The Barrigada Crusaders avenged an early season loss, dropping the Lady Bulldogs in a do-or-die championship match in the girls high school division (eighth–10th grade) at the 2019 Summer Sizzle Hoops Fest, presented by Community First Federal Credit Union, on Saturday at the Sinajana gym.
Led by high school all-island guard Taneea Henderson, the Crusaders put the pedal to the metal and kept the pressure on the Lady Bulldogs. When the dust settled, the Crusaders emerged with the 40-28 win and the trophy after a full summer of sizzling hoops.
Henderson led all scorers with 17 points, while teammates Alexsia Aquino and Alura Hernandez added 12 and 7 points, respectively. Erin Moldez led the Bulldogs with 12 points, while Jastine Samson added 5 points in the loss.
"The girls just worked hard, and they each understood their roles coming into this league," Crusaders coach Devin Leones said. "Our teamwork was truly the key to our success. Huge shoutout for my girls and our MVP, Taneea! I'm proud of them."
In its second year, the Sinajana tournament elected to include a girls division for the first time. There were six teams from schools across the island in the inaugural run.
Many of the coaches used the tournament to develop the athletes' skills because it's only one of two leagues played during the summer that has an exclusive girls division.
"The competition was tough, but the girls had fun each game, and that's all that mattered," Leones said. "Thanks to Vince (Duenas) for putting together another successful league."
The league also recognized the impact players in the division, creating a first and second team. The All-Star Five team was topped by Henderson, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Teammate Alura Hernandez joined her in the all-star list, as well as the Bulldogs' Anjanette Ponce and Amaiya Fontanilla and Royals leading scorer Arri Arceo.