DHANA Marie Dalagan snapped a sloppy start to lift Indahag National High School to a 54-50 win over the veterans-laden Hornets and captures the ladies division’s crown of the 11th Loyola Cup Basketball Tournament here on Sunday at the Xavier University gym.

Dalagan fired 21 points in also snagging the most valuable player (MVP) trophy, while Muffa Somo and Shela Mae Godez contributed 10 and 8 points each.

Dalagan nearly turned into a liability with serious turnovers in the second and third quarters.

But the troika of Somo, Godez and rookie sensation Janelle Alipoyo took charge in keeping Indahag’s slim lead, 40-38 at the end of the third quarter.

Indahag lady Skyhawks got the needed break of the game after Dalagan sank a booming trey to pad their lead to six, 52-46 going into the last 2 minutes of the fourth and final quarter.

Hornets gave their last hurrah but could only manage to cut the deficit to two, 50-52 from the freethrow line in the waning seconds

Dalagan sealed the victory after making two freethrows off a quick Hornets foul with only 6.6 seconds left.

Catrina June Pong-Biongcog led the Hornets with 17 points.

Biongcog is best remembered for spearheading the Cagayan de Oro cagebelles in winning the Adidas National 3-on-3 challenge more than a decade ago in Manila.

To her credit, the all-around Biongcog was named to the Smart mythical five along with Dalagan (Indahag), Godez (Indahag), Steah Sobiono (Hornets) and Rael Tonido (Xavier U).

In the 18 under boys level, the Cagayan de Oro National High School and Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori High School will square off in the finals after beating their respective foes in a separate semifinals drama.

The City High Tigers prevailed over Philippine College Foundation via 86-78 thriller, while Sacred Heart overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Assumption Montessori School, 80-71.

The Tigers of coach Bismark Labadan blew a 19-point advantage in a blistering 25-9 run PCF rally that cut the deficit to only three, 57-60.

The PCF dribblers even stole the lead at six, 78-72 with four minutes to play.

But the PCF's scoring run eventually whittled down after their bull-strong center Allen Peligrino fouled out with still 2:01 minutes remaining.

With Peligrino on the bench, the Tigers took a breather from inside the paints.

City High’s man of the hour Jomarie dela Piedra made three-straight steals and converted them all to put the Tigers back on the lead, 80-78 with less than a minute left.

Dela Piedra, who finished with 19 points, sealed the game with a lay-up in the last 22 seconds capped by another basket from his teammate John Kenneth Al Puerto.

"We were actually exhausted. We were playing our finals in the Bukidnon league at 10, then we have to move straight to Cagayan de Oro for the 2 p.m. finals against City High," said PCF coach Iman Muleta.

On contrary, the Sacred Heart Saints of coach Edgardo `Boy’ Dacoco were poised to pull another thriller against the Assumption Jaguars of coach James Racines, but a commotion ignited by the fans spoiled it all.

The game was halted while still approaching the third quarter.

In fact, tensions continued to heat up outside the gym, forcing the intervention of the operatives from Police Station 1.