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PANTHERS SHOOT OUT TO 3-0 SEASON START

The Guam High Panthers are now 3-0 in the Gadao Division of the IIAAG Boys High School Basketball League after defeating the Southern Dolphins 43-31 on their home court.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam High Panthers are now 3-0 in the Gadao Division of the IIAAG Boys High School Basketball League after defeating the Southern Dolphins 43-31 on their home court.

Wendy’s Players of the Game: Raven Taitague and Khalid Volious

Guam High’s Raven Taitague helped his team stay composed in the final period to hold off a late comeback by the Dolphins. Taitague made a mid-range jumper and hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

“We still have a long way to go and we still have alot to learn. We have no superstars on this team; everyone has to do their job as role players,” said Taitague.

The Panthers did their job on the defense, holding the Dolphins to 24 percent shooting and winning the battle of the boards 45-24. Guam High center Khalid Volious had a game high 23 rebounds but managed to score only five points.

“Their center (Javier Castro) blocked me quite a few number of times so I have to do a better job at my post moves,” said Volious. Castro had five blocks for the contest for Southern High.

“We didn’t see this team in the pre-season so our game plan was to just execute on offense and get back on defense.”

Game sequence

Taitague scored the first five points of the contest, draining a 3-pointer and then making a lay-in before both teams went on a scoring drought.

Southern’s John Lopez finally got his team on the board with a 3-pointer. Both teams protected the paint well and contested all outside shots with the Panthers clinging to a low scoring 7-6 lead after the first period.

Southern played good defense with Castro recording two blocks in the first quarter but rebounding was an issue for the Dolphins. Guam High managed eight first quarter offensive rebounds but also struggled shooting from the field.

The Panther bench stepped up in the second quarter to help take a 23-15 advantage by halftime. Justin Jerusalem and Francis Tagalog each hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Guam High go up by eight points by the break.

The Dolphins started off the third quarter on an 11-3 run to trim their deficit to 26-23. Lopez was the catalyst once again during the spurt with a 3-pointer and two assists during the run. Lopez recorded his fifth assist of the game on a nice pick-and-roll dish to Castro.

Guam High coach Joe Taitano called a timeout and his team responded by finishing the third quarter on a 7-0 run. Raven Taitague scored five points and Nicholas Keefe added a basket to close out the quarter with a 33-23 lead.

The Dolphins made a strong comeback with four minutes remaining in regulation. Nathan Sanchez scored a reverse lay-in to cut the lead to 37-31 but the Dolphins were unable to score a basket for the rest of the game. Taitague closed out the game going 3-for-4 from the free throw line to help the Panthers improve to 3-0.

Lopez had 13 points, six assist and five rebounds to lead the Dolphins. Sanchez scored seven points; Castro had nine rebounds and five blocks for the Dolphins who drop to 1-2 for the season. The Dolphins will look to go 2-2 for the season as the go up against the Harvest Eagles Tuesday night at Harvest. Guam High will look to make it four in a row as they host the ND Royals on Tuesday.

JV game

Southern defeated Guam High 48-43 in the junior varsity game. Brennan Cruz scored 25 points for the Dolphins. Dylan Poblere scored 17 points for the Panthers.

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