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ISLANDERS AVENGE EARLY SEASON LOSS

JFK and Sanchez now tied atop ISA league at 5-1

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The defending ISA Girls Basketball League champion JFK Islanders grinded out a tough 40-35 victory over the Sanchez Sharks to move into first place Friday night.

JFK held off a strong comeback by the homeless Sharks on their home court to win by five points, putting them ahead by points spread.

“Our coaches prepared us for the game today. We learned from the first matchup and the main focus was defense,” said JFK’s Gabrielle Gogue. The Islanders recorded 14 steals for the game. 

The Sharks suffered their first loss of the season. This is the second time the Sharks and Islanders have met in the season with the Sharks winning a narrow one-point victory last month to open the season. Both teams are now 5-1 in the ISA league.

JFK guard Franchesca Aguilar helped the Islanders build an early lead and finished things off with a game sealing basket. Aguilar scored six points in the opening quarter to put JFK up 12-6.

The Islanders had their biggest lead of the game, a 36-23 advantage two minutes into the fourth quarter behind big plays for Cassandra Kido. Kido recorded a no-look assist to Gogue and made a steal on the ensuing possession. Kido drove to the basket after making the steal to put JFK up by 13 points.

Just when it looked like the game was over, the Sharks bit back with Ronnie Dela Cruz scoring six straight points. With less than a minute remaining, Dela Cruz made a three-pointer and then recorded a steal at half court. Dela Cruz then proceeded to drive to the basket, making the lay-up while getting fouled in the process to cut the lead to 38-35 after making the free throw. 

JFK called a timeout as the home crowd grew nervous. With 20 seconds left, the Sharks look to go for a steal first, and then eventually fouling.

With the Islanders trying to play keep-away, Aguilar cut to the basket and guard Jaelyn Han found her to make the uncontested basket. JFK wins 40-35.

“Coach (Merwin Martin) just told us to remain calm during that last timeout. We felt the pressure getting to us. We were nervous, but our coach calmed us down,” said Gogue. Gogue finished the game with nine points and five rebounds.

Aguilar had a game-high 12 points and five rebounds.  Han contributed five points and had four steals for JFK.

ISA Volleyball MVP Kayna Kanemoto finished with nine points and 11 rebounds for Sanchez. Dela Cruz also scored nine points, six in the final quarter. Britney Gatmay had seven points and five assists for the Sharks.

In the junior varsity game, JFK won 37-32. Mylie Navarro recorded a steal on an inbounds pass and made the lay up to secure the victory. Navarro had 19 points to lead all scorers. Sophia Rabino scored 14 points to lead the Sharks, Rhian Macaldo added 11 points. 

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COMING SOON …

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament

Guam National Triathlon Championship July 14

QUICK HITS

Ryleen Mya Castro was named team MVP for the St. Mary’s College of California Women’s Rugby team in only her sophomore season. Castro is a 2022 graduate from Guam High.
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Coach Donan Cruz and the U.S. Men’s U21 National Team took home gold at the 2024 NORCECA Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) win over Canada in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.

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