Ah-Hoy stymies Kalaheo’s defensive blueprint

Kalaheo boys basketball coach Rob Pardini didn’t have to go see his neighborhood spell chanter Game of Thrones-style to come up with a way to compete with top-seeded Kahuku.

His plan to deal with Goliath and its three-headed offensive juggernaut — Jessiya Villa, Samuta Avea and Dan Fotu — was wise: Keep Villa in front, nearby defenders sag in pack line style, and the same for Avea. Crush Fotu on the block. Most importantly, give the other Red Raiders room to shoot.

“We wanted Kesi to shoot,” Pardini said of Kesi Ah-Hoy, one of Kahuku’s stellar defenders.

Ah-Hoy was ready. The 6-foot football standout — he signed with Oregon State two weeks ago — knocked down three of his four 3-point tries in the first quarter as the Red Raiders zoomed to a 23-9 lead and never looked back. He finished with 17 points, all in the first half. Kahuku went on to win handily, 87-45, and advanced to the semifinal round of the Snapple/HHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships.

Pardini’s blueprint was solid, but now opposing coaches have to deal with the reality that Ah-Hoy will knock down that shot when the first three options in Kahuku’s offense are taken away.

“Jessiya (Villa) didn’t score in the first quarter,” Pardini said, though Villa managed to score four points on 1-for-7 shooting early.

The point is well taken, though. Villa and Avea combined for just six points in the first quarter. Fotu had eight. those are numbers most opponents would be happy with.

“But their other guys stepped up,” Pardini said.

Kalaheo shot 6-for-24 from the field against Kahuku’s man-to-man defense, including 2-for-12 from 3-point range. Kahuku had a 20-13 edge on the boards.


  1. Sole February 16, 2017 12:16 pm

    “Jessiya didn’t score in the first quarter.” What game were you watching coach? He had a rebound put back and made two free throws. That’s 4 points in the first quarter. His stat line was 12 points 5 rebounds 2 steals 1 block and 7 assists. You really think you did a good job on him? He played 2 quarters and 2 minutes in the third. He showed exactly what a point guard is supposed to be. Congratulations Kesi. Time for us Mustangs to rebuild!!!

  2. 88 February 16, 2017 1:16 pm

    Sole kalaheo had a good game plan. They held Villa well below his scoring average. They just didn’t think Ah Hoy could score. I guess he showed them. Good game by both teams.

  3. Loca1boi February 16, 2017 2:07 pm

    Uh, yeah. Villa scored in the 1st quarter and then did more damage in the next two quarters after that. He was the one initiating lob city to Avea.

  4. Loca1boi February 16, 2017 2:29 pm

    @88 “They held Villa well below his scoring average.” So, 12 instead of 17 with the fact that he didnt play 4th quarter in a 40 point win? Props to Castle then for “holding” him to 5 points after only playing 2 quarters.

  5. 88 February 16, 2017 3:52 pm

    His last few games he scored in the 20’s. Last time Kalaheo and Kahuku played he scored in the 20’s. They wanted to limit his scoring and they did a pretty good job. They wanted someone other than him to score. Let Avea and Fotu get their points but try and limit Villa and let someone else score. Why? Because they didn’t think Kahuku’s defensive specialist’s could do it. They found out the hard way Ah Hoy has some offense to his defense. Where you watching the same game the rest of the State was watching? It was the Ah Hoy and Fotu show in the 1st half.

  6. 88 February 16, 2017 3:57 pm

    Oh and hell yeah props to Castle. Anytime the State of Hawaii’s best basketball player can be held to 5 points it is a BIG accomplishment.

  7. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate February 16, 2017 4:24 pm

    kailua almost beat kahuku 2 weeks ago with a zone defense, any smart coach would take notes from that game to find kahukus weakness. i bet iolani already knows so look for a close game or evan an upset

    same like football why is the #3 iolani seeded with #1 kahuku, it supposed to be #1 an #4 in same bracket. oh wait ilh cannot be in same bracket bias bs

  8. Sole February 16, 2017 4:41 pm

    So the game plan was to hold Jessiya to under his average, but allow him to still facilitate the offense, like he did. I’m pretty sure no one will ask for that blue print of a game plan ever. How about let Jessiya score 20 plus, stop his surrounding cast from getting their baskets, and hope Whitlock scores more then his average, which he didn’t either. Just me, but didn’t seem like the plan worked at all. Four players in double figures, Jessiya still had 7 assists and if his guys could make layups, would’ve been way more…hello, that’s like scoring 30 points…good game plan

  9. 88 February 16, 2017 5:07 pm

    Yes. That was Kalaheo’s game plan. The announcer said Kalaheo’s Head Coach stated that their game plan was to try and contain Villa and make Ah Hoy beat them. Only 1 part of their game planned worked. They were able to slow down Villa’s scoring.

  10. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate February 16, 2017 5:08 pm

    correct: this bball hhsaa rankings are 1,4 and 2,3 in same brackets. but u kno they didnt do that in football, giving #2 stlouis the easy bracket i guess when cal lee opens his mouth everyone listens

  11. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate February 16, 2017 5:11 pm

    it dont matter if villa no score he is the premier ball handler in thestate the last 2 decades. his ball skills will ensure a kahuku win

  12. Education First February 17, 2017 8:06 am

    Villa’s scoring isn’t a point of emphasis for Kahuku. It’s an emphasis for stat watchers. What makes Villa special is his basketball intelligence and ability to dictate tempo and court spacing.
    If you watch Kahuku play, they RARELY get pressed. Most teams do not trap Kahuku due to Villa.

    Villa can get the ball into offense on any part of the half court. He understands what the defense is giving them and who should get the ball. He also knows who is hot and tries to get the ball. He is strong enough to separate from double teams to get the ball out to create 4 on 3 situations.

    He is a special player for Hawaii. Villa can score 0, and Kahuku will still have a great chance to win. Villa does about 10 things well that NEVER show up in a box score.

    He can push the ball in transition, into a secondary break or early offense, or as shown last night, he can play when the pace is very slow.

    I think the best way to attack Villa is to wear him out. You need to get a longer athletic defender to guard him. You need to identify where he is at all time. Maybe face guard him and full deny him whenever he comes back to the ball. Then when he gets the ball send a double from behind. You have to get the ball out of his hands since he is too talented. If others beat you, then so be it.

    You an also change up defenses to give them different looks, full court trap, full man with the defense shading to his side running a double from behind. 2-3 match-up zone, 1-3-1 half court trap, box and 1.

    But then again, do teams have the personnel to do this much? Probably not. That is why I see Kahuku winning by 7 tonight.

    Villa is the best player in the state hands down, should be a unanimous vote.

  13. Loca1boi February 17, 2017 3:00 pm

    @Education First…as usual, the voice of reason.

  14. Loca1boi February 17, 2017 3:05 pm

    Get that 1st championship for Kahuku and the entire North Shore tonight, Red Raiders!

  15. The Watcher February 17, 2017 8:58 pm

    Once again Punahou underachieves. Many people will look at it like “hey they got to the ship.” I look at it like, “Hey Matsuda, you have been the head coach for 7 years with the most stacked teams. The only title you have to show for it featured an NFL 1st Round Draft pick who no one had an answer to.”

    Congratulations to Kahuku!

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