4-peat for Lady Knights


A Mt. Carmel School player is tightly guarded by a Seventh Day Adventist defender during the second quarter of their title match in the 2017-2018 Commonwealth Coalition of Private School Association Basketball League last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Mt. Carmel School won its finals rematch against Seventh Day Adventist, 15-9, to rule the girls middle school division of the 2017-2018 Commonwealth Coalition of Private School Association Basketball League last Friday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The Lady Knights’ much better fundamentals and loaded roster powered them past SDA, which gallantly fought in the winner-take-all title match despite a depleted manpower. SDA fielded only six players in last weekend’s finale, failing to avenge their 10-17 loss to the same team in last season’s championship game.

Mt. Carmel, which paraded a 14-player roster this season, topped the division for the fourth straight year. The Lady Knights began their string of title wins in the girls middle school group with a 28-12 triumph over Grace Christian Academy in the 2014-2015 season and followed it up with a backbreaking 24-22 win against Saipan International School during the 2015-2016 competition.

For their second consecutive duel with SDA, though heavily favored, the Lady Knights were too cautious against their foes, especially after splitting their first two meetings prior to the finals.

“We went into the championship game with an even record against SDA. We have played against the same girls the past couple of seasons and they have great chemistry, teamwork and lots of heart. So we knew this match was going to be tough and can be anybody’s game,” Mt. Carmel School head coach Catherine Attao-Toves said.

The Lady Knights mentor was right, as neither team scored after the first quarter and by the end of the second canto, Mt. Carmel was only up by a deuce, 4-2. The diminutive, but the most skilled player on the SDA side—Marielle Lopez—made the lone field goal for her squad in the first half. Fiona Bucalig and Sienna Muna, on the other hand, drilled one basket apiece for the Lady Knights.

After a tight first half, Mt. Carmel School managed to gain more cushion in the second, as other players stepped in. SDA also picked up its scoring a bit, but simply lack enough players to match up with the much deeper Lady Knights’ roster.

Kaia Travilla scored all her 5 markers in the second half, and Aleia Santos and Kayili Peter added a basket apiece, while Norleen Vidal contributed a free throw.

“We reminded our girls that it’s important to play as a team, and keep everybody involved. We don’t ever know if one of our experienced players may have an off game and we will need everybody’s support and contributions,” Attao-Toves added.

“We were very happy that we were able to get everybody involved and give them some time on the court. Each player shined in their own way. We had strong defense, great pressure, and better transition from offense to defense and back to offense,” she said.

Mt. Carmel’s victory in the girls middles school finals was just the start of the Knights’ celebration last weekend, as the school later partied again after also ruling the boys division title match. Mt. Carmel dethroned Agape Christian School, 37-25.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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