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ISLANDERS IMPROVE TO 9-1 OVER DOLPHINS

The JFK Islanders (9-1) showed no love on Valentine’s night towards the host Southern Dolphins (4-4), extending their winning streak to eight games with a victory in the IIAAG boys basketball league Saturday night.

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By Jay Leon Guerrero

The JFK Islanders (9-1) showed no love on Valentine’s night towards the host Southern Dolphins (4-4), extending their winning streak to eight games with a 68-63 victory in the IIAAG boys basketball league Saturday night. The Islanders started slow but finished strong down the stretch to hold on for the win, moving one step closer to home court advantage come playoff time.

Wayne Jesus led the Islanders with 22 points and teammate Ricky Pak hit 7-of-10 field goals for 15 points. Chris Conner had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Grape dished out a game-high six assists.

Diallo Cruz had a game-high 24 points for the Dolphins in the loss. Ryan Teologo had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Borja and Christian Lopez grabbed 15 and 12 rebounds, respectively.

The Dolphins stunned the leagues top team by taking an 8-0 lead to open the contest, forcing JFK coach Rey Serafico to burn an early timeout. Ryan Teologo, Cruz, and Michael Borja each scored from offensive boards to force the Islanders to change up their defense.

Billy Belger fades back for a long two in the second quarter.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Billy Belger fades back for a long two in the second quarter. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

“We were playing at their pace to start the game, we came out with a little more sense of urgency and made them play more at our pace,” said the Islanders’ Ricky Pak. The Dolphins out-rebounded the Islanders 57-34 with three Dolphins grabbing 10 rebounds or more for the game.

Trailing 13-7 after the first period, the Islanders went to the full court press and managed to force turnovers to tie the game by halftime. Chris Conner and Wayne Jesus provided much of the offense for the Islanders as the Dolphins keyed in on shooters Ricky Pak and Billy “The Kid” Belger.

“Playing good man-to-man and help defense is what got us back into the game,” said Jesus who had three steals for the game.

The Islanders trapped the Dolphin guards and forced them into bad passing angles which forced six turnovers in the crucial third period. Jaron Weilbacher, Belger, and Aljurell Grape each got steals that turned into easy points for the Islanders who pushed the lead to 45-33 in third quarter.

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The Dolphins staged a comeback in the fourth period once again getting second chance opportunities from offensive rebounds. Teologo and Lopez collected offensive rebounds which created second chance points to cut the lead to six points in the final period. Cruz scored 9 points in the final period but the Dolphins ran out if time and Islanders hit their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.

The Islanders look to hold on to the top seed to earn home court advantage for the first round of the IIAAG single elimination playoffs. “We just have to take things game by game,” said Jesus. “We’re feeling good about the win but we have to stay content, we want to get to that championship,” said Pak.

Other Scores

FD 48, St. Paul 39

St. John’s 60, Guam High 49

Sanchez 38, Tiyan 17

Notre Dame 65, Harvest 55boys basketball standings

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Islanders and Dolphins collide for a rebound.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Islanders and Dolphins collide for a rebound. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Chris Conner of JFK takes flight to shoot over Cody Terlaje.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Chris Conner of JFK takes flight to shoot over Cody Terlaje. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Cody Terlaje charges to the basket for a layup.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Cody Terlaje charges to the basket for a layup. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

SJ Henry gets a shot off over a blocking Dolphin.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

SJ Henry gets a shot off over a blocking Dolphin. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Ricky Pak of JFK tries to get a hand up to block a long three from Diallo Cruz.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Ricky Pak of JFK tries to get a hand up to block a long three from Diallo Cruz. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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Scott Eclavea

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