They work on it every day.
Everett Torres-Kahapea never takes a shot he never met. This time, it was a drive from the wing to the baseline, looking for that perfect bank shot off the glass.
Hundreds, thousands of repetitions came to fruition on Monday night as Torres-Kahapea drove away from the screen-side defense, lifted up outside the right block and softly kissed the glass from 10 feet out for the go-ahead basket as No. 8 Kailua edged No. 9 Kapolei 60-58 in the semifinals of the OIA Division I playoffs.
The winning shot with 4.1 seconds didn’t quite end it. Kapolei called time out and drew up a well-executed play with an inbounds pass to Ja’Shon Carter on the sideline. Carter dribbled past midcourt before he sent a bullet pass to Nathaniel Whitehurst on the opposite wing. Whitehurst’s shot at the buzzer fell short.
Kailua advanced to the OIA championship game and will meet Moanalua, the first place team from the East, on Wednesday at McKinley.
“It’s crazy. We work on that all the time at practice,” said Torres-Kahapea, who finished with 24 points, about the go-ahead shot.
“That’s his shot,” Surfriders coach Walter Marciel said. “He’s our leader and we go to him.”
It has been quite a journey for the talented Surfriders, who are peaking at the right time. They enter the final with an 18-11 overall record.
“Our intensity, our on-ball defense, we mesh well now,” the senior guard said. “We’ve got each other’s backs and we feed off each other’s energy.”
Lydell Romero scored 12 points and Isaiah Hopson, who hit two key free throws with 1:42 left to give Kailua the lead, added 11.
Hopson walked out of the gym barefooted, as Moanalua’s DiAeris McRaven did in the earlier semifinal, with ice wrapped around his left ankle.
“I sprained both of my ankles this season,” the 6-foot-6 wingman said.
The Hurricanes played more than well enough to win, getting three treys from Kevin Burkel in the first half. But in a nearly carbon-copy performance of Kahuku’s Lokana Enos in the earlier game, Burkel didn’t hit another 3 after halftime.
Whitehurst led Kapolei (16-9), the first-place team from the West, with 15 points. That included three super-clutch foul shots to tie the game at 58 with 14.2 seconds remaining. De’Zhaun Stribling hustled for 12 points and Carter also finished with 12 points.
“Ja’Shon is a good player. He had our number in those first and second quarters,” Marciel said. “Kapolei played a great game. We wanted to get the lead and spread the floor.”
Sophomore post Andrew Jones added 10 points for Kapolei, which will play Kahuku for third place on Wednesday.
Kailua (18-11) 10 15 18 17 — 60
Kapolei (16-8) 10 20 13 15 — 58
Kailua: Nainoa Peters 7, Everett Torres-Kahapea 24, Micah Fraticelli 2, Lydell Romero 12, Kaniala Williams 4, Robert Kanoa III 0, Isaiah Hopson 11, John Sniffen 0.
Kapolei: Mateo Veazie 0, Nathaniel Whitehurst 15, Ja’Shon Carter 12, Zachariah Kanahele-Mone 0, Kevin Burkel 9, De’Zhaun Stribling 12, Ethan Wright 0, Andrew Jones 10,
3-point goals: Kailua 3 (Romero 2, Peters), Kapolei (Burkel 3, Whitehurst 2).
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|