Farrington was clearly outplayed by visiting Kalaheo for three quarters in Wednesday night’s 52-38 loss.
It was the fourth quarter, however, that Governors coach Allan Silva wants his boys to remember.
Seriously, he would like the Govs to forget nearly everything they did before they came out with their hearts on fire in the final period.
Why? The reason is simple: because Silva doesn’t want to see that kind of lukewarm early performance again. With good reason: The Mustangs owned the Govs and built a 29-13 lead a minute into the third quarter.
With Kalaheo up by 13, 36-23, after three periods, Farrington (3-3) came out on the floor to start the fourth with a player-called huddle that served notice that they meant business.
And they played with an intensity and energy that caught the Mustangs (6-0) off guard.
Kapono Kakalia entered the game for the first time all night and sparked a rally that cut the lead to eight points, 40-32, with about three minutes left.
If you are a Govs fan, Kakalia’s contribution cannot be overlooked. He took the ball to the hoop without regard to what defenders were in front of him and drew three quick fouls. Unfortunately, Kakalia only made two of his six attempts from the line. A moment later, he nearly caused a fourth Mustangs foul, but was called for an offensive infraction that could have gone either way.
Steals by Tua Unotoa, Jake Smith, Bryce Tatupo-Leopoldo and Ranan Mamiya also helped erase some of the deficit. But Farrington didn’t convert on all of Kalaheo’s uncharacteristic turnovers and when the Govs started to foul, the Mustangs sealed it by going 12-for-17 from the line. Farrington’s 4-for-10 foul-shooting performance in the period didn’t help.
Another play that showed Farrington’s ferociousness came when Tatupu-Leopoldo — a heralded linebacker for the Govs football team — drove the lane and rather than stand in his way, it appeared that some of the Mustangs gave him a little bit of extra room. No problem for anyone who may have backed off, though, because Tatupu-Leopoldo’s shot missed anyway.
Smith, who led Farrington with a game-high 22 points that included four 3-pointers, was disappointed with the effort in the early going.
“We started slow and everybody was emotionally down today,” Smith said. “Kalaheo wanted it more. We could have been a more patient offense, trying to work the inside and back out. We had too many quick possessions that led to Kalaheo fast-break baskets.”
Smith loved the Govs’ fourth-quarter determination, though. And, of course, so did Coach Silva.
“We came out hard,” Smith said about the last eight minutes. “Some calls were not on our side. That’s not the referees’ fault. We were going up out of control. We need to go up stronger.”
Said Silva: “It’s tough to see them play an outstanding fourth quarter and not the rest of the game.
“Pono (Kakalia) did really well. He helped bring everybody up.”