Mount Carmel School, Saipan Community School, and Agape Christian School closed out strong after defeating their respective opponents in the last set of regular season games in the 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Middle School Basketball League yesterday.
The Knights built a 23-10 lead over the Geckos in the first half of their match at the Koblerville Gymnasium and never looked back for the 30-20 win that also gave them the No. 2 team in the playoffs. Mt. Carmel finished the round with a 9-3 record, while SIS had a 5-6 slate and will be seeded fourth in the playoffs.
Gabby San Nicolas helped the Knights’ control the match early, as he scored 6 points off two triples. Leo Naraja and O’hane Borja also contributed to MCS’ cause, as they maneuvered their way past the Geckos’ defenders and delivered 4 points each. Derek Sasamoto’s midrange jumper capped the Knights’ impressive 16-8 scoring run in the first period. Danny Lee nailed 6 points, while Daniel Nam made the other 2 points for the Geckos.
SIS then struggled against Mt. Carmel’s swarming defense in the second quarter, as the former managed to score only 2 points off Lee’s banked shot. On the other hand, the Knights steadily built on their hot start, as Naraja dished out assists to Borja and Sasamoto and drilled a trey of his own to give his team a baker’s dozen lead, heading into the break.
When action resumed, the Knights still outgunned the Geckos, 7-6. Then in the fourth frame, Mt. Carmel was held scoreless, but its double-digit lead was enough to secure the team the win.
Naraja registered a team-high 9 points, while Borja and San Nicolas submitted 6 apiece. Lee and Nam had 8 points each for the Geckos.
In other results, Agape marched past Northern Marianas International School, 63-22.
The Torchbearers buried the Phoenix right from the onset, as seven Agape players teamed up in giving the squad a 20-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Jordan Miao ended up top-scoring for Agape with his 14 points and the Torchbearers spread the wealth, as Antonio Li, David Zheng, and Samuel He chipped in 8 apiece. Eddie Valdoz led NMIS with his 8 points.
With the win, Agape wrapped up the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record, while NMIS finished with a dismal 2-10 card.
Meanwhile, SCS outclassed the visiting Seventh Day Adventist, 56-8.
The Tsunamis’ suffocating defense held the Guardians to just 4 points after the first three quarters, while the former piled on 44 markers en route to an easy victory.
Charlie McDonald and Isaiah Aleksenko spearheaded SCS’ victory, as the former submitted 20 points and the latter registered 16 markers, 12 came in the second period. Kaito Rechucher and Tommy Jin were the only scorers for SDA with the former logging 6 points.
SCS rebounded from a three-game losing streak and finished with a 5-7 mark, while the Guardians fell to a 2-8 record.
With the regular season in the books, the playoff round for the boys and girls divisions are tentatively scheduled from May 13 to 17.
Agape automatically advanced to the semifinals after topping the boys division, while the pairings in the quarterfinals are as follows: No. 4 SIS vs No. 5 SCS, No. 3 Grace Christian Academy vs No. 6 NMIS, and No. 2 MCS vs No. 7 SDA.
In the girls division, No. 1 ACS will take on No. 4 SDA, while No. 2 MCS will play against No. 3 GCA.
MCS 30—Naraja 9, Borja 6, San Nicolas 6, Sasamoto 4, Regalado 3, Mercado 2.
SIS 20—Lee 8, Nam 8, Casey 2, Mister 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-8, 23-10, 30-16, 30-20
Agape 63—Miao 14, He 8, Li 8, Zheng 8, Tang 6, Qiu 6, Dai 4, Song 3, Bao 2, Hu 2, Liang 2.
NMIS 22—Valdoz 8, Pineda 5, Mateo 4, Michael 3, Tang 2
Scoring by quarters: 20-6, 36-13, 52-20, 63-22
SCS 56—McDonald 20, Aleksenko 16, Kang 8, Borja 6, Timmons 4, Sea 2.
SDA 8—Kaito Rechucher 6, Jin 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-4, 30-4, 44-4, 56-8