Mount Carmel School 1 withstood Saipan International School’s fourth-quarter rally en route to a 51-44 win in the boys division game in the 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Varsity Basketball League yesterday at the Geckos’ court in As Lito.
Keith Santos delivered timely baskets for the Knights to halt the Geckos’ run, as he scored 8 of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. The final canto started with MCS 1 ahead by double figures 41-29, before A.J. Hudkins, Jason Sablan, and Kuu Nishimura joined forces in trying to bring SIS back into the game. The trio combined for 14 points in the fourth frame to cut the deficit to single digit, but their efforts went down the drain, as Keith Santos saved the day for the Knights. The MCS 1 player finished with a game-high 19 points, 9 of them came from the 3-point area. Hudkins, Jason Sablan, and Nishimura had 16, 9, and 7 markers, respectively for the Geckos.
Before enjoying a 12-point advantage at the break and hanging on to the driver’s seat in the fourth quarter, MCS 1 had a close battle with SIS in the first half.
At the end of the opening quarter, the Knights clung to a 9-8 lead, as Hudkins kept their foes at bay after showcasing his polished post-up game. Hudkins scored 6 points in the first period, while Keith Santos, had 5 for MCS and a highlight play—an alley-oop pass to Michael Johnson.
While the opening canto featured a back-and-forth slugfest, the Knights began to gain distance in the second. Team captain Angelo Factor, who finished the game with 10 points, and Keith Santos spearheaded a 10-4 scoring exchange to push their lead to 7 at halftime, 24-17.
After the intermission, Johnson clashed with Hudkins in the paint and earned 6 points in the third quarter. The Knights center’s fearlessness and defensive instincts down low powered his team to a double-digit advantage going into the final frame.
After leapfrogging the Geckos, the Knights improved their record to 3-1 and remained in a logjam for second place with Kagman High School, while the Geckos absorbed their second loss in three games.
The Ayuyus willed their way past Agape Christian School 1 in the latter’s home court in Gualo Rai, 74-58, behind Dean Blake, Henry Aguon, and Mustafa Augustino.
Blake finished with a team-high 14 points, while Aguon and Augustino contributed 13 markers apiece. Torchbearers captain Kobe Yang had another explosive game with his 26 points, but failed to get help from his teammates.
Kagman and MCS 1 are behind Saipan Southern High School, which remained on top with its 3-0 record following a 104-13 demolition of Agape 2.
In other results, Grace Christian Academy outgunned the visiting MCS 2 squad, 56-39.
With the victory, the Eagles now hold a 2-2 record and is tied with ACS 1 for third place.
Meanwhile, three games will be played tomorrow in different venues. Agape 1 and 2 will collide at their court in Gualo Rai, while GCA will take on SIS at the Eagles turf. Over at the Koblerville Gymnasium, the unbeaten SSHS will play against MCS 1.
MCS 51—Sablan 19, Johnson 10, Factor 10, Dela Cruz 8, Evangelista 2, Tabora 2.
SIS 44—Hudkins 16, Jason Sablan 9, Nishimura 7, J.P. Sablan 6, Guo 2, Kin 2, Muna 2.
Scoring by quarters: 9-8, 24-17, 41-29, 51-44