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WARRIORS REBOUND WITH BIG WIN OVER KNIGHTS

St. Paul bounces back from 1st loss of the season

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The St. Paul Warriors are a team on a mission. After suffering their first loss of the season in the IIAAG Girls Basketball League at the hands of the Academy Cougars, the Warirors came out swinging to earn a 43-36 victory against the St John’s Knights on their home court.

Both teams entered the contest with identical 4-1 record (as well as the Academy Cougars), and the Warriors had to deal with the size of the Knights front court. The Warriors played Warrior basketball, and it was their defense in the first half that proved to be a difference in the contest.

Sazzanei Quintanilla stuffed the stat sheet for the Warriors with 21 points, six steals, and five rebounds. Quintanilla was also hot from behind the arc, going 5-8 from three-point land.

The Warriors started aggressively, took a big lead, and never looked back. Ryanna Ngirchomlei played quarterback for the Warirors to start the contest, dishing assists to Quintanilla and Kimora Charfauros to help establish a 15-3 first quarter lead.

Defense was the emphasis for Warrior coach Derin Stinnett as her team forced 14 first-half turnovers to take a 25-9 lead by halftime.

“We were quite devastated after that loss (to Academy) last weekend. We wanted to come out and work hard in this game so we can win the ‘ship this year.”

– St. Paul leader Sazzanei Quintanilla

The Knights made their adjustments coming out of halftime and went on a 9-2 run. Ella Wigsten led the Knights with her energy on both ends to give some life to the squad as the Knights trailed 18-27.

The Warriors called a timeout and adjusted to the box-and-one defense on Quintanilla.  The Warriors got their offense from Gabrielle Hahn and Charfauros to close out the quarter to go back up 37-21.

“I was kind of surprised that they did a box defense, but my teammates stepped up,” said Quintanilla.

A late run by the Knights was too little, too late as the clock was not on their side. The Knights outscored the Warriors 15-6 in the final period, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Jia Peters dealt with double teaming throughout the contest but still managed to record a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Peters also had three blocks for the knights. Amara Del Carmen had two blocks. Wigsten had 13 points, five assists, and six steals for the Knights who fall to 4-2.

Charfauros had 10 points and two assists for the Warriors. Hahn and Bella Brub each grabbed seven rebounds for St. Paul.

The big game
“We’ve watched the tape and realized our mistakes. We are going to make some adjustments,” said Quintanilla.

The Warriors and the Cougars will face each other this Thursday in a showdown for the top seed heading into the playoffs. Both teams have one loss this season and home court advantage may be at stake on Thursday night at Academy. 

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COMING SOON …

4th Quarter Post Season

Boys Volleyball Champion v Champion on May 19

QUICK HITS

Bailey Concepcion makes it to the Seattle Seahawks dance team for the 2nd straight year.

Congratulations @seadancer_bailey
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The St. Paul Warriors are the 2024 IIAAG Boys Middle School Basketball League Champions! The Warriors defeated the 2nd seed Andersen Dragons 60-47 to cap off their undefeated season.
Mario Bork led the Warriors with 20 points in the championship game.

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