Large crowds, energetic and loud fans, and hard-fought competition last week was the order of the day at the two high school basketball league championship games.
Despite repeated rain delays, the players put on a show — and their fans loved it, shouting, beeping vehicle horns, and banging tins (no sports contest in RMI is complete without at least one lady banging out a loud melody on a biscuit tin).
The long and the short of it is the Marshall Islands High School Geckos girls dethroned the Majuro Cooperative High School Mad Dogs, ending a nine-year reign by Coop as the girls high school basketball powerhouse on Majuro.
The MIHS girls went “old school” to find a way to hamper star Coop shooter and playmaker Hiroko Obeketang — they used a box and one defense to increase the pressure on her, not unlike the 1991 Chicago Bulls pulling Michael Jordan off guarding Magic Johnson in the Finals and putting Scottie Pippin on the job, a dose of defensive glue that helped seal the Lakers’ fate in that series. Final score, MIHS 71-Coop 59.
Hiroko won the three point contest at halftime.
A day later, the Coop High School boys turned the tables on the MIHS boys with an almost identical score, 72-59. Now the boys high school title has not seen a consecutive win streak like the Coop girls held these past nine years. It has bounced around among different teams.
But one thing remains constant for high school teams in Majuro: Any time you knock off Marshall Islands High School— the largest high school in the country — it’s a big victory.
On the boys side, Coop’s Pico Doulatram won the three point shooting contest.