FMS, Tanapag take early lead in MS hoops
Francisco M. Sablan Middle School and Tanapag Middle School gained the early lead in the team standings after going undefeated in the opening week of the girls middle school division of the IT&E Interscholastic Basketball League.
FMS, which fell short in its title bid last season after losing to Grace Christian Academy in the finals, debuted in this year’s competition with a 14-10 victory over Agape Christian School last Sept. 14 at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. The Napu Riders then returned to the MHS Gymnasium last Friday and made it two in a row following a 17-9 win in their early rematch against the GCA Lady Eagles.
Rosie Saralu powered FMS to its season-opening triumph after scoring all 14 points of the team. Saralu prevailed in her one-on-one showdown with Agape’s Barbara Wang, who led the Torchbearers with 8 markers. The Napu Riders’ top player then picked up where she left off, firing 15 of FMS’ total points in their win over GCA last weekend. Kyomi Taisacan made the 2 other points for FMS, while Ella Hall and Ayana Fatialofa registered 4 markers apiece for GCA, which prevailed in its opener against Hopwood Middle School 2, 29-5, before bowing to Saralu and company.
Meanwhile, Tanapag is also off to a good start this season after a so-so performance last year. The Tataga hammered Chacha Oceanview, 17-0, and pulled off a 20-18 overtime win against last season’s third placer Dandan Middle School.
Kayshlie Aguon anchored Tanapag’s lopsided victory over Chacha after firing 12 points. Aguon then made only 6 markers in their second game, but delivered 4 of them in the extra period, allowing Tapanag to escape with the win. The Tanapag-Dandan game was tied at 16-all before Aguon came into the Tataga’s rescue and hit clutch baskets in the deciding period. Shaenna Yamada scored the lone basket for Dandan in overtime and finished the match with a game-high 16 points.
In other results in Week 1, Hopwood-1 won its first game of the season after whipping Hopwood-2, 24-4, while Dandan was also able to break into the win column following a 4-2 triumph over Saipan International School. Chelsea Sonoda had 12 points in Hopwood-1’s easy win over Hopwood-2, which dropped its pair of games in the opening week.
Agape also had twin matches in Week 1 and had a split, as it downed SIS last Friday, 18-3. Lucy Hong registered 7 markers for Agape, while Wang chipped in 5.
Week 2 games will start today with the following pairings: Agape vs Hopwood-1; Chacha vs FMS; Dandan vs Hopwood-2; and Tanapag vs SIS.
Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Association is conducting the league in coordination with the Public School System Athletic Program.