After 10 wins in a row, including a 71-59 quarterfinal win over Roosevelt on Wednesday night, Moanalua coach Byron Mello was not quite pleased.
“I like the grit we showed tonight. With what we had on the line, I wanted more effort,” Mello said moments after Moanalua clinched its 11th trip to the state tournament in the last 14 seasons. “I’m proud of our guys, but we need better practices. If we play this way on Monday (against Kahuku), it’s not going to be a good outcome.”
For now, though, it is survive and advance mode. No. 6 Moanalua (18-6 overall) saw an 11-point lead shrink to two points in the fourth quarter. Micah Visoria’s baseline jumper cut the lead to 51-49.
Moanalua regained momentum with a string of defensive stops, keyed in large part by 6-foot-5 DiAeris McRaven, who finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Na Menehune went on an 8-0 run for a 59-49 lead and was never threatened again.
Geremy Robinson was 6-for-6 at the free-throw line in the final quarter, and backcourt partner Isaiah Sugiura was 5-for-6. As a team, Moanalua was 13-for-15 at the charity stripe in the final eight minutes.
“24-for-30 is special,” Mello said. “Isaiah and Geremy did a great job making free throws.”
Moanalua also shot 22-for-46 from the field (48 percent) and committed just 12 turnovers. They got steady play from Elijah McGruder (seven rebounds, six points) and enough perimeter defense to contain Roosevelt’s dangerous scorers.
Robinson finished with 19 points and six assists, while Sugiura had 17 points, four dimes and three steals.
The visiting Rough Riders got 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals from Visoria. Ty Shishido tallied 16 points and eight boards. Down 29-19 at the half, they caught fire in the third quarter, shooting 11-for-16 (69 percent) as Shishido pumped in eight points, reserve Mikael French scored five and center Lio Ilalio drove for two tough buckets on McRaven.
Roosevelt then went into a cold spell in the fourth quarter as Moanalua pulled away.
“We had our shots,” Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway said. “Moanalua is a good team. We had to be at our best.”
Roosevelt (15-10 overall) shot 43 percent from the field, including 1-for-13 from 3-point range. Now the Rough Riders need a win over Mililani on Monday and another victory on Wednesday to clinch the fifth and final state berth in the OIA this year.
Roosevelt (15-10) 8 11 23 17 — 59
Moanalua (18-6) 17 12 19 23 — 71
Roosevelt: Ty Shishido 16, Logan Quinlan 2, Cameron Miyasato 4, Micah Visoria 17, Mikael French 5, Andy Yeung 0, Jason Doyle 2, Jason Hur 0, Chris Lee 4, Lio Ilalio 9.
Moanalua: Isaiah Sugiura 17, Blayze Simon 5, Tyler Ybay 0, Rocky Ramones 3, Dallas Kahue 3, DiAeris McRaven 18, Geremy Robinson 19, Kyle Hughley 0, Elijah McGruder 6.
3-point goals: Roosevelt 1 (Visoria), Moanalua 3 (Sugiura 2, Ramones).
OIA PlayoffsUpdated: Feb. 13
|2/5||Aiea (W4)*||Roosevelt (E5)||Roos, 69-47|
|2/5||Kahuku (E3)||Pearl City (W6)||Kah, 49-36|
|2/5||Leilehua (W3)||Kalaheo (E6)||Kalh, 53-47|
|2/5||Kalani (E4)||Campbell (W5)||Kaln, 61-44|
|2/6||Moanalua (E1)||Roosevelt||Moan, 71-59|
|2/6||Mililani (W2)||Kahuku||Kah, 39-29|
|2/6||Kailua (E2)||Kalaheo||Kail, 58-55|
|2/6||Kapolei (W1)||Kalani||Kapo, 37-35 (OT)|
|Consolation semifinals—At Higher Seed|
|Semifinals — At McKinley|
|Fifth place—At Higher Seed|
|Third place—At Higher Seed|
|Championship — At McKinley|
|2/13||Moanalua||Kailua||Moan, 56-49 (OT)|
|2/5||Waianae (W2)||Kaimuki (E3)||Kaim, 48-31|
|2/5||Kaiser (E2)||Waipahu (W3)||Kais, 61-42|
|2/6||Farrington (E1)||Kaimuki||Far, 75-47|
|2/6||Nanakuli (W1)||Kaiser||Kais, 54-44|
|Championship— At McKinley|
|* — @ Roosevelt|