Saipan Southern High School won a back-and-forth game against Mount Carmel School, 72-66, to notch its second straight victory in the varsity division of the 2013-2014 Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization Boys Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
Big men Emerson Feria and Daniel Camacho hit clutch baskets to lift the Manta Rays to the 6-point win and improved the team’s record to 2-2, while the Knights remained winless in four games.
Feria made four free throws in the closing minutes of the seesaw battle, while Daniel Camacho split his charities and scored on a point-blank basket to help Southern win the match despite falling behind by as much as 11 points in the first half.
Feria’s split tied the game for the last time and the Rays had a chance to break the deadlock when Jun Javier collared the offensive board after the former missed his second free throw. However, Javier missed, while the Knights went to attack the basket with spitfire Quinn Amog eventually drawing a foul on Daniel Camacho.
Amog then succumbed to pressure, going 0-for-2 from the foul line, but Mt. Carmel got the offensive rebound for another opportunity to map out a play. However, the Knights bungled the chance anew when William Camacho’s entry pass to Ju Won Jung was intercepted by the Rays, who pushed the ball and went to Daniel Camacho on the baseline. Daniel Camacho was fouled and had a split to put Southern on top, 67-66, with 45.7 seconds left in the game.
Daniel Camacho muffed his second charity, keeping the Knights’ hopes alive, but Mount Carmel turned the ball over anew when Jared Sablan’s pass to a cutting Enrico Del Rosario on the left wing was way too short and was picked up by Feria. The Knights then gave up a quick foul, sending Feria to the line anew for a pair, 35.3 ticks to go. Again, Feria had a split, but after missing his second free throw, Daniel Camacho grabbed the rebound and made the putback, upping the Rays lead to 4 points, 70-66, 32.8 seconds left in the match.
The Knights sued for time, but when the game resumed it failed to cash in on its attempt with William Camacho driving from the right wing and missing his shot and also the two free throws he earned for getting a foul on James Kintaro. Southern controlled the rebound after the back-to-back misses and Feria this time went 2-for-2 from the stripe after getting another foul from Mount Carmel to seal the win.
Southern managed to steal the win despite wasting an 8-point lead, 57-49, early in the fourth quarter and after coming back from a 4-point deficit in the last two minutes of the match. The Rays lost the driver’s seat, 59-57, when William Camacho anchored a 10-0 run capped by his triple. Alfonso Evangelista made it a 4-point lead when he canned a short jumper, but Southern bounced back behind the successive baskets of Feria.
Feria scored 7 straight points past the halfway mark of the fourth canto, as he and Daniel Camacho dominated the paint after the Knights lost their frontliners due to five fouls. Soon Kwon fouled out with still five minutes left on the clock and left the game with 8 points, while Min Su Kim followed him two minutes later after chipping in 13.
Meanwhile, in the varsity division, Saipan International School barged into the win column after outclassing Southern, 44-39.
The Geckos snapped their three-game losing skid, while the Rays dropped to a 0-3 record.
Christopher Cepeda towed SIS to its first win after drilling a game-high 24 points. His three free throws in the closing seconds of the match helped ice it for SIS.
Cepeda also had a strong start, logging 9 points, as the Geckos took a 16-11 lead after the first quarter. He was scoreless in the second, as SIS was held to 3 points, allowing Southern to steal the lead, 20-19. However, the Geckos regained the upper hand, 31-28, when Cepeda came back in the third, scoring 10 of their 12 markers. He then started the fourth with a field goal and drew some help from his teammates to keep SIS’ safe distance against Southern.
SIS 44 – C. Cepeda 24, Y. Kim 7, Johnson 6, J. Kim 4, H. Kim 3, Ramsey 2.
SSHS 39 – Taitano 14, Anderson 7, Warren 5, Bondoc 3, Wong 2, Espinosa 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-11, 19-20, 31-28, 44-39.
SSHS 72 – Feria 31, Javier 14, Palacios 12, Camacho 8, Borromeo 3, Kintaro 3, Raquera 2, Reyes 2.
MCS 66 – Camacho 17, Sablan 15, Kim 13, Kwon 8, Evangelista 6, Amog 5, Del Rosario 2.
Scoring by quarters: 11-22, 30-33, 45-41, 72-66.