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Guam postpones start of fourth-quarter sports

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 15, 2020

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Just a day after the island crowned a high school basketball champion, Guam’s private school league announced it was bringing preparations for the fourth-quarter season to a halt due to coronavirus concerns.

In a press release from league president Terry Debold, the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam, in which Guam High School participates, announced it would “immediately suspend any and all interscholastic sports activities” through Saturday.

The announcement was made in apparent response to reports Sunday that three individuals had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Fourth-quarter IIAAG sports include boys volleyball, track and field, girls soccer and paddling.

“While it is a disappointing action, the IIAAG’s first and foremost priority is the safety and welfare of our members and those who share in interscholastic activities,” Debold said in the statement.

A special meeting of the league’s members and board of trustees is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss and decide what further actions will be taken in response to the coronavirus situation on island.

“The immediate measures will help safeguard our members while we await further information and general guidance” from government authorities, Debold said in the statement.

The announcement came a day after the finals of the Guam Basketball Confederation’s high school championship, which saw Father Duenas Memorial complete an unbeaten season on island and win its fourth tournament of the season.

Kyle Camacho scored 16 points and Father Duenas outscored Guam 24-2 in the third quarter to pull away for a 69-44 win Saturday at the University of Guam’s Calvo Field House.

Just reaching the finals was a major step for a Panthers team that won just five of its first 14 games, said Guerrero, in his first year of coaching the Panthers.

“With a season of so many ups and downs, I’m extremely proud of the way we competed,” Guerrero said. “Second (isn’t) so bad. Our players improved so much and I’m so thankful for having the opportunity to coach them.”

The Panthers recovered from their slow start to reach the semifinals of the IIAAG playoffs, eventually losing to Harvest Christian in the third-place game.

Then, in an eight-team GBC playoff including Department of Education public-school teams, the Panthers upset Okkodo 80-71 in overtime in the quarterfinals, avenged the loss to Harvest 59-52 in the semifinals before succumbing to the Friars in the final.

Dillen Dela Cruz led the Panthers with 12 points and Travon Jacobs pitched in with 10.

The Friars had also won the island’s preseason tournament and the American School In Japan Kanto Classic in January, then the IIAAG and GBC tournaments this month.

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