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By Kolby Chang
The Southern High Dolphins gutted out their first win of the season as they edged the FD Friars 72-71 in overtime on Tuesday night in the IIAAG Boys’ Basketball League at the FD Phoenix Center. Diallo Cruz led the Dolphins with 12 points and hit some big shots late in the game that helped ensure the visiting team would leave with a tightly contested victory.
“We were just [using] teamwork and playing defense,” Cruz said when asked what held the team together down the line.
Chaz Nangauta chipped in 11 points for the Dolphins while Dominic Diego added nine points and Jose Candaso scored eight points in a balanced effort. Southern now stands at 1-1 with local standout coach Sid Guzman resuming leadership of the squad.
Nanguata’s coast-to-coast layup late in the fourth quarter put the Dolphins up 55-48 and gave them their biggest lead of the game. A feisty Friars bunch, however, did not go away as Tyler Okiyama’s two free throws ignited a six-point run to get the Friars within striking distance. Tristan Jose then dropped in a put back and Bruce Merrill went straight to the basket for a layup to make the score 63-59.
Another strong drive by Merrill got him to the free throw line where he buried both shots and sliced the lead down to two points. Nangauta responded with a good take of his own to stretch the lead to the 65-61. Merrill then replayed his previous foray into the paint on the next play and got fouled again. He went two for two at the line to cut the lead back down to two points.
With the score now 65-63, the Friars got possession of the ball off of a missed shot by Southern and Jeremiah Taitano’s put back at the buzzer sent the game into overtime knotted at 65.
Candaso opened the extra period with a three pointer to give his team the lead again. Taitano answered with another put back and Jose again went right at the Southern defense with a head strong drive to the rack that put the home team up 69-68. Cruz took matters into his own hands on the next play as he put his head down, absorbed the contact and got the layup plus the foul that put the Dolphins up by one.
Merrill then drove from the top of the key and dished out an assist to Taitano who buried the layup that made the score 71-70 with the Friars now back in the lead. With time winding down, the Dolphins’ Dominic Diego took it to the hole for the layup amongst a crowd of Friars to put the visitors up by one point again.
The Friars had one more shot with three seconds left but a lob pass off an inbounds play was broken up by the Dolphins’ Ryan Teologo and the buzzer signaled the end of the game.
Jose led all scorers with 25 points and four steals, while Merrill added 13 points and Taitano dropped in nine points. The Friars’ record also stands at 1-1 following the loss.
St. Paul 60, Sanchez 57 <— click me!
JFK 90, St. John’s 30
Guam High 70, GW 43 – (GH) Austy Hines 17 pts, 13 reb, 8 ast. (GH) LJ Aguon 19 pts. (GW) Jacob Frias 10 pts, (GW) Josh McCarrel 10 pts.
Okkodo 72, Harvest 34
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