CAHS teams finish stay at P.R. tourney

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MAYAGUEZ - With Akito Amaro's game-tying 3-point shot off the mark, the Charlotte Amalie High School boys basketball team fell to Eloisa Pascal School, 59-56, in the semifinal of the losers' bracket of the Puerto Rico Hoops Championship on Sunday Afternoon.

After scoring the first two points on a pair of free throws, the Hawks saw Pascal score the next 11 points. However, behind the play of senior guard Sekayi Petersen, the Hawks battled back to take a 19-18 first quarter lead.

"We were down by several points and fought our way back," said head coach Pedrito Estrill. "I switched from zone to man-to-man and it caused problems."

The game was nip and tuck as no team was able to get a lead bigger than five points. The lead changed hands 16 times, including five lead changes coming into the fourth quarter.

Amaro's 3-pointer gave CAHS a 48-46 lead to start the final frame. Pascal then answered with one of its own.

After two free throws by Petersen to reclaim the lead at 50-49, Pascal moved the ball down the court in seven seconds and scored a quick layup to make the score 51-50.

Elisha Arnold then made a tough layup to give the Hawks back the lead, only for Pascal to hit two more free throws to again reclaim the lead at 53-52.

With Pascal playing keep-away with 1:26 left and a 57-56 lead, the Hawks were forced to foul. Pascal hit only one of two attempts and gave the Hawks some life. Arnold was forced into a turnover, but Pascal made only one free throw, giving the Hawks another chance.

With 6.5 seconds left, the Hawks in-bounded the ball to Petersen, who drove the length of the court and dished off to Amaro, who missed the game-tying shot.

Petersen was the high scorer for the Hawks with 24 points, followed by Arnold with 11 points and Amaro with 10 points.

With the loss, the Hawks (2-2) finished one game shy of the final game of the Gold Division's losers bracket.

"Sekayi was instrumental scoring inside and outside," said Estrill. "He was at a high level all tournament long. Akito ran the offensive sets with great precision and I don't think he had a turnover. J'Moi Smith was injured in the first game and his shooting was off.

"We will go home and change some things that would hopefully make us better. "

On Saturday, the Hawks came back from 11 points down to knock off North Carolina's BPD team, 64-62. Akito Amaro nailed a long jumper as the Hawks got their first lead, 56-55, with 2:06 remaining. Arnold then scored the next four points to put the game out of reach.

"The turning point was when we went small," added Estrill. "It put a lot of pressure on the team and it led to turnovers and tough shot choices. Sekayi was extremely hot from the perimeter; his penetration and rebounding caused a lot of trouble. Amaro was tremendous at the point position. His decision making was key."

Petersen was solid as he knocked down mid-range jumpers on his way to a game-high 25 points. Arnold added 15 points.

"We are going to be fine," added Estrill. "People need to understand that we are playing teams that have played 25-30 games. We did a tremendous job as we were in every game that we played and they were played tough. We will be all right. "

The CAHS Lady Hawks concluded the tournament on Saturday afternoon when they dropped a 41-34 game to Disculpos.

The Lady Hawks (0-3) started slowly and found themselves down, 17-4, before rallying. It took CAHS two quarters and midway through the fourth to get within three points at 35-32 at the 4:37 mark.

After a couple of free-throw misses as a result of a technical foul by a tired Jerusha Corbett, Disculpos went on 7-0 run to seal the game. Renai Evans led CAHS with 13 points. Corbett added seven points and Jahrima Simmons chipped in six points.

In an add-in game, the Lady Hawks picked up their first win of the season, outlasting the Roosevelt Lady Raiders from Oregon, 56-51.

The backcourt tandem of Evans and freshman Sherelle George combined for 38 points and were thorns in the side of the bigger Roosevelt team.

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