Even with two of its top scorers on the bench, Kalaheo advanced to the semifinals of the Pete Smith Classic with a 71-52 win over Leilehua on Thursday.
Kaleb Gilmore and Kupaa Harrison haven’t suited up in the Mustangs’ two wins in the tournament due to injuries, but third-ranked Kalaheo got ample production from the rest of the roster against Anuenue on Tuesday and again in Thursday’s quarterfinal game at Kalaheo Gym.
Senior guard Alec MacLeod went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line and scored a game-high 21 points. Kekai Smith added 16 and sophomore Zachary Marrotte finished with 11.
Marrotte opened the game by hitting the first of Kalaheo’s seven 3-pointers while drawing a foul and completed the four-point play on his way to scoring nine points in the first quarter. The Mustangs never trailed against the Mules, who were led by Jayeson Baine’s 12 points.
“It was nice to see them come out with intensity tonight against a good team,” Kalaheo coach Alika Smith said. “We’re just trying to get better each and every day. It’s unfortunate we don’t have Kaleb or Kupaa, but I think it’ll help us in the long run with these other guys getting experience in a tournament situation where you win and advance, kind of like at the end of the season. It’s good for them and they came out ready to play.”
Smith said Gilmore is expected to return Saturday after sitting out due to a slight concussion. Harrison tweaked his ankle and won’t play this week. Smith is unsure if he’ll be ready for next week’s tournament at Punahou. “Better safe than sorry,” Smith said.
Kalaheo will next face a run-and-gun McKinley team that pulled away from Konawaena and advanced with a 65-53 win. The Mustangs and Tigers are scheduled to meet at 8 p.m. on Friday.
“They have energy, they attack the bucket, good team,” Smith said of McKinley.
That game will be preceded by the third matchup of the preseason between No. 1 Punahou and No. 2 Farrington at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Farrington pulled out a 58-54 win over Damien in overtime after Ranan Mamiya drove in for a game-tying layup at the buzzer at the end of regulation. Jake Smith hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points. Rocky Mori led Damien with 20 points and Kapi’ina King scored 16.
Punahou jumped out to an early lead against Terry Fox of Canada on its way to a 71-54 win.