhouse, France tomorrow at 8 p.m. for the final contest of the six-game tour.