Saipan Southern High School added to Kagman High School’s woes as the Rays eked out a 62-60 win in their varsity game in the 2013-2014 Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization Boys Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
Southern notched its third consecutive win after a 0-2 start to move up to second place behind the unbeaten MHS Dolphins (5-0), while the Ayuyus continued its slide, absorbing their third straight loss after sweeping their first two games. Southern also avenged it 87-91 defeat to Kagman in the first round.
The Ayuyus failed to end their skid after Jason Lampkin missed key free throws in the last two minutes of the match and a potential go-ahead basket in the closing seconds, while Southern showed poise in the clutch, getting a jumper from Jun Javier and a split free throw from another big man Daniel Camacho.
The Kagman center muffed two charities that would have broken the deadlock, 59-all, with 1:37 left in the match. A banked triple from Melvin Sakisat allowed Kagman to tie the match just before the last two minutes of the game, while Emerson Feria faltered on two technical free throw shots and committed an error in the inbound play, returning possession to the Ayuyus and paving the way for Lampkin to attack Southern’s defense.
After Lampkin’s second miss, the Rays controlled the rebound and went to Harley Warren to the right corner for a triple. Warren, who debuted for the Rays and knocked in three triples early in the fourth to bring his team back in the game after falling behind by as much as 10, 38-48, botched the 3-point attempt, but Feria got the offensive board and Southern reset its offense. This time, Tyler Palacios called the play for the Rays from the top of the key and jumped a pass to a cutting Javier, who went for a quick release near the foul line and made the go-ahead basket, 61-59, 43.9 seconds left in the game.
Kagman sued for time and when the game resumed, Lampkin drove strong to the basket anew and drew a foul on Camacho. He made his first charity and missed the second one, but the Ayuyus won the battle for the rebound for a chance to steal the lead with a field goal. Kagman was left with 28.4 seconds to pull up for a shot and could have taken more time to attempt a high-percentage shot, but Jonathan Santos elected to let go off a 15-foot jumper early and faltered. Santos suffered a double black-eye, as he was later charged with a foul on Feria on the next play and fouled out with 14.8 seconds remaining on the clock.
Feria failed to ice it for Southern, as he went 0-for-2 from the foul line, while Kagman secured the rebound. Lampkin then went for the isolation play from the left side and drove to the middle against the outstretched arms of Javier. He missed anew, while Camacho secured the rebound and was fouled in the last 2.4 seconds of the match. Camacho muffed the first free throw, but hit the second one, giving Southern a 2-point lead.
With no time out left and the clock ticking, Kagman rushed the inbound play with Sakisat receiving the pass and pulling up for a desperation triple after he crossed midcourt. He missed, but the shot had a good line, as it was straight and was just a few inches short.
Camacho top-scored in Southern’s come-from-behind win, drilling 15 points, while Feria chipped in 14. Warren also had 14 markers in his first game with the Rays. Jonathan Santos led Kagman with his 25 markers, but was held to 4 points in the fourth, while Jesse Santos added 20, with most of them coming in the second half. Lampkin had a quiet 7 points, as he struggled against Southern’s front liners.
Meanwhile, Kagman won in its junior varsity game against Southern in the curtain-raiser, 57-46.
The Rays kept up with the Ayuyus in the first period and even took a shaky 12-11 lead before the latter controlled the remaining three quarters of the match. Kagman nearly doubled its first period output in the second half, scoring 20 to grab the upper hand at the break, 31-23. The Ayuyus retained the lead, as the Rays failed to make a rally and settled for trading baskets with the former in the second half.
Michael Muna paced Kagman with his 20 points, while Roke Tenorio contributed 16. Elnathan Wong had 12 for Southern.
KHS 57 – Muna 20, Tenorio 16, Castro 7, Retan 6, Jones 4.
SSHS 46 – Wong 12, Borromeo 9, Taitano 9, Rivera 6, Anderson 5, Espinosa 2, Deloen Guerrero 2, Bondoc 1.
Scoring by quarters: 11-12, 31-23, 42-34, 57-46.
SSHS 62 – Camacho 15, Feria 14, Warren 14, Kintaro 8, Javier 6, Ferrer 3.
KHS 60 – Jo. Santos 25, Je. Santos 20, Lampkin 7, Sakisat 3, Palino 3.
Scoring by quarters: 10-18, 27-30, 38-46, 62-60.