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ROADRUNNERS DOMINATE SEASON

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By Patrick Lujan

Roadrunners’ Ahvana Larimer rolls left around her defender Warriors’ Monica Iriarte and heads straight in for the layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Roadrunners’ Ahvana Larimer rolls left around her defender Warriors’ Monica Iriarte and heads straight in for the layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Fourteen up and 14 down.

The Benavente Middle School Roadrunners capped off a perfect middle school girls basketball league season Wednesday night with a 35-25 win over the Inarajan Warriors down at the historic village.

Eighth grade guard Shania Bulala, playing her last middle school game, led the way with 15 points for the champion Roadrunners, but it wasn’t without a fight from the Warriors.

“Inarajan gave it all they got and pressured us, played aggressive defense. We were only up by six at halftime,” Benavente head coach Erwin Villa said. “They really improved a lot.”

Inarajan’s defensive aggression kept them within striking distance as three frontcourt Roadrunners were dealt with three fouls each by the break.

Benavente broke loose in the third, however, to jump out to a double-digit lead and never looked back.

“In the second half, we played pressure and smarter defense and increased the league. We slowed it down and they had a hard time catching up,” Coach Villa said. “With the girls working together as a team, we were able to hold on. All the girls played and worked hard.”

Ahvana Larimer chipped in 11 points for a Roadrunners team that will return eight of the 12 players for next season.

Warriors’ Darla Flores made her way to the paint while keeping Roadrunners’ Caren Mesias off of her shoulder. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Darla Flores made her way to the paint while keeping Roadrunners’ Caren Mesias off of her shoulder. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Villa said the closest a team came to beating the Dededo school was Astumbo Middle School that came within nine points. All the other games were victories in double digits usually 14-20 point differences.

“The girls that I have are average height. We don’t have tall players so they have to work extra hard.”

Villa said the team will miss Bulala and Brittany Meno, his two quickest and most experienced players since they were in sixth grade.

“They are my leading guards. The good thing about it is Shania is right-handed and Brittany is left-handed.  Middle school is all about driving the ball and layups. With those two to pressure on defense and lead to fastbreaks, that’s what leads our team.”

Villa added that both players are also on the U17 Guam National Basketball Team. Bulala is expected to attend Okkodo High School while Meno is slated to go to JFK.

NOTES: The Roadrunners last won the title in 2011 when they shared with Oceanview Middle School…Villa has been coaching at Benavente since 2000.

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Warriors’ Elyze Pocaigue knocks down her free throw shot in the first half. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Elyze Pocaigue knocks down her free throw shot in the first half. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Roadrunners’ Ylisiah Rai Jorda set out on the fast break to the hoop.  (photo by Jesse Castro)

Roadrunners’ Ylisiah Rai Jorda set out on the fast break to the hoop. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Monica Iriarte set her shot up with the help of her teammate Michaela Topasna. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ Monica Iriarte set her shot up with the help of her teammate Michaela Topasna. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ahvana Larimer hits the running layup after a steal and fast break. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ahvana Larimer hits the running layup after a steal and fast break. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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