DAY 6: Men's Basketball in Italy

ROMA – Ciao again from Rome!

The Quakers played their second game today, and while it was a much more competitive game than we saw a few days ago, they had little trouble dispatching their opponent. This time it was a military team from the US Naval Base outside of Naples, Italy. They were bigger in numbers and in size, but Penn rolled to a 94-59 victory.

The teams again played four 10-minute quarters. Penn was up 21-9 after one period, 45-28 at the half -- surviving a barrage of threes from their hosts -- and 69-45 after three.

We were able to do a little bit better with the stats this time around, I will post them at the bottom of the blog. Fran Dougherty was Penn’s leading scorer, with 17 points, and he added nine rebounds and two steals. Miles Cartwright and Tony Hicks had 14 points each, with Miles adding six assists and Tony dishing out five. Greg Louis had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Henry Brooks and Patrick Lucas-Perry had nine points apiece (PLP’s all coming on shots from beyond the arc).

Twelve of the 15 guys on the trip played, and all of them saw plenty of time.

The game wasn’t until 6 p.m., so we took our time getting to Naples from Rome (about a three-hour drive) and ended up eating lunch at a restaurant that provided a gorgeous view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Vesuvius.

Much like our first game, Tuesday’s had a fairly festive atmosphere around it. The base in Naples is far bigger than Camp Darby, and with it being a weekday it was pretty busy. When we arrived at the field house there was a big poster out front promoting that night’s game, and when tipoff arrived the bleachers were packed with base residents. It was pretty cool.

After the game, amid the handshakes and well wishes on both sides, Coach Allen pulled our guys to one of the gym’s corners. There, they sat in rapt attention and heard inspirational words from the military team’s coach, retired Navy Sargent David Lee -- himself a former Division I player in the States– and one of the players in the game.

The player, in particular, was awesome -- he told the guys that he hadn’t played in high school or college, and to be on the floor with them was a dream come true (he called it his “Make-A-Wish” moment). He also brought his son over, and talked about how he’d be a senior in high school this year and it was important for him to see just what it takes to be a great ballplayer. I think our players really took something from both of their words, and that was heartening to see.

We stopped along the way home for a nice, four-course dinner that mixed a little Italian (pasta, salad, gelato) and some American (delicious French fries!), and arrived back at the hotel in Rome near midnight.

Most of the guys went straight to bed. That was a good idea -- Wednesday we have an early start, a tour of the Vatican starting at about 8:30 a.m. We’ll come back to the hotel around noon, enjoy our pregame meal, then bus to Perugia for our final game on the trip. Looking forward to another great day here on Wednesday!

Penn Stats
Player – FG-A (3FG-A), FT-A, points, rebounds, assists, turnovers, steals
Miles Cartwright – 5-7 (2-2), 2-2, 14, 0, 6, 2, 1
Tony Hicks – 5-15 (4-8), 0-0, 14, 3, 5, 3, 0
Simeon Esprit – 2-8 (1-5), 1-2, 6, 1, 1, 0, 0
Henry Brooks – 4-6 (0-0), 1-2, 9, 2, 1, 1, 0
Jamal Lewis – 1-2 (1-1), 0-0, 3, 6, 5, 0, 2
Darien Nelson-Henry – 4-8 (0-0), 0-0, 8, 8, 1, 2, 3
Fran Dougherty – 7-10 (1-1), 2-3, 17, 9, 1, 0, 2
Keelan Cairns – 0-1 (0-1), 1-2, 1, 2, 0, 0, 1
Camryn Crocker – 0-0 (0-0), 0-0, 0, 2, 5, 3, 2
Cameron Gunter – 2-2 (0-0), 1-2, 5, 4, 1, 1, 0
Greg Louis – 3-6 (0-0), 2-2, 8, 10, 1, 1, 1
Patrick Lucas-Perry – 3-5 (3-5), 0-0, 9, 1, 0, 0, 0
TEAM – 36-71 (12-23), 10-15, 94 points, 48 rebounds, 27 assists, 13 turnovers, 12 steals