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BULLDOGS KNOCK OUT ISLANDERS, GECKOS UPSET SHARKS

The Bulldogs are headed back to the ISA Championship to defend the title against the GW Geckos

By Paradis Jolie Fejerang

After being placed in the first seed for ISA’s ‘24 Boys Basketball playoffs, Okkodo High will be headed to the championship match after putting the John F. Kennedy’s Islanders’ spirit to the test. With impressive athletes representing both teams, the Islanders’ game slowed as the gap between the scores grew and although the green-and-gold competitors kept their fight up, the score ended with 75 points to the Bulldogs over their opponents’ 43. 

ISA’s MVP for this year’s season, OHS senior Monte Cabrera, has been leading his team for the win today since their playoff practices began. Knowing that the work to win starts with the right practices, Cabrera shares what the Bulldogs knew they needed to improve on in preparation for the game against the Islanders. “We had been working on our shots and playing defense as a team,” the senior stated, adding that they were also light practices, keeping him and his teammates from overworking themselves and still getting the work done.

Proving that their practices paid off, the Bulldogs’ shots made in each quarter much outweighed that of the Islanders’. Showing off his refining on shots, Cabrera cleared every free-throw opportunity and made a couple of threes, adding to his solid total of 21 points out of the Bulldogs’ total 75.

As for their defense, Okkodo demonstrated their preparedness not only through their general success, but also from their demeanor throughout. With a slight strain showing on the athletes at the start of the game, as the team found their rhythm, there were less and less chances for the Islanders to capitalize on. When it came to the fourth and final quarter, the Islanders did their best to display a committed front, but their fretfulness got the best of them, losing most opportunities they were able to land to the assured defense of the Bulldogs, making simple mistakes and rushing through plays. 

“[We were] kind of nervous…we just had to find our confidence and lock in as a team,” Cabrera regards the energy prior to beginning the game. Despite coming in as the first seed granting the athletes some positive morale, Cabrera made an effort to ensure reminders that anything can happen. “We couldn’t let our guard down and we just had to…execute.” 

With hope for the gold, Cabrera shows a lot of support for and belief in the OHS athletes that he is hoping to share the victory with. “Now, we’re moving onto the championship. All we have to do is be ready for what’s in front of us and control what we can control.”

At the other site, the GW Geckos upset the Sanchez Sharks by stealing the ticket to meet the Bulldogs and the championship with a final score of 58 – 45. 

The face-off will take place on March 2, Saturday, at Southern High School and is set to begin at 7:30pm.

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