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ISLANDERS HOLD OFF FURIOUS PANTHERS

The JFK Islanders are advancing to the girls basketball semifinals after holding off a furious Guam High Panthers rally in the 4th quarter.

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By Robert Balajadia

The JFK Islanders are advancing to the girls basketball semifinals after holding off a furious Guam High Panthers rally in the 4th quarter. The Islanders got big buckets late from center Alison “E-Racer” Bowman to beat the Panthers 49-38 at the JFK gym Friday night.

Bowman cashed in a big 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. Panthers Jailyn Jones scored 26 points while pulling down 8 rebounds in the loss.

Leading 39-17 to begin the final period, The Panthers got baskets from layups in transition from guard Jailyn Jones, going on a quick 7-2 run to get the score 41-24. Jones then hit a three pointer in the half court setting, followed by a jumper from Aisha Melendez to get within 41-31, capping off a 14-2 forcing JFK’s Roger Ramos to call a timeout at the four-minute mark.

Out of the timeout, Bowman made a bucket from the post to stop the bleeding, but a layup by Jones down the other end still had the once large Islander lead at just eight points, 43-35.

Panthers Jailynn Jones skies by a defender and makes the difficult shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

Panthers Jailynn Jones skies by a defender and makes the difficult shot. (photo by Joey Blas)

Royster then lobbed a pass into Bowman, who had great positioning on Panthers center Brittany Bailey, to give the Islanders back a double-digit lead 45-35.

JFK then turned up their defensive intensity in the final two minutes to close out the game with Bowman, Anita Onedera, and Royster making key defensive plays.

“We got a little too excited and let the lead get to our heads a little bit and I don’t think we started to realize how close they came back until they cut the lead to 10 points. The good thing we did was pull out the win and we did a good job at holding on to the ball in the final two minutes and just running the clock down,” said Bowman.

The Islanders had built up the large lead through three quarters by getting an all-around effort. Each starter scored the first 10 points for the team as the strong JFK defense held the Panthers to just two points in the opening period.

Scores from Bowman, Onedera, and Royster had the Islanders leading 29-11 at halftime, getting the 22-point lead over the Panthers through three quarters before the near comeback. The Islanders got a 10-point, seven-assist night from Onedera and a nine-point six-assist night from Royster. Bailey had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers.

JFK's Cianna Reyes dribbles past a Panther defender and drives it to the hoop, and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK’s Cianna Reyes dribbles past a Panther defender and drives it to the hoop, and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK will now shift their attention towards Southern in a rematch between two strong defenses.

“We just have to play our game and not let the crowd get to us. All five players on the court have to play as a team and we all have to have our heads in the same place,” said Bowman on facing Southern.

The quarterfinals will continue to play out Saturday night when the Academy Cougars travel to ND to face the Royals to decide the final four semifinalist.

Other Scores

Southern 52, St. Paul 43
Okkodo 46, Harvest 24

PHOTO GALLERY:

Guam High's Jailynn Jones gets the rebound and dribbles the ball down court. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam High’s Jailynn Jones gets the rebound and dribbles the ball down court. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam High's Britney Bailey goes up and makes a shot over an Islander Defender. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam High’s Britney Bailey goes up and makes a shot over an Islander Defender. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK's Alison Bowman gets the rebound and banks it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

JFK’s Alison Bowman gets the rebound and banks it in for two points. (photo by Joey Blas)

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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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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.
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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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