The Saipan Southern High School Manta Rays outlasted the Dolphins of the Marianas High School, 92-86, in the varsity game in the 2012-2013 Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization Boys Basketball League last Wednesday at the MHS Gymnasium.
The victory in the main ticket barnburner helped Southern avoid an MHS sweep, as the Dolphins won the first two games last Wednesday before foul troubles hurt the latter's chances in the finale.
The win was Southern's second in as many games, while MHS dropped its first after three matches.
Jaymark De Guzman paced the Rays with 6 his points in the opening period to give Southern an early 19-15 lead. MHS kept it a back and forth match through the first half and only trailed by a bucket at intermission, 42-44. De Guzman remained at the helm for SSHS in the second quarter and added 9 points that were supported by the combined 13 markers of Jack Aranda and Bryl Alegre. John Darag led the Dolphins with a dozen.
Darag added 4 more in the third quarter before fouling out, but MHS managed to lock the match at 63-all, heading into the final period, thanks largely to the 12-point production of center Erick Dela Rosa. Ediberto Javier III bagged 6 late points in the third to help fill the void De Guzman and Alegre left on the Rays' offense.
Darag's early exit hurt the Dolphins in the last frame, while Dela Rosa was held to a handful of markers before exceeding his foul limit. Joseph Aguilar came off the bench to make up for the absence of Darag and Dela Rosa and try to ignite a late rally, but Southern's depth proved to be too much for the depleted MHS. The Dolphins actually managed to swipe the lead briefly, however the Rays recovered quickly and canned four free throws in the final minute to ice it.
Aranda and De Guzman scored 10 points apiece in the clutch for the Rays, and the latter went on to finish with a game-high 25. Dela Rosa turned in a team-high 22.
MHS 60, SSHS 22
Ethan Manalili busted a trey to help push MHS ahead, 8-3, in the opening stanza and a late string of six points from Lixing Dai in the second quarter gave the Dolphins a healthy 26-9 cushion at midpoint. Dai led MHS with 7 points in the first half.
The Rays got some offense rolling after the pause. However it came at a cost to their defensive front, as MHS pulled away in the third quarter, 48-18, after the Dolphins received contributions from eight different players.
Southern threw in the towel by the start of the final quarter, as MHS cruised to its third victory in as many games.
Dai's 12 points led MHS, while James Kintaro paced Southern with 7.
MHS 53, SSHS 22
The Dolphins are also undefeated in two games in the freshmen division after another lopsided win.
MHS was only ahead by a deuce after the first quarter, 6-4, before it made its move in the second for a 22-9 halftime advantage. Mikah Bintz led the Dolphins with his 8 markers.
The Dolphins then nailed a pair of treys in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 32-15, heading into the last period, and went on to run up the score in the end.
Bintz logged a game-high 14 points, while Art Borromeo scrambled for a team-high 10 for Southern, which debuted in the freshmen division.
Meanwhile, the season continues today with Kagman High School (1-1) facing Agape Christian School (2-1) in a junior varsity pairing at 4pm and the Ayuyus taking on Eucon International School (1-2) in the varsity match at 5:45pm.
MHS 53 - Bintz 14, Mendoza 10, A. Francisco 7, Cosino 4, Deocares 4, Cadua 3, Admana 2, Arciaga 2, Leyco 2, Loza 2, Toves 2, Bucayo 1.
SSHS 22 - Borromeo 10, Flores 6, Esmundo 2, Kapileo 2, Jang 2.
Scoring by quarters: 6-4, 22-9, 32-15, 53-22.
MHS 60 - Dai 12, Manalili 9, Yap 7, Gaspar 7, Ano 6, G. De Guzman 6, Ogumoro 6, Benavente 3, Cayading 2, Ringor 2.
SSHS 22 - Kintaro 7, Ferrer 6, Castro 2, T. Palacios 2, M Reyes 2, Sabino 2, Cruz 1.
Scoring by quarters: 8-3, 26-9, 48-18, 60-22.
SSHS 92 - Deguzman 25, Aranda 18, Feria 16, Alegre 10, Javier 10, Andrew 4, Mariano 3, Villagomez 3, Villanueva 3.
MHS 86 - Dela Rosa 22, Darag 16, Aguilar 13, Macahito 13, Mancao 9, Cholymay 4, Apolinar 4, Cristobal 3, Suares 2.
Scoring by quarters: 19-15, 44-42, 63-63, 92-86.