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ISLANDERS BUST FRIARS STREAK

Intense high school basketball action continued Saturday night as the JFK Islanders secured a tough win against the FD Friars on the Islanders’ home court, snapping the FD Friars unbeaten record.

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By John Baza

Intense high school basketball action continued Saturday night as the JFK Islanders secured a tough 52-49 win against the FD Friars on the Islanders’ home court, snapping the FD Friars unbeaten record at (6-1) with the Islanders taking the league’s top spot at (7-1).

In a game that consisted of sporadic offensive runs and physical man-to-man defense, it was the Islanders who were able to capitalize on forced turnovers and hold on for the win.

With time winding down and the Islanders holding a mere 49-45 lead, FD’s Tristan Jose scored on a clutch acrobatic layup to bring his team within two points, however JFK’s Billy Belger kept calm as he hit both his free throws

With the final seconds ticking off in the final minute of the game and the Friars trailing 51-49, FD used their final possession wisely as they analyzed the defense of the Islanders. The Friars’ Josh Paulino slashed to the rim throwing up a floater that banked off the backboard before rolling out and into the hands of JFK’s Aljurell Grape. Grape was fouled and went on to hit 1-of-2 free throws sealing the win for the home team.

JFK Islanders' Chris Connor gets swarmed by the Friar defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

JFK Islanders’ Chris Connor gets swarmed by the Friar defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

JFK’s Chris Conner had a monstrous night, hustling on both ends of the court and making clutch plays that sent the home crowd into frenzy.

“I just wanted to win that’s all. We kept our defense going and made stops,” said a humble Conner on his performance, who scored a team high 20 points along with 4 blocks for the Islanders.

Coming into the final quarter, JFK held a 38-31 advantage. The Islanders hit the ground running as Jan Pineda got a nice putback off a miss from Ricky Pak. FD’s Juan King hit two free throws to cut down the lead (40-33).

The Islanders’ Conner got a putback bucket to go, before the Friars’ Tristan Jose backed down his defender and drove to the hoop, netting a nice “and-one” play to keep the Friars within reach (42-36) halfway through the final quarter.

The Friars were able to get clutch buckets heading into the final minute behind Jason Santos, Devin Sudo and Jose. But with every basket, JFK had an answer as Wayne Jesus, Pak and Conner kept the Friars at bay.

FD Friras Christian Paulino converts on the contested layup. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friras Christian Paulino converts on the contested layup. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

In this fast paced bout between two of the leagues top teams, action was present from the start as both teams traded baskets with each ensuing possession. The JFK defense pressured the Friars into forced turnovers, which they converted off hustle points from Crowe and Jesus.

FD got a lift heading into the second half as Nick Clark hit two bank three-point shots, followed by buckets in the paint from Sudo and Justin Dimla. Despite this run, the home team islanders maintained a 23-22 lead before the second half.

Despite a well-played third quarter from both teams, the Islanders outscored the Friars 15-9 in the quarter to hold a 38-31 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Jesus chipped in 13 for the Islanders in the win. The Friars were lead by Jose who put in nine points and Clark with eight. JFK improves to 7-1 while the Friars drop to 6-1.

Other Scores

JFK 52, FD 49

GW 61,Sanchez 58

St. Paul 62, ND 38

Guam High 50, Okkodo 47

Tiyan 41, Harvest 40

 *St. John’s vs. Southern moved to Monday March 9th due to water outage in Southern.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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JFK Islanders Chris Connor hits the jumper over the FD Friars defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

JFK Islanders Chris Connor hits the jumper over the FD Friars defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Justin Santos flies in for a layup in transition. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Justin Santos flies in for a layup in transition. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars David Sakazaki scores from the post over the Islanders. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars David Sakazaki scores from the post over the Islanders. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Devin Sudo scores on the fast-break. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Devin Sudo scores on the fast-break. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars David Sakazaki attempts a fadeaway from the corner. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Justin Dimla attempts a fadeaway from the corner. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Tristan Jose gets the bucket over the outstretched arms of JFK Islanders Chris Connor. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

FD Friars Tristan Jose gets the bucket over the outstretched arms of JFK Islanders Chris Connor. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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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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