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BULLDOGS CAGE PANTHERS

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By Robert Balajadia

Aaron Blaz had a team high 21 points, including a couple of big three pointers. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Aaron Blaz had a team high 21 points, including a couple of big three pointers. (photo by Jesse Castro)

In a game where they never trailed, the Okkodo Bulldogs defeated the Guam High Panthers 66-61 Saturday night at the Panthers home in Hagatna to advance to (5-1) dropping the Panthers to (2-5).

Aaron Blaz had a team high 21 points for the Bulldogs scoring 12 in the second half.

“A win like this is not one we were expecting. Not all of our players played and we still could have picked up the lead and won by a larger margin. Our coaches don’t just rely on me to score, they rely on the whole team,” stated Blaz on the win.

Guam High stormed a furious comeback in the fourth trailing 62-45 led by Austin Hynes, who finished with 16 points. Okkodo was looking to put the game away early in the quarter behind a couple of highlight reel plays from Joe Ruppen, including a crossover that got the Bulldog fan base off their seat to give them a 59-42 lead. A three pointer by Blaz gave them the 62-45 lead a play later.

When asked if degree of difficult shots was a product of the Panther defense Ruppen simply stated “No, I feel comfortable taking those kinds of shots.”

The Panthers pressured the Bulldogs into turnovers and tough shots and got a lift off the bench from Kurt Edusada who scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter. Hynes began to heat up cutting the lead to just eight off a steal and layup.

Trailing 64-57 with two minutes left, Hynes got fouled near the free-throw line and managed to bank in a shot which looked like an and-one play but the referee called the foul on the floor which negated the possible three point play. The Panther crowd showed obvious signs of disagreement letting the ref who made the call hear it.

Marcus Domingo hit timely three pointers almost completing a comeback against the Bulldogs. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Marcus Domingo hit timely three pointers almost completing a comeback against the Bulldogs. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Panthers were in a one-on-one free throw situation and the foul put Hynes on the line where he missed the first free-throw, allowing the Bulldogs to get the rebound and control the final minutes of the game.

The Bulldogs had an 11-point lead at the half 33-22, but allowed the Panthers to go on a 10-3 run to cut the lead 36-32 off a three pointer from Marcus Domingo midway through the third. Blaz responded by hitting a three pointer moments later to stretch the lead to 40-34.

Okkodo has a tough challenge Tuesday night against an undefeated FD squad. The Friars will continue their road streak traveling up to Okkodo for what is sure to be a good game. Blaz and the Bulldogs are getting ready.

“We did play them before in the opening season and we saw what they have but we are not going to underestimate them, we don’t know what is going to happen on the court. We are going to practice and work on whatever we need to work on.”

Other Scores

FD 69 (7-0), JFK 56 (3-5)

Friars continue their undefeated streak behind Michael Sakazaki’s 24 points and guard John Baza 17 points.

St. John’s 48 (3-5), GW 33 (5-2)

Reed Meyer and Argie Flores propelled the Knights to a big win over a tough Gecko squad after nearly handing FD their first loss of the season.  Rashaun Blas led GW with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Sanchez 41 (3-4), Southern 36 (3-5)

St. Paul 62 (7-0), ND 33 (1-6)

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Panther’s Marcas Damingo beat Bulldog’s Brenardo Cristobal for control of the ball at the start of the game. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panther’s Marcas Damingo beat Bulldog’s Brenardo Cristobal for control of the ball at the start of the game. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Bulldog’s Neil Oledan hit the two pointer against two defenders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Bulldog’s Neil Oledan hit the two pointer against two defenders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Bulldogs Joel Oyardo spots up for a three pointer during the fist quarter against the Panthers.  (photo by Jesse Castro)

Bulldogs Joel Oyardo spots up for a three pointer during the fist quarter against the Panthers. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Guam High’s Ausly Hinn drew a foul and goes on to score 2 free-throw points. (photo by Jesse Castro) Guam High’s Ausly Hinn drew a foul and goes on to score 2 free-throw points. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panther’s LJ Aguon slips by his defender with the help of teammate Josh Forandu providing the screen. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panther’s LJ Aguon slips by his defender with the help of teammate Josh Forandu providing the screen. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ALL SPORTING EVENTS HALTED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
—————————————————-
Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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