Two other games were also played on opening day with the junior varsity squads of Kagman and Saipan Southern High School colliding in the second match and defending champion MHS and Grace Christian Academy playing in the last tiff. However, results of these games were unavailable at press time.
Adrian De Luna scattered 11 points to lead MHS 9 in the low scoring ballgame, while John Carlo Prado and John Mendoza added 9 and 8 markers, respectively.
Christian Arceo led all scorers with 23 points but failed to get the needed offensive support from the rest of the Kagman crew.
MHS 9 led from the start and even enjoyed a 16-point spread entering the final period but failed to prevent a late scoring surge by Kagman, as the Ayuyus threatened late in the game.
A Dean Mendiola twinner sparked a 16-6 exchange, as the Ayuyus trimmed the Dolphins’ lead to single digit, 32-38, with 1:54 left on the clock.
Arceo scored 14 straight points in that run, including back-to-back 3-point plays to the delight of the Kagman bench.
But that proved to be the Ayuyus’ last stand as they missed easy baskets and committed turnover after turnover down the stretch
A De Luna layup in the 1:32 mark of the fourth period ended MHS’ scoring drought , while Mendoza’s basket with 54 ticks left brought the lead back to 10.
Action in the MISO caging continues tomorrow with MHS junior varsity facing MHS 9 at 4pm and Saipan International School meeting Marianas Baptist Academy in the second match at 5:20pm. Southern takes on Mt. Carmel School in the 6:30pm nightcap.
MHS 42–De Luna 11, Prado 9, Mendoza 8, Hofschneider 4, Mamaril 4, Manglona 2, Huliganga 2.
Kagman 32–Arceo 23, Agulto 3, Mendiola 2, Rabauliman 2, Santos 2.
Scoring by quarters: 9-6, 22-9, 32-16, 42-32. (Jon Perez)