Sweep for Hopwood in 7th/8th grade caging


Hopwood Junior High School’s Francisco Mizutani, second left, beats teammate Christopher Ayuyu, right, and Chacha Oceanview Middle School’s Jay Art Palmes for the rebound during the first quarter of their title game in the 7th/8th grade division of the 2016 Wellness Through Basketball Tournament last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Hopwood Junior High School survived a late scare from Chacha Oceanview Middle School to pull off a 41-40 victory in the boys 7th/8th grade title game in the 2016 Wellness Through Basketball Tournament last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Hopwood’s nail-biting win over Chacha completed the Hilitais’ sweep in the division as Hopwood 4 earlier downed Hopwood 5 in the girls finale, 33-39.

In the boys title duel, Hopwood squandered a double-digit lead in the last two minutes of the game, but thankfully, Chacha still fell short as the latter could not hit that one important basket despite several attempts in the closing seconds of the match.

Chacha threatened Hopwood in the homestretch despite a very slow start as the former made only three field goals in the first quarter, allowing the eventual champion to take a 12-6 advantage. Chacha then caught Hopwood flatfooted in the opening minutes of the second canto after launching a 10-0 run to grab the lead. Chacha went on to take a 25-18 halftime edge, behind the 10 points of Jay Art Palmes.

Palmes continued to lead Chacha’s offense in the second half, but Hopwood regained its bearings and had Christopher Ayuyu, Francisco Mizutani, Darry Soriano, Albert Atan, and Gabriel Sacramento teaming up in giving their squad enough cushion. Sacramento’s pair of free throws that came at the last two-minute mark of the match served as insurance for Hopwood.

Atan top-scored for Hopwood with his 12 points, while Ayuyu also finished in twin digits with his 10 markers. Mizutani chipped in 8. Palmes paced Chacha with his game-high 16 markers.

Meanwhile, Hopwood 4 leaned on the good offensive games of Allyiah Fernandez and Jyolly Diaz to beat sister team Hopwood 5. Fernandez knocked in 13 points, while Diaz also had double figures with her 12 markers. Sisters Aiko and Nichko Rasiang logged 4 points apiece for the eventual champion.

Diaz and Fernandez alternately hit baskets for Hopwood 4 to foil Hopwood 4’s repeated comeback bids and secure the division championship.

Girls Finals
Hopwood 4 33 — Fernandez 13, Diaz 12, A. Rasing 4, N. Rasiang 4.

Hopwood 5 29 — Monterubio 9, Echavez 6, Joyce 6, Dizon 2, Repoberbio 2, Malasarte 2, Cruzat 2.

Boys Finals
Hopwood 41 — Atan 12, Ayuyu 10, Mizutani 8, Soriano 5, G. Sacramento 4, Peterson 2.

Chacha 40 — Palmes 16, Carlos 7, Rabauliman 6, C. Babauta 3, Indalecio 2, Cruz 2, D. Babauta 2, Sanchez 2.

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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