Kagman High School won its debut in the varsity division of the 2013-2014 MISO Girls Basketball League after pulling off an exciting 37-35 victory over Saipan Southern High School last Tuesday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
The Lady Ayuyus made a big defensive stop in the closing seconds of the game to save the 2-point victory in their first game of the season and join opening day winner MHS Lady Dolphins in the leaderboard.
Ahead by only a deuce after Angela Iriarte lost possession on her way to their frontcourt and Southern’s Serafina Rogoyowa earlier banked a shot, Kagman coach Frank Mettao called for a timeout at the 16.5 seconds mark of the fourth canto. When the game resumed, the Lady Rays made the inbound from the right sideline with Cathy Amandus receiving the ball. Two Kagman defenders went on to hound Amandus, who eventually lost the leather to the sideline, returning possession to the Lady Ayuyus.
Both teams had no timeout left so Kagman went for the quick inbound and with the ball in play, Southern’s bench shouted at its players court to give up a foul and stop the clock. However, that call fell on deaf ears for several seconds and when the Lady Rays finally decided to foul Kagman, the clock was down to less than two seconds.
The Southern-Kagman match went down-to-the-wire after the Lady Rays forced a stalemate, 31-all, with still 3:40 left in the fourth quarter. A Keisey Lizama putback off a missed free throw gave the lead back to Kagman, while Trina Santos escaped with a breakaway layup for more cushion. However, Rogoyowa kept the Lady Rays in the game with her inside baskets, while Kagman’s Jeromalyn Santos failed to secure the win early, as she went 2-for-4 from the foul line. Santos’ last split handed Kagman a 4-point advantage, 37-33, and the Lady Ayuyus could have wasted the clock after Southern faltered on the other end, but decided to attack the basket and missed, too. After the botched play, Rogoyowa went all the way to the basket to threaten Kagman anew.
Meanwhile, MHS drew first blood this season after beating Mt. Carmel last week, 54-43.
It was a come-from-behind victory for the defending champions, who exploded for 24 points in the fourth quarter to foil the Lady Knights’ upset bid.
The Lady Dolphins trailed by as much as 8 points in the first half and were still down after the third, 30-31, when they went all out in the fourth and final canto for the 11-point victory. Kayla Ito led the fourth-quarter assault, scoring 10 of her 15 points in that period.
In other results, the first two junior varsity games this season were won via forfeits with Southern beating Kagman and MHS prevailing over Marianas Baptists Academy.
MHS 54 – Ito 15, Castillo 14, Pablo 13, Race 4, Lumabi 1, Lopez 1.
MCS 43 – Travilla 18, Mi. Kautz 14, Lebria 6, Reyes 2.
Scoring by quarters: 12-13, 20-25, 30-31, 54-43.
KHS 37 – J. Santos 12, Lizama 7, Iriarte 6, Dela Cruz 5, T. Santos 3, Mettao 2.
SSHS 35 – Rogoyowa 20, Achas 5, Lumbad 4, Amandus 4, Sabino 2.
Scoring by quarters: 4-0, 14-5, 26-19, 37-35.