Merry Roundball, Dec. 20 (updated 10:20 pm)
Update 10:20 p.m. Findlay Prep 73, Coolidge 63. Great effort by Coolidge, and if they hit some 3-pointers in that third quarter, they would’ve taken the lead. Findlay’s big man, Gavin Schilling, dominated on the offensive glass all night long. A beast like him on the boards is one good reason to play conservatively, I suppose. Maybe the Pilots don’t have a deep bench, but a No. 1 team that plays this close to the vest, struggles at times against fullcourt pressure … it just doesn’t add up.
Maybe I’m totally wrong and they’ll kick tail in the semifinals tomorrow. After all, Montrose Christian played it slow tonight, too. Maybe they’re all saving their fuel for the semifinals and finals.
So La Lumiere looks good. They’ll run, play fundamentally solid and keep running. 96 points on Yates today? That’s saying something. I’m cheering for the Lakers, sorta, like any team that isn’t hesitant to run.
Update 9:55 p.m. Coolidge just can’t buy a 3 at this point, must’ve missed six or seven tries from deep. (Sub in BMac McInnis and Bonecrusher Hull, please.) Findlay just sat in that 2-3 matchup zone and dared Coolidge to launch. Findlay switched to man defense for the final 4.9 seconds of the third quarter (dead ball) and Coolidge scored on a drive. I beat Findlay goes back to the zone for the final quarter.
Findlay Prep leads 51-42.
Update 9:30 p.m. Findlay Prep (Nev.) is getting a good rub from Coolidge (D.C.). The Colts rallied to take a 23-22 lead in the second quarter, but Findlay, the nation’s No. 1 team, now leads 36-29 at halftime. Long, tall, Findlay owns the defensive boards. Rarely a second shot for Coolidge, which is relying on quick 3-point shots to stay in the game. Kind of like Kalaheo and Yates two nights ago.
√ Quarterfinal: Montrose Christian (Md.) 43, John Carroll (Md.) 28
√ Quarterfinal: Oak Hill (Va.) 62, ‘Iolani 30
√ Quarterfinal: La Lumiere (Ind.) 96, Yates (Texas) 60
√ Consolation: Moanalua 45, Kapolei 33
√ Consolation: Hilo 53, Kahuku 48
√ Consolation: Kamehameha 55, McKinley 48
√ Consolation: Kalaheo 66, Tsinghua (China) 45
Update 8:35 p.m. No slam dunk contest at the ‘Iolani Classic tonight. I mentioned earlier that it was tonight because I called the athletic department earlier in the week and that’s what they said. But thanks to Jerry Campany for the head’s up and correction. (No, I didn’t read the right date in the program.) So tomorrow (Friday) night, it’s on. The second-to-last game of the night here is 26-18 after three quarters. I’m pau work for now (we’ve got another writer covering this tourney), so it’s chow time. Roast pork and gravy. This is halfway through.
Update 7:20 p.m. Nick Velasquez of Punahou won the 3-point shooting contest at the Punahou Invitational.
Update 7:15 p.m. Punahou over Baldwin 64-43. The Buffanblu jumped to a 23-5 lead after one quarter, using their fullcourt press to get seven steals. They basically coasted from there, calling off the dogs by the third quarter. Once gain, Coach Darren Matsuda’s bench got a big chunk of minutes.
Punahou should be well-rested for tomorrow’s semifinal game with Benson Tech (Ore.).
The 3-point contest is underway, followed by the slam dunk contest. But frankly, the real slam dunk contest is later tonight at the ‘Iolani Classic. I don’t know if we’ll get another showman slammer like Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (last year) or the field of dunkers from 2010. But I’m optimistic because of the high flyers from Oak Hill (Va.), Yates (Texas), Findlay Prep (Nev.) and more.
2 p.m. Another day, another full slate of games. So many contests, so little time. But all hoopaholics try, they really try. Especially if they can’t stand the long lines and snarled traffic of Christmas season.
Here’s a cool shot from the Moanalua Basketball Facebook page. Frame it!
Upset city: When they were still in preschool, the current Lady Spartans of Maryknoll probably weren’t aware that Maryknoll’s upset win at Punahou would be a rarity. It took another 13 seasons for the school on the makai side of Wilder Ave. to knock off the Goliath on the mauka side.
It was bruising. Physical. Sometimes ugly. But Maryknoll rallied from an 11-2 deficit for a 41-34 win last night. The story in this morning’s paper is available to all. Premium content is free for a few more days online. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas!
• ‘Iolani Classic
• Punahou Invitational
• Walter Wong Classic
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser