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EAGLES BEAT THE UNBEATEN

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By Niko Bulaon

Eagles' Kobe Sotelo attempts the reverse layup during a fast break. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Eagles’ Kobe Sotelo attempts the reverse layup during a fast break. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

In the most anticipated game of the season the Harvest Eagles gave their ecstatic home crowd a 32-22 win against the long-time IIAAG middle school boys basketball champions, the St. Anthony Raiders. Both teams now stand at 9-1 with one more game left in the season, giving both Eagles and Raiders a chance for the champion title this year.

Coming into the third quarter with a tie of 10-10, the Raiders were the first to break away to bring their lead up by four. But it wasn’t enough as Eagles big man Jian Dong Lin sparked his team’s offense. Coming off from a scoreless first half, Lin put in all of his seven points including an amazing three-pointer to bring the Eagles into the lead that the Raiders couldn’t break. With their offense working, the Eagles defense kept the Raiders with only five points in the quarter; steals from Eagles’ Kobe Sotelo and Lin kept the Raiders offense in a slump. The Raiders’ scrambling defense put the Eagles on the foul line, giving them the points that counted. The quarter ended with the Eagles in the lead, 23-15.

“We did defensively well,” said Sotelo about his team. “I’m really proud of them and how hard we worked.”

Strong defense was the key for both teams, keeping their opponents away from the basket in the first two minutes. Raiders’ Rudy Gaza started the game with two three-pointers, but the Eagles came back into the second with a stronger momentum, flowing smoothly on offense and finding their rhythm. The Raiders fought back with defense, keeping the Eagles on their toes; big man Ricky Brown pleased the crowd with two blocks to stun his opponents. With Brown ending the first half with a buzzer beater, the Raiders looked to take the game, but it wasn’t over yet as the Eagles had other plans.

Raiders' Ricky Brown misses a crucial fast break layup late in the game. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Raiders’ Ricky Brown misses a crucial fast break layup late in the game. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Fourth quarter was the period the Raiders hoped to take back the game, but the Eagles weren’t going to give it so easily. With the Eagles in the lead, the Raiders couldn’t match their opponents’ aggressiveness on offense. With only 20 seconds into the quarter, Eagles Mark Temerowski found a quick opening to extend his team’s lead to ten. The Raiders soon found their offensive rhythm for a short run of 7-2 in the first three minutes to bring the gap by only three. But from there, the Eagles weren’t going to let any shots come without a struggle, keeping Raiders’ top scorer Brown with only four points in the game.

As the Raiders offense slowly broke down their defense put them into bonus, giving the Eagles easy free throws with every foul they committed. As time slowly dwindled, the undefeated Raiders lost their rhythm as the Eagles grabbed the win.

“I love my team; I couldn’t do it without them,” added Sotelo. “We just played spectacular tonight. We’re one more step away from being called champions.”

Coming back from last year’s season with a record of 1-10, the Eagles and their fans couldn’t be any prouder of an impressive win for a chance of being co-champions with the Raiders.

Sotelo led his team with seven points, four rebounds, and two steals. Helping him was Lin with seven points, six rebounds, and two steals. Raiders Gaza led all scorers with 10 points along with three steals.

In the B-game, the Raiders won 9-5.

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Eagles' Chris Wang attempts the jump shot over the defense of Raiders' Marco Jacob. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Eagles’ Chris Wang attempts the jump shot over the defense of Raiders’ Marco Jacob. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Raiders' Thomas Fegurgur gets back quickly to prevent an easy fast break layup by Eagles' Daniel Villanueva by sending him to the line. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Raiders’ Thomas Fegurgur gets back quickly to prevent an easy fast break layup by Eagles’ Daniel Villanueva by sending him to the line. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Raiders' Marco Jacob tries to close the half with a jump shot over two Eagles defenders. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Raiders’ Marco Jacob tries to close the half with a jump shot over two Eagles defenders. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Eagles' Daniel Villanueva gets fouled by Raiders' Derrick Robles who tries to make the defensive stop. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Eagles’ Daniel Villanueva gets fouled by Raiders’ Derrick Robles who tries to make the defensive stop. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jian Dong Lin, 1

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