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WARRIORS HAND PANTHERS SECOND LOSS

The fast-paced St. Paul Warriors gave their opponents, the Guam High Panthers, their second straight loss of the season defeating them in a close battle and tying both their records at 5-2.

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By Niko Bulaon

The fast-paced St. Paul Warriors gave their opponents, the Guam High Panthers, their second loss of the season, defeating them in a close battle, 74-67 Saturday night and tying both their records at 5-2.

The Warriors took their time, slowing the pace of their offense, but the tight man-to-man defense of the Panthers forced their opponents to turnover the ball. A scramble for the ball left Warriors’ big man John San Andres with five fouls, putting him on the bench with five minutes left to go. But it didn’t seem to faze St. Paul; back-to-back uncontested layups from Brian Tsuji and free throws from Redd Santos gave the Warriors a 17-point lead, 67-50.

Behind Panthers’ top-scorer of the night, Austy Hines, Guam High jumped into a 5-0 run before being caught with five fouls with three minutes on the clock. Ten seconds later, Tsuji was fouled out, giving the Panthers a greater opportunity. Rodney Taitague and Michael Stewart put in easy layups to bring the Panthers closer to their opponents, but Warriors Jason Aquino quickly added points over the hands of the tall Panthers, putting the score at 74-62 with a minute left.

Aquino soon found himself on the bench after his fifth foul. A two pointer by Eddie Garza and a three from Taitague cut the Warriors lead to seven, but there was not enough time as the buzzer sounded to give St. Paul the win.

“We really trust our bench; they really pulled through,” said Aquino after three starters were put on the bench with five fouls. “Our coaches trusted them and they secured the win for us.”

St. Paul started the first quarter with determination; behind San Andres and Tsuji, the Warriors went off for a 14-0 run. Stewart put it a three to kill his team’s scoring drought, but Aquino answered with a three-point play, ending the quarter at 20-9.

Warriors’ John San Andres off the backboard for two points with this reverse layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ John San Andres off the backboard for two points with this reverse layup. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Panthers came into the second quarter with a quick bucket from Hines, but a huge behind the back block from Tsuji slowed the Panthers’ offense to build a Warriors’ lead. San Andres and Aquino went on a 10-3 run, putting St. Paul ahead of their opponents by 19, 35-16. Multiple fouls by the Warriors put Hines on the foul line to try and cut into his opponents’ lead, but Aquino ended the second with a two-pointer, 41-23.

The Warriors accelerated in their offense; another 9-2 run from St. Paul had Guam High in a scoring slump. But Hines and Garza added points for their team to end their scoring drought. Last minute points from Aquino and Tsuji built their growing lead to 20 points, going into the third quarter at 57-37.

“It was a good team effort,” stated Aquino about his team’s win. “The starters and the bench did their job. There was good ball movement and great defense.”

Mid-way through the season, the Warriors now stand at 5-2. Aquino stated, “I feel my team is doing well. We’re getting better each day: better chemistry and better teamwork. But all the glory goes to God because he brings us together; this team, as a brotherhood and as a family.”

Aquino led his team with 25 points and four rebounds. San Andres contributed with 18 points, a game-high 15 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. Hines led the Panthers with 18 points and six rebounds.

Other Scores

Sanchez 64, GW 56 – (SSHS) Dean Nilo 20 points, (GW) Jason Frias 20 points.

JFK 80, Southern 58 – (JFK) Billy Belger 27 points (7 three pointers), (JFK) 25 points, 10 rebounds.

ND 61, Harvest 55

FD 63, St. John’s 35

PHOTO GALLERY:

Panthers’ Levis Harris tried for two inside the lane. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panthers’ Levis Harris tried for two inside the lane. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panthers’ Michael Stewart shot the jumper at the top of line and tries for two. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panthers’ Michael Stewart shot the jumper at the top of line and tries for two. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors Jason Aquino took advantage of a fast break play and put two more points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors Jason Aquino took advantage of a fast break play and put two more points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panthers’ LJ Aguon shot and put three more points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Panthers’ LJ Aguon shot and put three more points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ John San Andres tipped the ball back towards his teammate to start the game off against the Panthers. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Warriors’ John San Andres tipped the ball back towards his teammate to start the game off against the Panthers. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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