📅28 November 2012
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By Nate San Nicolas

Cougars’ Noelle Bautista and Dolphins’ April Talledo both fight to gain possession for the inbound pass. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

With four starters on a trip in Australia, the Academy Cougars were still able to give the Southern High Dolphins a run for their money on their Tuesday night game, keeping the score fairly close throughout the first three quarters. But it was the Dolphins who prevailed in the end, dominating in the fourth quarter to end the game with a 65-38 victory.

“Although they were missing key players, our coach told us to never take any team lightly, just always play hard,” said Dolphins’ sophomore April Talledo.

And that was exactly the outcome of the game. Southern performed their strong, tough defense and aggressive play just like they were playing any other team. The Dolphins went on a 13-4 run to begin the first quarter thanks to the pestering defense of Talledo and Paige Surber as they continually converted steals into easy lay-ups.

Dolphins’ Paige Surber scores the fast break layup off a steal in a late fourth quarter surge. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

But after after a Cougars timeout, the home team found some breathing room as Southern was in foul trouble early on, already putting Academy in the bonus midway through the first quarter. Taking advantage of the one-on-one bonus, Academy went on a streak themselves closing the gap to only five points ending the quarter trailing 14-19.

Come the second quarter, it was the defensive play from both teams that shined. The Cougars were not giving any room for Surber or Talledo to drive through the lane for an easy shot, and the Dolphins were just all over the floor left and right forcing turnovers and steals, but unable to convert them all into points. The Cougars tried relentlessly to find a shot, but when Noelle Bautista was forced out with an injury, things became even harder.

The McDonald’s player of the game: Dolphins’ April Talledo, 31 points

With a 33-25 lead ending the first half, the Dolphins decided to enter the third quarter with the same intensity. Talledo started things off with another steal, giving her an easy lane to the rim. Heating things up even more was Dolphins’ own Brielle Meno, who laid down a three-point shot on the following possession. The Cougars continued to struggle on the offensive end of the ball, only scoring nine points in the third. A last second lay-up by by Dolphins’ Tanya Flores put the Cougars in a deeper hole to climb out of.

Cougars’ Stephanie Bordallo uses her height advantage to keep the ball away from Southern defenders April Talledo and Angelica Reyes. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Riding on the momentum of Flores’ buzzer-beating shot, the Dolphins dominated on the offensive and defensive end, going on a 12-0 run. Talledo and Surber led the streak with two steals and four points each. With the chances of catching up seeming too far to reach, the game’s final whistle blew and Southern walked away with another victory.

“After the loss against St. John’s, we just went into practice knowing it was just one game. We bounced back by practicing our defense and shots,” said Talledo on her team’s lone loss to St. John’s. “That’s how we’re preparing for playoffs, just keeping our defense up and practicing our shots.”

Talledo led all scorers with 31 points along with four steals and Louise Baza led the Cougars with 10 points of her own.

In other games

– St. Paul Warriors pulled away in a nail-biter over the Sanchez Sharks 43-41. Kae’Ana Camacho led the Sharks with 23 points and joy Pangilinan contributed 22 points for the Warriors. Sanchez won the JV game 28-19.

– St. John’s dominated over the JFK Islanders 56-41. Kali Benavente led all scorers with 32 points followed by teammate Destiny Castro with 17 points.

– Guam High was able to pull away with another nail-biter of the Tuesday night games, beating the GW Geckos 32-31.



Cougars’ Noelle Bautista scores the runner over the much taller Lorraina Sanchez. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Tianna Sakaba and Cougars’ Jasie Villanueva fight for the rebound late in the fourth quarter. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Brielle Meno scores the jumper over the defense of Cougars’ Stephanie Bordallo. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Cougars’ Louise Baza scores the put back over the outreached arms of the smaller Paige Surber. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ April Talledo scores the jumper off a missed shot with less than two minutes left in the game. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Allie Umagat scores the runner with Dolphins defenders all around. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ April Talledo attempts the long jumper over the contesting defense of Cougars’ Tana Ramos. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)


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