In the waning seconds of a Guam Department of Education Interscholastic Sports Association girls high school basketball game against the Sharks, the Okkodo High School Bulldogs had two good looks at the basket, but fell to Simon Sanchez High School 38-37.
With 13 seconds left in regulation and trailing by a point, the Bulldogs orchestrated a perfect inbounds play from Alaya Fontanilla to Hannah Meinik, but the execution was a little off. The Sharks’ Kayna Kanemoto grabbed the game-saving rebound but was stripped by a hustling Fontanilla and Vaysia Blas, who found Jasmine Samson open near the top of the key for a 3-pointer. Samson’s shot grazed the inside of the cylinder but popped back out.
We didn't expect that pass to go back to Hannah,” Kanemoto said. “Unfortunately, she missed, but that helped us,” added Kanemoto, saying she and Meinik are friends and the Bulldog was a member of the Sharks roster last season.
With the win, the Sharks improve to 1-1. With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 1-1.
“It felt good to take the win,” Kanemoto said. ... "It shows us that we got a win against Okkodo and we can play a game like this."
The Bulldogs opened the first quarter in dominant fashion, outscoring the Sharks 11-6 in the first eight minutes. A 3-pointer from Meinik and strong play from Sharma Taiuwei powered the Bulldogs through the opening frame. The Bulldogs surged to a five-point lead, but poor free throw shooting kept Okkodo from pulling away.
In the first period, Okkodo missed 8-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe. After four quarters of play, the Bulldogs finished a disappointing 4-of-19 (21%) from the free throw line. Fueling the Bulldogs' woes, they also missed 28 point-blank layups.
In that first frame, Samson and Okkodo teammate Jordyn Zacarias were held scoreless, but lit it up late from 3-point land in the second frame. Samson, finding her range, made back-to-back shots from deep. Zacarias added a 3-pointer.
The Sharks were the aggressors in the second quarter, moving seamlessly without the ball and finding the open player under the basket. Running the Sharks’ offense, Ronafe Ollet found Kanemoto open in the paint. Kanemoto, who finished with a game-high 18 points, scored 10 points in the period. Heading into the intermission, Kanemoto and company erased Okkodo’s lead, tying the game 21-21.
Kanemoto, although playing a career game, had tons of help. Teammates Ronnie Dela Cruz and Zyla Soriano each finished with 9 points. The triple threat scored all but 2 points of the Sharks' total offense.
“I just had to get myself open,” Kanemoto said. “I had to get myself open so I could put up some shots.”
Throughout the second quarter, the Sharks defense was stingy, allowing the duo only a trio of 3-pointers. In the third quarter, the Sharks cooled down on offense but not on defense, allowing a pair of 3-pointers from Samson and Zacarias, Okkodo’s only field goals of the quarter.
The Sharks led 38-33 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t bury the Bulldogs.
“They started to pick up their pace,” Kanemoto said.