What can a coach say to his team after playing well enough to beat just about any team in the state?
The Maryknoll Spartans limited No. 1 Punahou to 36-percent shooting (12-for-33), battled the visitors evenly (24-all) on the boards, and had a 17-6 lead after one quarter.
Kelly Grant was far from upset about his team’s 47-42 loss in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu opener. Fourth-ranked Maryknoll needed a few more hits from the perimeter and a few more breaks to have a chance. Punahou (17-2 overall) hasn’t lost to an in-state team yet this season.
“We didn’t get enough ball movement after the first quarter,” Grant said. “Guys were standing around. Maybe we had a little fatigue.”
Maryknoll shot 9-for-11 at the foul line in the final quarter, getting Punahou’s Cole Arceneaux in foul trouble. The explosive guard picked up his fourth personal with 3:16 to play, and Payton Grant’s foul shots tied the game at 35. From there, however, Cole Mausolf splashed his second 3 of the game and Punahou never trailed again.
“(Arceneaux) is one of their steadiest contributors. They love their depth, but you know who they trust,” Grant said.
Punahou tends to trust a lot of people. Down 11, they opened the second quarter with a simple post-up bucket by Duke Clemens. The hulking 6-foot-5 junior scored six of his eight points in the quarter.
Defensively, the Buffanblu angled off Maryknoll’s successful tactics. After shooting 6-for-11 from the field in the opening quarter (including 2-for-4 from the arc), the Spartans were 3-for-11 in the second quarter, 2-for-12 in the third and 2-for-6 in the fourth.
“We came out nervous. It’s the first game of the ILH season and I don’t think we’ve won here in three years,” Punahou coach Darren Matsuda said. “It’s about having confidence and not panicking.”
Chong, who said he had never been part of a winning team at Maryknoll in intermediate, JV and varsity, led Punahou with 17 points.
“Last year, we had this same problem,” he said of the first-quarter struggle.
The Spartans got their senior backcourt back on the floor. Jordyn Perez (head) and Isiah Gelacio (toe) returned after sitting out the tail end of the Punahou Invitational last week.
“You’ve got to win the games at home,” said Perez, who had seven points.
Perez and Gelacio were key to many of Maryknoll’s successfully executed offensive plays. Makoto Kamata and Jaylen Cain led the way with nine points apiece, but the Spartans couldn’t get enough interior action as a team and Punahou made them pay. Maryknoll had just eight offensive rebounds on 27 missed field-goal attempts, as well as 10 turnovers.
The home team shot 4-for-20 from the arc and 12-for-21 at the foul line. For Punahou, any advantages were so slight, but the accumulated effect was real.
Punahou 12-for-33 (.364).
Maryknoll 13-for-40 (.325).
>> 3-point FG
Punahou 5-for-16 (.313).
Maryknoll 4-for-20 (.200).
Punahou 18-for-28 (.643).
Maryknoll 12-for-21 (.571).
Punahou 24 (six offensive).
Maryknoll 24 (eight offensive).
At Clarence T.C. Ching Gymnasium
Punahou (1-0) 6 15 10 16 — 47
Maryknoll (0-1) 17 6 5 14 — 41
Punahou: Cole Mausolf 8, Zayne Chong 17, Hunter Hosoda 0, Maninoa Tufono 0, Cole Arceneaux 2, Tama Falatea 6, Jakob Kimura 0, Kaulana Makaula 6, Tristan Scharfenstein-Montgomery 0, Duke Clemens 8.
Maryknoll: Isiah Gelacio 3, Payton Grant 6, Jordyn Perez 7, Nikko Robben 2, Makoto Kamata 9, Marcus Tobin 4, Chase Houghtailing 0, Jaylen Cain 9, Kalai Akaka 0, Ethan Rudometkin 2, Liko Soares 0, Riden Leong 0.
3-point goal—Punahou 5 (Mausolf 2, Falatea 2, Chong), Maryknoll 4 (Kamata 2, Grant, Perez).