The Marianas High School Dolphins hung on to defeat the Kagman High School Ayuyus, 96-90, in Monday's Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization boys varsity basketball matchup held at the MHS Gymnasium.
In addition, MHS also came away victorious in the junior varsity pairing, 73-26, while KHS took the freshmen contest, 42-32.
The season continues today at the MHS Gym at 4pm with Agape Christian School Torchbearers taking on the Saipan Southern High School Manta Rays in junior varsity play followed at 5:45pm with the varsity pairing between KHS and the Mount Carmel School Knights.
In the varsity game, Jason Lampkin went off for 11 of the Ayuyus' 12 points in the opening period to give Kagman an early 21-15 lead in the first quarter.
MHS, however, rallied in the second canto and took control, 42-37, at the half.
The Dolphins busted a couple of 3-pointers early in the period and spread the ball generously from thereon.
Then after the break, MHS center Erik Dela Rosa took the reins and dropped 16 markers that were complemented by another 8 from guard John Darag, while KHS' Lampkin was kept under wraps after his hot start.
KHS would not go away, however and made it a 1-point game, 64-65, with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
Though far from out of the woods, MHS would lead it, 72-64, heading into the last period and Darag steadied the team toward the win with 10 points in the clutch, half of which came from the stripe.
Dela Rosa finished with a team-high 33 points, while KHS' Lampkin topped the field with a heftier 36.
In the junior varsity match, Gerald De Guzman, Shane Deleon Guerrero-Diaz, and Kobe Mendoza jumped-started MHS to a 20-6 margin in the first period.
The team barreled further ahead, 38-10, at mid-point as the Jr. Ayuyus suffered a meltdown at both ends of the court in the second quarter.
The Ayuyus were then knocked out in the third period with a healthy dose of Deleon Guerrero-Diaz who pulled on a string of a dozen points in the surge that put the Dolphins way out of reach come the fourth quarter.
MHS then backed off and settled for shots from the perimeter, and still connected with a handful of treys in garbage time for some added satisfaction.
Deleon Guerrero-Diaz topped the box score with 23 points, while KHS' Melvin Sakisat scrambled for 11 under duress.
In the freshmen tiff, KHS' Michael Muna hit the ground running with 8 points from the get-go that helped provide them an early 13-7 lead.
He added 6 more in the second quarter, but MHS' Mikell Arciaga answered on the other end with 7 as the Dolphins climbed back to within a possession at the half, 20-23.
Both teams went back and forth in a tight third quarter as MHS' Alvin Francisco and KHS' Joseph Taitano stepped up for their respective squads though the count merely shifted to 30-33 in favor of the Ayuyus heading into the last frame.
MHS ran into a wall in the closing period and were stuffed to just a pair of free throws, while Muna and company cruised into victory lane.
Muna finished with a game high 23 points, while Arciaga tallied 17 for MHS.
MHS 96 - Dela Rosa 33, Darag 28, Ano 10, Bai 9, Santos 8, Cristobal 4, Zapanta 3, Macahito 2, Mancao 2.
KHS 90 - Lampkin 36, Malwelbug 12, Jo Santos 12, Je. Santos 9, Nero 4, Polino 3, Nawaz 3, Hocog 2, Ja. Santos 2
Scoring by quarters: 15-21, 42-37, 72-64, 96-90.
MHS 73 - Deleon Guerrero-Diaz 23, De Guzman 13, Manalili 11, Mendoza 8, Fidelino 5, Hemley 5, Cayading 4, Benavente 3, Rapadas 1.
KHS 26 - Sakisat 11, Evangelista 7, Muna 4, Retan 4.
Scoring by quarters: 20-6, 38-10, 56-14, 73-26.
KHS 42 - Muna 23, Taitano 9, Palino 6, Retan 2, Ada 2.
MHS 32 - Arciaga 17, Cosino 6, Francisco 6, Leyco 2, Loza 1.
Scoring by quarters: 13-7, 23-20, 33-30, 42-32.