DOLPHINS SCORE 2013 TITLE

DOLPHINS SCORE 2013 TITLE

📅15 December 2013
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By Robert Balajadia

The 2013 IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball newly crowned champions the Southern High School Dolphins celebrate their victory by collapsing on the floor. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The 2013 IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball newly crowned champions the Southern High School Dolphins celebrate their victory by collapsing on the floor. (photo by Jesse Castro)

A season highlighted by some of the best scoring girls basketball has seen in a long while was capped off by a championship game that featured an all-out defensive war between two of the league’s best.

The Southern Dolphins have ended the two-year reign of the Academy Cougars by taking out the Cougars in overtime 39-32 at a crowded FD Phoenix Center Saturday night.

“It’s great to see a championship game like this because the last couple have been blowouts. It feels great to win one! We had a chance to win one back in 2007, but now I finally have one as a head coach,” said Dolphins’ head coach Kevin Sanchez.

April “Speedy” Talledo led the Dolphins with 17 points and has now been a part of a girls basketball, volleyball, and soccer championship for Southern.

“It feels really good, we’ve been waiting for so long. We finally did it and became the top team!” said Talledo.

4th Quarter & Overtime

Dolphins’ April Talledo shoots a long jumper at the top of the key over Cougars’ Jasie Villanueva good for two points. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ April Talledo shoots a long jumper at the top of the key over Cougars’ Jasie Villanueva good for two points. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Cougars were leading 30-27 after center Erin Wong made post bucket with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. A couple of turnovers and timeouts later, Talledo got fouled on a layup attempt where she would sink just one of two free throws to cut the lead 30-28.

The Cougars turned the ball over while trying to work the ball down low with 30 seconds left on the clock. Talledo pushed the ball the length of the court and dished the ball off to a wide open Mar Tenorio under the basket who tied the game at 30.

The Cougars would get one last shot to win the game with five seconds left in the quarter, but Benavente missed the running floater as time expired sending the game into overtime.

“It was really nerve wrecking because we wanted to break Academy’s record. We were all nervous, but we just needed to run our offense and play defense,” admitted Talledo.

Southern Dolphins’ April "Speedy" Talledo GSPN’s Player of the Game. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Southern Dolphins’ April “Speedy” Talledo GSPN’s Player of the Game

Wong had been a defensive presence and rebounding machine for the Cougars all game but she picked up her fifth and final foul early in overtime.

Cougars Louise Baza got the first buckets for her team on their first offensive possession at the free throw line, though it would be the only points the Cougars would score.

Talledo hit a free throw to cut the lead 32-31 and Wong’s presence was surely missed as Talledo missed her second free throw, but got her own rebound to give the Dolphins the definitive 33-32 lead.

The Cougars could not answer on the offensive end and had trouble rebounding the ball on the Dolphins’ next possession as Tenorio grabbed an offensive rebound over two Cougars and scored under the basket to give the Dolphins a 35-32 lead.

Cougars Gemilie Ilao got a decent look on a fast break layup but the ball rolled right off the rim with the Cougars still trailing 36-32. Talledo hit another free throw to extend the lead 37-32 with under 30 seconds left in the game.

Another Cougar turnover led to a wide open Dolphins’ Brielle Meno who sank the dagger along the baseline with just seconds left in the game. Meno let off a smile as she scored the final bucket knowing that she was just seconds away from becoming a champion.

“I was overwhelmed. We had the lead and being able to extend it more just felt better,” said Meno on hitting the game’s dagger.

Scoreless Spree

Dolphins’ April Talledo drives up the lane and attempts to put points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ April Talledo drives up the lane and attempts to put points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The first quarter featured three field goals with the Cougars leading 8-1. The Dolphins did not score their first basket until four minutes into second quarter off a running floater from Talledo and they rallied to take their first lead of the game into halftime 15-14.

“Our shots weren’t going in and [Academy] was playing real good defense. I think being nervous was part of it, but once we got those butterflies out the river flowed. We told each other to get together and let’s win this game!” said Meno on the slow start.

“I told the girls that we worked too hard to get to this point of the season and we had to go back to what got us here, which was our defense. Even in the overtime, I told them to play good hard nose defense, and that’s what got us here,” said Sanchez.

The defensive battle continued into the third quarter with Southern appearing to gain ground heading into the fourth quarter.

With less than two minutes left in the third, Baza sparked a run for the Cougars as she scored a bucket to lead a 9-0 run, capped off by a three-pointer from Ilao to head into the fourth quarter leading 25-22.

The Cougars held a four-point lead late in the fourth but the relentless Dolphin attack allowed them to send the game into overtime where they would take the win.

All-Island MVP Alina “ICE” Bonto had a rough game scoring just four points all game, including the games very first bucket just seconds after tipoff. Ilao led the Cougars with eight points while Benavente had five.

First-Time Champion

Dolphins Coach Sanchez meets with his team during the break before the overtime period is played. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins coach Kevin Sanchez meets with his team during the break before the overtime period is played. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez had been in a championship setting before losing to the St. Paul Warriors back in the 2007 championship game. After pioneering one of best season’s the Dolphins’ ever had, Sanchez made sure to seize the moment his second time around.

With an 11-1 record in the books the Dolphins only had Meno on either of the All-Island selections, where she made the first team All-Island forward. Talledo and Tenorio were only named honorable mention, but Sanchez and the girls admitted they will take the championship title over individual accolades any day.

Moments after the Dolphins stormed the court, their baseball team was being crowned champs of the 2013 season as well. The Dolphins lost their volleyball title to the Cougars earlier in the season, but Talledo and the gang took the basketball crown away from the two-time champions.

The season series between the Cougars and Dolphins were split 1-1. The Dolphins won their last meeting in blowout fashion.

3rd Place Game

ND 64, GW 57 – Destiny Castro netted 27 points in her final game of the season to lead the Royals to a third place title.

PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS

2013: Southern

2012: Academy

2011: Academy

2010: Notre Dame

2009: Academy

2008: Notre Dame

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

The Southern Dolphins’ take a moment to pose as the newly crowned IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball Champions. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Southern Dolphins’ take a moment to pose as the newly crowned IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball Champions. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The 2013 IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball newly crowned champions the Southern High School Dolphins shout out a chant while their fans cheer in victory. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The 2013 IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball newly crowned champions the Southern High School Dolphins shout out a chant while their fans cheer in victory. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ April Talledo drives the ball up court with Cougars’ Kali Benevente high pressure defense keeping up pace. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ April Talledo drives the ball up court with Cougars’ Kali Benevente high pressure defense keeping up pace. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Brielle Meno shoots the long ball over Cougars’ Alina Bonto and puts three points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Brielle Meno shoots the long ball over Cougars’ Alina Bonto and puts three points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Gemilie Ilao flies in from a fast break play to put two up on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Gemilie Ilao flies in from a fast break play to put two up on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy of Our Lady Cougars’ Gemilie Ilao receives the IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball second place trophy for her team.  (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy of Our Lady Cougars’ Gemilie Ilao receives the IIAAG Girl’s High School Basketball second place trophy for her team. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Alina Bonto goes in for a layup to put two points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Alina Bonto goes in for a layup to put two points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Kali Benevente drove the ball around Dolphins’ April Talledo and shoots a long jumper. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Kali Benevente drove the ball around Dolphins’ April Talledo and shoots a long jumper. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Marlisah Tenorio keeps the ball in play and attempts to pass to a teammate. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Marlisah Tenorio keeps the ball in play and attempts to pass to a teammate. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars gather around Coach Pelkey during a timeout. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars gather around Coach Pelkey during a timeout. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Brielle Meno watches as her shot sinks into the basket for three points. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Dolphins’ Brielle Meno watches her shot sink into the basket for three points. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Erin Wong grabs the rebound from a missed Dolphin shot for a turnover. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Cougars’ Erin Wong grabs the rebound from a missed Dolphin shot for a turnover. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos congratulate the Notre Dame Royals on their third place win. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos congratulate the Notre Dame Royals on their third place win. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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