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COUGARS GET TIP OFF WIN OVER BULLDOGS

Opening night for the 2014 girls basketball season featured an Academy Cougars victory over the Okkodo Bulldogs and a historic moment for the Tiyan high Lady Titans as they took the court for the first time ever!

By Robert Balajadia

The Academy Cougars tipped off the 2014 girls basketball season with a close 56-50 win over the Okkodo Bulldogs Tuesday night, thanks to a 21 point outing from Cougars guard Kali “Special K” Benavente.

“It felt good, but different. We have a lot of new players so tonight was very different, but fun!” said Benavente on starting out the season.

Okkodo’s Felicia “Fearless” Borja poured in a game high 22 points, but her team trailed majority of the game while the Cougars made timely buckets to hold the Bulldogs back every time they would make a run.

The Cougars built a 38-25 half-time lead, though it didn’t last long as Borja was quick to rally her team back in the game. Borja nailed a three pointer from way behind the arc to get within 40-32 early in the quarter.

Benavente responded by giving off a fancy dish to one of her open teammates under the rim to try and squash the run, but Borja made nifty back-to-back moves in the lane followed by another three pointer to eventual bring the Bulldogs back 42-39.

Academy then turned to Joie Blas who altered her shot in the air over the Bulldogs Alara Crame to give the Cougars a two possession lead heading into the 4th quarter.

Benavente and teammate Jasie Villanueva had four points each in the final quarter to rebuild the double-digit lead 54-44 with under two minutes left to go.

Cougars Geli Bautista attempts a floater in the lane. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Geli Bautista attempts a floater in the lane. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Cougars then started to empty their bench which allowed the Bulldogs to mount a late rally led by Borja and Keann Castro.

Trailing 56-50 with 33 seconds left in the game, the Cougars inbounded the ball to Benavente with the Bulldog sideline screaming for an intentional foul. Okkodo had a tough time catching Benavente on the court as she danced around the defense with her adept ball handling skills, killing the clock to just 16 seconds when the foul was finally committed, eventually allowing Academy to run out the remaining time of the game.

Benavente has now become the leader of the Cougars with seniors Alina Bonto and Gemilie Ilao graduating over the summer. She has since embraced the role and understands exactly what head coach Eddie Pelkey needs from her this season.

“[Pelkey] expects me to be the leader and keep my composure. I need to bring all the girls up when we’re down. Whenever I’m down, the whole team will feel it and get down too, so I just need to stay up to keep them up,” stated Kali.

Lady Titans Make History

Guam’s newest high school team stepped on court for the first time ever as the Tiyan Lady Titans traveled to the JFK gym to square off against the Islanders.

This historic game puts the Titans in the record book marking October 28, 2014 their first official for the new Tiyan high school.

Tiyan high school girls basketball team. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan high school girls basketball team. (photo by Joey Blas)

How does it feel to be a part of history?

Head coach John Sarmiento says, “Thanks everyone for helping with the process, this whole thing is nerve wrecking and also exiting to be the first sport to be played for Tiyan High.  We made history tonight. I’m working to build a strong basketball program for the future of the school.”

The first official game for the Titans could have come this past Saturday or Monday, but luckily for these girls, mother nature was on their side forcing both possible games to be postponed.

“Being a junior I am excited to pave the road for the upcoming sports,” said Titans captain Natasia Borja on being the first official Titans to play a game. “I believe in my team. ‘Hunger, Heart, Hustle’ are the words of encouragement for the season.”

The Islanders ran away with the game 67-17, but the 0-1 start for the Titans is historic none-the-less.

Other Games

Southern def. GW

Guam High 46, Sanchez 26

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Wil Castro

Cougars Joie Blas is met by Bulldogs Keann Castro at the three point line. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Joie Blas is met by Bulldogs Keann Castro at the three point line. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kali Benavente makes a layup through two defenders to keep the Cougars up in the fourth quarter. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kali Benavente makes a layup through two defenders to keep the Cougars up in the fourth quarter. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kali Benavente gets a block on Bulldogs Keann Castro. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kali Benavente gets a block on Bulldogs Keann Castro. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

JFK Alison Bowman dribbles down court past a couple defenders and lays it in for two. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Alison Bowman dribbles down court past a couple defenders and lays it in for two. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Anita Onadera gets the loose ball and dribbles down the half court. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK Anita Onadera gets the loose ball and dribbles down the half court. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan's Team Captain Natasa Borja scores the first bucket for Tiyan High. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan’s Team Captain Natasa Borja scores the first bucket for Tiyan High. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan's Alana Fegurgur puts up a shot in the first quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan’s Alana Fegurgur puts up a shot in the first quarter. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan's Jaeda James and JFK's Gloria Nelson tip off the start of the IIAAG girls basketball game. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tiyan’s Jaeda James and JFK’s Gloria Nelson tip off the start of the IIAAG girls basketball game. (photo by Joey Blas)

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