IT&E, Marianas Variety top opponents

IT&E’s Jeraldine Castillo, left, dribbles away from a GSM Lady Ol’Aces defender during their game in the first round of the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

IT&E and Marianas Variety prevailed in the pair of matches in the girls division of the 2017 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament last Monday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.

IT&E won over Shirley’s Coffee Shop in the first game in the division, 50-40, while Marianas Variety edged CTSI in the second tiff, 41-38.

Mikki Kautz knocked in consecutive baskets in the homestretch, while Louisa Han added a field goal and Quincy Chinen made her contributions early in the second half to lift Marianas Variety to the 3-point win.

Kautz scored 7 straight points in the closing minutes of the match or three of Marianas Variety’s last four baskets. Han drilled the last basket, while Chinen handed their team its first 5 points and made 7 of her 9 markers in the second half.

The former Mt. Carmel School standout Kautz finished with 12 points, 9 of them came in the second half, as she foiled CTSI’s repeated attempts to steal the win from Marianas Variety. Quina Flores also ended up tallying double figures and her 10 points in the first half kept Marianas Variety in front despite the early offensive struggle of Kautz.

With the victory, Marianas Variety now has an even 4-4 record, tying CTSI for third to fourth place in the team standings. Idle GSM Lady Ol’Aces leads the division with its unblemished 7-0 mark, while Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan is ranked second with its 5-2 card.

IT&E is at No. 5 as it improved its record to 2-5 following the 10-point win over Shirley’s (0-7). The victory also kept IT&E’s playoffs hopes alive, mathematically. IT&E has three more games left in the double-round robin elimination and still has a chance for one of the four semis berths provided that it sweeps its remaining matches and neither Marianas Variety nor CTSI gets more than five wins.

IT&E took victory No. 2 after catching fire in the second half, scoring 32 points to turn an 18-19 halftime deficit to a double-digit triumph. A.J. Garon, Marlene Lumabi, and Jeraldine Castillo joined forces for IT&E in the second half, registering 10, 9, and 6 points, respectively.

Jeraldine’s older sister, Jeralyn led Shirley’s Coffee Shop after recording 18 points.

First Game
IT&E 50 — Garon 20, Lumabi 9, Jeraldine Castillo 9, Pena 4, Ocampo 2, Buenabajo 2, Jerlyn Castillo 2, Manglona 2.
Shirley’s 40 — Castillo 18, Castos 8, Ballesteros 4, Surima 4, Vargas 2, Carreon 2, Enriquez 2.
Scoring by halves: 18-19, 50-40.

Second Game
Marianas Variety 41 — Kautz 12, Flores 10, Chinen 9, Han 4, Villagomez 4, Cho 2.
CTSI 38 — Pablo 13, Alferos 6, M. Alegre 4, J. Alegre 4, Echavez 4, Espinosa 2, Sabino 2, Watanabe 2.
Scoring by halves: 19-16, 41-38.

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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