Knights upend Guardians


Mt. Carmel School’s Derek Sasamoto pulls up for a jumper during their middle school game against the Seventh Day Adventist School in the CCOPSA caging yesterday at the SDA court in Chalan Kiya. (Roby N. Pamintuan)

Mount Carmel School outgunned Seventh Day Adventist, 30-13, during a game in the Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Middle School Basketball League yesterday at SDA’s court.

The Knights leveraged an 11-2 scoring run in the first quarter to breeze past the Guardians and notched their fifth win in six games. SDA skidded to a 1-6 record.

Raphael Galang scored 5 straight points off a corner trey and a fastbreak layup, while Leo Naraja picked up an errant pass and cruised for a breakaway layup to kick things off for Mt. Carmel. Derek Sasamoto then swished in two midrange jumpers to put the Knights on top, 11-0, while Hiro Rechucher’s putback in the closing seconds of the first quarter, finally broke SDA’s silence.

With SDA reeling, coach Francis San Nicolas had the luxury of giving his starters a breather during the second period. Reserves Joey Hong and Michael Mercado came to play and scored the two baskets that kept MCS in the lead at the break, 15-6. Tommy Jin netted all 4 points for SDA.

When action resumed, both teams struggled with only Leland Deleon Guerrero scoring for the Knights and Jin doing the same for the Guardians.

Still ahead, 17-8, the Knights recalled their starters in the fourth period to seal the deal and they did not disappoint. Naraja drilled a 3-pointer then cruised past the SDA defense for an easy fastbreak layup, while Galang, Charles Cepeda, and Deleon Guerrero also scored in the final frame.

Galang and Naraja led the Knights’ balanced attack after making 8 and 7 markers, respectively, while Deleon Guererro and Sasamoto chipped in with 4 apiece. Jin paced SDA with his 8 points.

Meanwhile, MCS had a sweep yesterday after prevailing, too in the girls division game, 30-19.

Casey Pathil led the Lady Knights’ charge with her 13 points, while Brandie Matsumoto and Kaithlyn Chavez combined for 13 more points for the visiting team.

With the win, MCS evened its record to 2-2 while the Lady Guardians absorbed their fourth loss in five games.

Meanwhile, at the Saipan International School’s court, the Geckos whipped Northern Marianas International School, 51-25.

The Phoenix kept the game close at the end of the first half, as SIS was only ahead by 4, 16-12. However, the Geckos pulled away in the second half to rout NMIS and improve their record to 4-2. The Phoenix dropped to a 1-6 slate.

Daniel Nam had 16 of his 20 points in the second half to tow SIS to victory. Danny Lee and Dylan Mister also finished in double digits, as the former registered 13 markers and the latter logged 10 points. Justin Mateo and Eddie Valdoz had 12 and 11 points, respectively, in a losing effort for NMIS.

Meanwhile, SIS will host Agape Christian School tomorrow, while NMIS will play against SDA at the Guardians’ court, and Saipan Community School will battle Grace Christian Academy at the Tsunamis’ court in Susupe.

MCS 30—Galang 8, Naraja 7, Deleon Guerrero 4, Sasamoto 4, Cepeda 3, Hong 2, Mercado 2.
SDA 13—Jin 8, K. Rechucher 3, H. Rechucher 2.
Scoring by quarters: 11-2, 15-6, 17-8, 30-13.

Roby N. Pamintuan
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