Two weeks ago, Kamehameha-Hawaii flew to Oahu, beat McKinley 48-41, then lost to Punahou 52-46 in the semifinals of the Punahou Invitational boys basketball tourney.
A week later, the same Warriors met the same Buffanblu in the St. Francis/Merv Lopes Classic. They Warriors played with a renewed energy and a sense of urgency on every possession, closing out the Buffanblu in the semifinals. KS-Hawaii went on to win the tourney title. Punahou went back to basics.
The Buffanblu shot poorly from the line that night — imitating what the Warriors had done the week before. Fast-forward to this week. They struggled from the line in a 50-42 win over Damien on Tuesday. A players-only workout on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. was followed by Thursday’s 53-40 win over No. 3 AOP.
In the win over AOP, Punahou played with increased intensity on just about every possession. Hitting the floor — “Woods,” as coach Darren Matsuda calls them — was commonplace and AOP didn’t quite match Punahou’s intensity.
The drive for a title can do that to good teams. You either get better or you fall behind. Now the question is whether AOP bounces back with the sense of urgency that fell upon KS-Hawaii and Punahou.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser