9 a.m. Kalani 47, Roosevelt 31 (D-II fifth-place game)
11 a.m. Kalaheo 59, Baldwin 50, 2 OT (D-I fifth-place game)
1 p.m. St. Francis 58, Honokaa 52 (D-II third-place game)
3 p.m. Kahuku 64, Kaiser 58, F (D-I third-place game)
5 p.m. Seabury Hall vs. University (D-II championship)
7 p.m. ‘Iolani vs. Punahou (D-I championship)
There was a time when 9 a.m. on a Saturday was fun time. Cartoon time. Tweak the antenna on the TV. Apply tin foil when necessary.
Today, fun time is live, in-person prep hoops at the finest basketball palace in the islands. It’s consolation play at Stan Sheriff Center starting with the Division II fifth-place game. Why am I here with about 100 perky people this early? I haven’t seen either team in ages, and they had an Instant Classic battle in the OIA final. Interesting that the Falcons aren’t letting Roosevelt’s Micah Visoria get any kind of room to shoot today.
Kalani vs. Roosevelt, D-II fifth-place game
Kalani starts all reserves, and the starters enter with 5 minutes left in the quarter. This is more than a redemption game for the Falcons. They were eliminated in the opening round on Thursday, which means this is the first time in three seasons that they won’t be in the state final.
Roosevelt is young, full of potential. They’re down 11-4 after one quarter.
The Falcons go up 18-4 as Coach Nathan Davis continues to use his bench.
Roosevelt cuts it to 18-9, but they’re having problems with the size of Kalani’s reserves.
Roosevelt cuts it to 22-18, but Kalani responds. Max Pepe, a sophomore guard, nails a wing 3 with 1 second left to stretch it to 27-20 at the half. The Falcons got a lot of nice work off the bench. Miles Hannon is a force on the boards, built like a linebacker. Chase Santos hit a wing 3 and drove for a layup. A lot of minutes for their bench this morning.
Kalani starting the second half the way they started the first. 4-0 mini-run.
Third quarter ends, Kalani ahead 36-25. Both teams still in empty-the-bench mode.
It’s over. Kalani 47, Roosevelt 31. Fun times for the reserves.
3 p.m. I just returned from some daytime commitments and I’m catching up. Right now, Kahuku and Kaiser are about to square off in the D-I third-place game. I’ve got a feeling this is not going to be a typical, “fun” final game with tons of reserves playing key minutes. I expect a lot of upside-down rotations, yes, but man, these teams are going to want to win whether their coaches care or not — and I think the coaches and their staffs care about winning this, too.
Kalaheo 59, Baldwin 50, 2 OT, D-I fifth-place game
Kekai Smith led the Mustangs with 21 points (9-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-6 from the arc). He played ALL 40 MINUTES. Quite way to complete one of the most fascinating prep hoops careers I can remember. A selfless defensive-minded role player on a state championship team in D-II, then D-I. Then, as a senior, he steps up in the offseason with mad work ethic and enters the season as one of the most dangerous scorers in the state. Only that pesky meniscus injury slowed him down. So glad to see a humble, fierce baller and leader heal fast enough to make a big difference for the Mustangs in the playoffs and state tourney.
Taje Akaka led Baldwin with 12 points. Warren Feike had 11 points and seven boards, and Brandon-Mitchell Kaiama corralled 10 rebounds. Boo, I wish I could’ve seen (and videotaped) this game.
St. Francis 58, Honokaa 52, D-II third-place game
The top-seeded Saints closed out a successful season with a close win over a tough Dragons squad. J.J. Paaluhi-Caulk had 14 points and three steals to lead the Saints. Jonathan Charbonneau led the Dragons with 19 points and nine boards.
Kaiser vs. Kahuku, D-I third-place game
This could be a real treat.
The quarter ends with the Cougars ahead of the Red Raiders 15-13. Quite a few reserves in the mix, no surprise. I still expect the starters to close out the game at least in the final 4 minutes. Chance Kalaugher and Keoua Mahiko playing loose and fast against Kahuku’s man defense, very effective. Kalaugher had a 4-point play on an and-1 from the left corner, converted the FT.
Kalaugher gets the outlet and goes the distance, taking a hard foul and scoring on the jump-stop layup. He’s taking the physical defense and embracing it. With speed and skill. Impressive. One thing I’d love to see him do is use that pump fake at the arc to set up his drive, the way he did on a drive against ‘Iolani last night.
That was a nice dunk.
Bradlee Anae getting warmed up. Six points now with a strong post move. Kahuku still down, but they’re within 21-19 with 3:41 left in the second.
Lot of battling, good game. Kalaugher fouled on a 23-footer from the top, banks the shot in, hits the FT for another 4-point play.
Loose ball in the Kahuku left corner, Kalaugher and Anae battling. Jump ball as Anae stands up with the ball and rears the ball back for a moment as if to bean Kalaugher with it. Nobody flinched, just good, hard hustle. Me and about 200 folks here are getting to watch some GREAT athletes here in Anae, Latu, Kalaugher, Nic Tom, all heading to college to play football and/or basketball. Mahiko is going to play at the next level. He’d better. He’s got too much skill and potential not to.
Half ends with Kaiser leading 32-23.
Nice comeback by the Red Raiders, playing with much more energy on both ends. They rallied for a 37-34 lead, and after Jalen Pinks hit a 3 for Kaiser, Kahuku worked the low post and got a bucket from Anae for a 39-37 lead going into the fourth. Turning out just like I expected.
Steal by Latu on a Makiho swing pass, easy layup and Latu’s smiling. It’s 43-37, which is an 18-3 run.
Kahuku leads 54-50 with 2:00 left. Kaiser has Cameron Ma at the foul line for three shots. There was a no-call two minutes earlier when a Kaiser 3-point shooter was mangled by a Kahuku defender. That’s the difference.
Ma hits two of the three and it’s 54-50. Ma playing key minutes here. Kawika Akina, the freshman guard, is at the line, hits the first of a 1-and-1. Misses The second. Ball tipped out, Akina rebounds. Pass inside to Anae, bucket. 57-52. Mahiko’s wing 3 is long, Kahuku ball.
Keanu Akina to the line, 1-and-1, 1:01. Swishes the first, 58-52. Second all net, 59-52.
Anae fouls out with :51.7 left on a Kalaugher baseline drive. It’s just the fifth Kahuku team foul. Mahiko swishes a corner 3 on an inbounds pass, 59-55, :48.
Out of the time out, Kaiser lets Kieran Spencer catch and get rid of the ball. Keanu Akina fouled. Hits both shots, 61-55, :43.9. Kaiser staff shaking their head. Mahiko misses a corner 3, Keanu Akina rebounds, fouled with :33.2 left.
Shooter’s roll on the first one, and hits the second, 63-55. Ma hits an NBA trey from the top, :22, time out, Kaiser. 63-58.
FINAL: Kahuku 64, Kaiser 58. Anae led Kahuku with 19 points (8-for-13 from the field) and seven rebounds. Keanu Akina finished with 18 points, two assists and one steal, and shot 7-for-8 from the foul line. Latu added 14 points (6-for-11 from the field) with five boards, one dime and two steals.
Mahiko had 22 points (5-for-8 from the arc), five boards, two assists and two steals. Kalaugher had 19 points, nine boards, two blocks and two steals.