Kagman High School thwarted the hard-fighting Mount Carmel School, 62-56, in the varsity game in the 2013-2014 Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization Boys Basketball League last Friday night at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
The Ayuyus gained their second win in as many games to join MHS in the lead, while the Knights dropped to a 0-2 record, missing a chance for an upset after choking in the last 59.7 seconds of the game.
Before the collapse, Mt. Carmel managed to tie the game twice, 54-all, and 56-all, after climbing back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back baskets from William Camacho in the last two minutes of the match helped the Knights forced the ties.
However, a putback from Melvin Sakisat off his own miss broke the deadlock, 58-56, going into the last minute of the game and the Knights failed to retaliate in the ensuing helter-skelter plays. Camacho tried to even up the match anew when he drove to the right baseline, but decided to go for a kick-out pass when he faced a couple of Kagman defenders on his way to the basket.
Jonathan Santos intercepted the pass, but Camacho later stole the ball, which the latter eventually gave to Soon Kwon inside the paint. Kwon went on to lose the leather, too as Ayuyus guard Andrew Panlilio came from behind and picked his pocket.
With the Ayuyus now in possession and the clock ticking, the Knights were forced to commit fouls in the ensuing plays and Kagman made four free throws to foil Mt. Carmel’s upset bid. The Knights had several chances to stay in the game when Kagman failed to hit all its free throws in its six trips from the stripe, but bungled the opportunities as the former either turned the ball over or muffed long shots in the closing seconds.
Jess Santos top-scored in Kagman’s 6-point win, firing 22, including three of the team’s last four free throws, while Jonathan Santos and big man Jason Lampkin chipped in 15 each. Lampkin nailed 8 straight points to start the fourth quarter and gave Kagman a 54-43 lead before Mt. Carmel mounted a comeback midway in the final period.
The Knights played catch up all night as only Camacho tried to keep the team in the game. He made all but one of Mt. Carmel’s baskets in the first period, which ended with Kagman ahead, 18-10. It was still a Camacho show in the second canto, as only two other Knights players added one field goal apiece, while Kagman had a balance attack to keep the upper hand at the break, 35-29.
In the third, Jesse Santos won the exchange against Camacho, 8-6, but the Knights moved within 3 points, 43-46, as other players started to contribute. Lampkin had only a free throw in the so-so third quarter before redeeming himself early in the fourth with a string of 8 points to threaten a breakaway, which did not materialize as the Knights kept fighting back before falling apart in the closing minute.
Camacho led Mt. Carmel’s losing cause with his 35 points.
Meanwhile, Kagman also won in the junior varsity game against Saipan International School in the first match last weekend, but official scores were unavailable at press time.
KHS 62 – Je. Santos 22, Jo. Santos 15, Lampkin 15, Sakisat 8, Ada 2.
MCS 56 – Camacho 35, Sablan 11, Evangelista 5, Kwon 4, Amog 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-10, 35-29, 46-43, 62-56.