Frankie Felix sure came up big in the nick of time.
With point guard Noah Bumanglag out (concussion), Felix sparked a big rally with three 3-pointers during the second quarter as ‘Iolani overcame host Kailua 66-56 in the semifinal round of the Surfrider Holiday Classic on Saturday night.
Felix connected on two more treys in the third quarter and finished with 19 points to lead the Raiders. Kekoa Lee added 14 points in a battle that tested the Raiders’ mettle. Kailua kept defensive pressure tight from start to finish.
“It’s kind of unexpected getting a win,” ‘Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto said. “I didn’t think we were doing things well, and then Noah is out with his concussion.”
Bumanglag, a key returnee, will miss the upcoming OIA-ILH Challenge, Shimamoto added. Instead of the savvy guard taking on key defensive tasks, the Raiders had to look elsewhere to get coverage on Kailua’s dangerous guard, Everett Torres-Kahapea.
“Frankie shot it well. Kawika did a little bit of everything. Ryan Van Cantfort played great defense on Everett. He still had (21) points, but he had to work for it,” Shimamoto said.
Van Cantfort, a sharpshooter, is carving out another role, perhaps, as a stopper.
“Ryan did an excellent job. It puts him high on the list now,” Shimamoto said.
Cole Hogland added 11 points for the Raiders.
Nainoa Peters scored 12 points and Isaiah Hopson had 10 for Kailua. Hopson, a transfer from American Samoa, had a resounding fastbreak dunk in the third quarter that brought the home crowd to life.
The Raiders had some occasional rough patches against Kailua’s fullcourt pressure late in the game, but came through at the foul line. ‘Iolani shot 7-for-10 there in the fourth quarter, including 4-for-4 by Lee.
Now the Raiders will face Kamehameha in the title game. The Warriors outlasted St. Francis 71-66 in the earlier semifinal.
“It’s a good opportunity to see where we’re at,” Shimamoto said. “Neither Greg (Tacon) or I really want to play each other, but if we win, it means we’re doing things well. If we lose, it shows us what we need to work on.”
Senior guard Justin Genovia was on the Raiders bench. The returning starting guard suffered a collarbone injury seven weeks ago during football season. He said his return date is set for Dec. 26, when the Raiders leave for a mainland tournament.