Damien pushes big brother

Damien's Ezekiel Naum tried to get past Ranan Mamiya of Farrington on Thursday night. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser
Damien’s Ezekiel Naum tried to get past Ranan Mamiya of Farrington on Thursday night. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

Although separated by a couple of blocks along Houghtailing Street in Kailhi, Farrington and Division II Damien drove to Kailua for a dramatic preseason meeting.

The Governors won 58-54 in overtime at the Pete Smith Classic.

“Farrington’s a great team and we tried to play with a lot of pride,” Damien coach Alvin Stephenson Jr. said. “They’re right across the street from us and it was like the big brother playing the little brother and we wanted to try to make a name for ourselves, which I think we did tonight.”

Jake Smith, who transferred to Farrington from Kamehameha, drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and scored nine straight points late in the third quarter to give the Governors a 39-30 lead.

But Rocky Mori scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and gave Damien a 49-47 lead with 1:52 left. The Monarchs led 50-48 with Mori going to the free throw line with 6.2 seconds left, but both shots bounced out and Mamiya’s drove in for the tying layup.

“The Red Sea just opened up for him,” Farrington coach Allan Silva said.

The Governors held a 55-54 lead with 14 seconds left in overtime when Paul Madamba was fouled. He missed his first free throw but the officials awarded him a do-over. Stephenson said he was told a Damien player clapped as he was taking the shot, which negated the miss.

As Madamba was taking his second attempt, a technical foul was assessed to King, resulting in two more free throws and Farrington opened up a four-point lead.

“It was a learning experience for us,” Stephenson said. “We’ll learn from it and get better.”

Mamiya and Smith are among the newcomers who joined a Farrington program that lost four starters off last year’s state tournament runner-up team. Their chemistry is a work in progress, but preseason tests such as Thursday’s figure to accelerate the process.

“It brings these guys together and lets them know they’re good enough to win a close matchup like this,” Silva said. “But I told them they made too many mistakes earlier, really simple basic things. But it’s preseason, we’re learning.”


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