Barely 12 hours removed from a home loss to state-title contender Maryknoll, the Farrington Governors got into defensive mode.
The Govs got balanced scoring and plenty of defense in a 45-34 win over Baldwin on Saturday morning. Farrington, which won at Nanakuli 76-59 earlier in the week, is now 2-1 in nonconference play.
Three Governors, including three-year letterman Felcris Ahadain, missed the game with injuries. Raefe McEnroe, playing with stitches in his right elbow, had his arm wrapped up but still scored a team-high nine points. Guard Aaron Kurt Castro also scored nine points as Coach Steven Leopoldo subbed in four or five players throughout the contest.
John Werner, Ikaika Raines and Quintan Akaka led Baldwin with six points each. Farrington pulled away with a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter, breaking a 32-all game.
For the Governors, it was a test with the injuries, and just a short period since a 60-38 loss to Maryknoll at Richard Kitamura Fieldhouse.
“We always have a half where we don’t play well our best as a team. Obviously, we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Leopoldo said.
The longtime coach intends to keep going five in, five out.
“I have too much talent to just use seven (players),” Leopoldo said. “Defense isn’t there where I want it. If we play our best defense and run transition, nobody’s going to stop us. We go inside-out. We’re too big of a team to go outside-in.”
That’s how Farrington started the second half, getting back-to-back treys to regain the lead.
Assistant coach Bryson Leopoldo, the oldest son and JV coach, added one more key factor.
“We need a healthy team,” he said.
Baldwin and Farrington shared a post-game meal.
“They’re a good team. They’re talented,” Steven Leopoldo said. “Their coaches are doing a good job. They are scrappy. If you have heart and you’re scrappy, you’re going to win games no matter what size you have. If you don’t have the heart, you’re going to have a hard time.”
The Govs have a date at the ‘Iolani Classic, and the OIA regular-season opener is on Dec. 28 against Moanalua. The format is still the same, a full round-robin for D-I and D-II teams before they split up for the playoffs. Farrington is assigned to D-II.
“The only team that’s going to beat us is ourselves. Other than that, I’m looking for a good season this year. This is the team that I’ve developed,” Leopoldo said. “We move forward.”
Farrington’s next game is on Tuesday against Pearl City.