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FAMILIAR FOES TO MEET FOR HOOPS CROWN

Cougars, Warriors win IIAAG semifinals

By Jay Leon Guerrero

For the sixth straight year, the St. Paul Warriors and the Academy Cougars will face off in the IIAAG Girls Basketball Championship game.

Final semifinal scores
#1 Academy Cougars defeat #4 Guam High Panthers 45-39
#2 St. Paul Warriors defeat #3 St. John’s Knights 50-47

Warriors stamp their ticket
The Warriors led the entire contest of their semifinal game against St. John’s. The lead was as high as 13 points in the third quarter before the Knights mounted a late comeback.

Jia Peters scored six straight points to get the Knights within five points, trailing 43-50 with 1:39 remaining. A missed attempt by the Warriors led to a transition basket by Amara Del Carmen, and the game was suddenly 50-45 with less than 48 seconds remaining.

A steal by the Knights led to another basket by Peters, and the game was down to three points with 10 seconds remaining.

The Warriors played keep away and were able to avoid St. John’s defenders as the final horn sounded for the victory.

“It’s not over yet. We still have to work hard to win that ‘ship.”

– Warriors leader Sazzanei Quintanilla

Quintanilla had a team-high 18 points, shooting 91 percent from the charity stripe, making 10 of 11 free throws.

Ryanna Ngirchomlei helped establish an early lead for the Warriors, recording four steals in the first quarter alone. The Warriors were up 17-10 at the end of the first quarter and were up 21-16 by halftime.

The Warriors came out of the locker room on fire and found their rhythm on offense.  Gabreanna Hahn capped a 6-0 Warrior run with a long jumper to go up by 13 points in the third quarter.

The Knights showed their fight in the final period and played more aggressively with Ella Wigsten, Del Carmen, and Peters taking shots. The Warrior free throw shooting saved the day with Quintanilla making all of her free throws in the final quarter to stamp their ticket to the championship. 

Free throw shooting was an issue for the Knights, missing 17 total free throws for the contest.

Ngirchomlei had 11 points, seven steals, and five assists for the Warriors, Hahn had 10 points and six rebounds for St. Paul.

“Our strategy was to play good defense because defense wins games,” said Ngirchomlei. “Later in the game, we were rushing on offense, so we needed to take our time.”

It was a good run by the Knights, who will play for third place against the Panthers. Peters had a game-high 20 points, Del Carmen had her way in the paint with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Quintanilla said the focus for the championship game will be defense and team ball: “Communication, in general, is key. We need to work together as a team.”

Academy defeats Guam High
Torie Rapadas had 12 points and six assists to lead the Cougars. Maddy Ada had seven points and eight rebounds, Maria-Jean Paulino had seven points and seven steals for Academy.

The big game will be played on Tuesday at the UOG Field House. the third place game between the Knights and Panthers kick things off at 5:30 pm followed by the championship game.

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COMING SOON …

  • 3rd Quarter Sports: Rugby, Boys Basketball, Softball, Tennis in full swing!

 

 

QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
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Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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