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Ferrara leads Elite past Supreme in All-Star game - Jun 12, 2016

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When the game was on the line, Aiden Ferrara stuck to the basics. While many of his teammates and opponents took advantage of a wide-open defensive game to throw up multiple three-pointers, Ferrara and a few others focused on scoring points the old-fashioned way - inside the key. Ferrara, a recent graduate from Okkodo High School, led Team Elite to a 90-87 victory over Team Supreme at the Wendy's Boys' High School All-Star Basketball Game on Monday at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center. Ferrara led all scorers with 18 points, but it wasn't a bucket that earned him the Wendy's Player of the Game honors. With teammate John Buan (Simon Sanchez) on the free throw line and his team up 90-87 with 17.2 seconds left on the clock, Ferrara came up with an offensive rebound off a missed free-throw to thwart all chances of a comeback and secure the victory for Elite. He took a lighthearted but serious approach toward the game, he said. 'We were trying to win. I don't like losing. I mean, you either play for a purpose or don't play at all,' Ferrara said after the game. The tournament put together two teams coached by Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam High School Boys' Basketball League finals coaches Jin Han of the Simon Sanchez Sharks and Rey Serafico of the John F. Kennedy Islanders. Both coaches took part in a draft process that allowed them to select their choice of players from each school. Serafico had won the IIAAG title two years in a row with the Islanders, but lost the All-Star game consecutively. The disparity in offensive attacks would be easy to spot right off the beginning tip-off. Elite got off four points immediately from within five feet of the rim as Buan scored first, followed by Ferrara for a 4-0 lead. Supreme's first two baskets were from beyond the arc as Nathaniel Gaitan of George Washington High and Billy Belger of JFK each sank a three before another bucket inside by Ferrara tied the match at 6-6 with 7:54 on the clock. Rodney Taitague of Guam High sank two more 3-pointers, while Takumi Simon of St. John's added another for a total of five three-pointers for Supreme in the half. That halftime output was more than what Elite completed the entire game. Coach Han said that he wanted to make sure his players enjoyed this final game. 'I just asked for them to go out there and have fun and play hard. All these guys earned the right to put on this uniform and come out and play tonight,' said Han. 'We know that all of these guys are really good players - they are all the best of their respective high schools.' Han felt that if the team looked out for one another, things would open up for them. 'We wanted to set some screens so that we can set up easy shots and just have fun.' Elite's game plan worked well as they pulled ahead by 15 points in the third quarter when Devin Sudo scored on a layup for a 69-54 lead with 2:00 left in the quarter. Elite finished the quarter ahead 72-57. Supreme's high-powered offense made a run in the fourth quarter led by Gaitan, Simon and Mark Temerowski of Harvest. The trio combined for 20 points as Supreme outscored Elite 28-15 to cut the deficit to just two points at 87-85 with 2:20 left in the game. After a free throw by Elite, Supreme's Chris Conner of JFK closed the gap to 88-87 on a basket with 36 seconds remaining. Supreme managed another free throw before a foul placed Buan on the line, setting Ferrara up for his late-game heroics. Supreme had a few chances late in the game, but lost both opportunities off of turnovers.
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