Frank’s 3-point barrage sparks Kamehameha over St. Francis

Kamehameha's Laamea Frank (30) shoots the ball over St. Francis' Bryce Nishida (20) for a three point basket. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Another tight thriller between Kamehameha and St. Francis.

Another close win for the Division I Warriors. With hot perimeter shooting by Laamea Frank — 7-for-8 from the arc for 21 points — and a dogged effort in the paint by Kobe Young and Kamren Victorino-Kato, Kamehameha escaped with a 71-66 win over D-II St. Francis on Friday night.

The 6-foot-6 Young, providing strength in the post, finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Victorino-Kato had a team-high 22 points, hustling for three offensive boards and three putbacks during a pivotal third quarter. The story, though, was the confident shooting of Frank.

“He’s always had a shot. I tell him if he’s open to keep shooting,’ Victorino-Kato said.

“Mea kept us in the game,” Warriors coach Greg Tacon said. “He had his feet set and every shot was in rhythm. They were about to run away and hide from us. It was wild and wooly, then it became an ILH game in the fourth quarter.”

Kamehameha advanced to the final of the Surfrider Holiday Classic, overcoming a 33-point effort by Saints guard Kameron Ng. The senior shot 7-for-10 from long range in the first three quarters, but was 0-for-3 from deep in the final stanza.

Ng swished four 3-pointers in the opening quarter, including two from NBA range. The defending state champions in D-II led 17-7 five minutes into the contest.

“Kameron was ridiculous. We tried 19 guys on him,” Tacon said, slightly exaggerating.

“Kam is unbelievable,” Victorino-Kato said. “I think he dropped 40.”

The good news for Kamehameha was Frank, who was unconscious from long range. He made all three of his launches in the first quarter to help the Warriors rally for an 18-17 lead.

He was in zone-buster mode again in the second quarter, hitting two more treys over 1-2-2 and 2-3 sets. Kamehameha got a baseline drive and dunk by Young to tie the game at 36, and then Victorino-Kato drove into the paint and scooped up an alley-oop pass to Young, who snuck behind the defense and threw down a two-handed hammer for a two-point lead just before the half.

The second quarter was unique for shooting percentages from the arc. The teams combined for 5-for-5 from deep — Saints 3-for-3 and Warriors 2-for-2.

St. Francis opened the second half with some lightning of its own. Kameron Ng drove off a high pick-and-roll, then lobbed the ball high to his brother, Kordell Ng, a 5-8 guard. The two-handed alley-oop slam brought roars from crowd of about 400.

Kamehameha’s Kamren Victorino-Kato (10) elevates over St. Francis’ Bryce Nishida . Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The Saints regained the lead at 45-43 on two free throws by Kordell Ng with 5:55 left in the third. After he scored off a steal, they had their biggest lead of the second half, 47-43.

The Warriors, with a deeper rotation, got another 3 from Frank, and one from Mycah Pimental, and after Victorino-Kato drove for a lefty layup, they had a 51-50 lead with 3:11 to go in the third.

Kamehameha built the lead to 66-59 early in the fourth quarter. After shooting 11-for-18 from the arc in the first three periods, St. Francis shot 0-for-6 in the final quarter.

The Saints got within 66-64 on a layup by Kameron Ng with more than 2 minutes to play, but that was it. Victorino-Kato sank four shots in a row for a 70-64 lead with 35 seconds remaining.

It was a matter of timely defense for Kamehameha, and fatigue for the Saints. Unable to get consistent points in the paint, they depended largely on the Ngs for perimeter shooting and drives to the rim. Kameron shot 2-for-8 from the field in the final 8 minutes, and two air balls from deep in the final minutes indicated how much energy he spent to keep his team in the game. Kordell Ng, who tallied 16 points, took just one shot in the final quarter.

A year ago, St. Francis knocked off Kahuku in preseason, along with a close loss to Kamehameha. The Saints are designated D-II again this season, which means their opportunities to beat D-I programs is limited to nonconference play.

“We played a good three-and-a-half quarters,” coach Ron Durant said. “I don’t think we hit a shot in the final 3 minutes. The overall effort was there. We’re undersized, but we battled and hung with them. They missed all those free throws and we couldn’t convert.

Kamehameha shot 8-for-17 as a team from the charity stripe in the final quarter.

Three Saints, football players Scott McLeod, Wembley Mailei and Taka Lautaha, are playing in an all-star game on Kauai this weekend and are not at the tournament. At 6-2, 6-3 and 6-3, they would’ve helped on the boards, but it remains to be seen how much difference they would’ve made with perimeter defense.

Kamehameha shot 10-for-18 from the arc.

St. Francis will play in the third-place game on Saturday, 6 p.m. Kamehameha will play the ‘Iolani-Kailua winner in the final at 7:30 p.m.

Maui 54, Waianae 41
In consolation play, Kea Aguire scored 10 points and Effren Villon had nine to lead the Sabers. Blaze Kahikina had 14 points and Keliinoe Meyers had 12 for the Seariders.

Campbell 76, Waipahu 50
Mitchell Williams poured in 18 points, Robert Hutchinson scored 12 and Andrew Mersburgh tallied 11 for the Sabers. Daython Izay Oasay scored 11 points and Felicer Barut had 10 to pace the Marauders.


  1. Killing me December 2, 2017 3:09 am

    For the 10th time….Kahuku played St. Francis last year in preseason without 3 bstarters…..u can stop using that fabricated line now….If you’re going to stay at the D2 level, when u know you can play at the D1 level, then you’re just sandbagging.

  2. Telling It Like It Is December 2, 2017 11:19 am

    St. Francis is last year’s true state champion since they beat Kahuku.

  3. Tafena Costa December 2, 2017 2:50 pm

    The jig is up already SF needs to move up and classify D1 and play the big boys the entire season. They’ve had the talent to compete for years know. I liked the old ILH playoff style where the D2 ILH representative had to play in the ILH tourney to earn a birth for states. I can only guess that the reason the preseason win against Kahuku is continuously used as a benchmark for accomplishment by sportswriters is because they view that win in the same regard as the D2 state title itself.

    @Telling.Last year SF lost to Kamehameha who lost to Iolani who lost to Punahou who lost to Kahuku so there you go, irrational logic.

  4. For the Ages December 4, 2017 1:54 pm

    Who cares who was missing and who played. St. Francis beat Kahuku. That’s a fact. So many people cannot just give others credit. They have to take away from what kids accomplish and make excuses. You okay with the team you show up with. If a kid is missing (illness, injury, ineligible, etc.) that’s still your team. You win and lose with the team you show up with.

    Using your guys logic, then we should look through all state tournaments. And if an important player is missing and didn’t play, then we should put an asterisk next to it.

    That’s so weak and has nothing to do with competition.

    So Kahuku lost. That’s part of the game. Move on and get better. And they did. But it doesn’t erase on one day they were not the better team last year.

    The bigger issue isn’t who lost or who wasn’t playing. The issue is why do some people have to come on here and take away from what some kids accomplished. You guys must be a mess to do that. I actually feel sorry for you.

  5. Sly Curious December 5, 2017 2:48 pm

    @For The Ages

    You must admit though that HPW brings up that game that happened over a year ago anytime they speak about SF tho. Why do you think they do that?

  6. Dat Bigga Jigga December 5, 2017 5:42 pm

    Ill answer – CHEE-HOO! @ sly, maybe to generate interest. Maybe to remind. Who knows. The goal is to get people on here.

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