On a night when Kahuku rained in eight 3-pointers and Moanalua missed all six of its attempts, fate would seem to favor the Red Raiders.
Instead, it was Moanalua’s fastbreak and tough defense that turned momentum around in a 66-58 win over Kahuku on Monday night in the OIA semifinals at McKinley Student Council Gym.
Geremy Robinson was a big part of that defensive spark with four steals to go with a game-high 25 points. The sophomore struggled at times at the free-throw line, but finished strong and wound up 9-for-18 at the charity stripe. He was 8-for-14 from the field, attacking Kahuku’s defense beginning to end.
Center DiAeris McRaven held his ground and grabbed 10 rebounds with three blocks. The junior also scored eight points before injuring his left ankle in the second half. He returned to the game, but didn’t last very long, limping back off the court in the final minutes.
Elijah McGruder (10 points, four boards) and Kyle Hughley five points) helped McRaven build a wall in front of the rim against Kahuku’s physical front line. Point guard Isaiah Sugiura was the glue man with eight points, five assists and four steals.
Ethan Erickson had 11 points and nine boards, and Marcus Damuni added eight points and seven caroms for Kahuku (18-9). Robbie Sauvao had a team-high 12 points with five assists. The Red Raiders shot 40 percent from the field (20-for-50). Moanalua shot 27-for-53 from the field (51 percent).
No. 6 Moanalua (19-6), the first-place team out of the OIA East, is chasing its first OIA title since 2011, when Greg Tacon guided Na Menehune to back-to-back championships.
Kahuku was 6-for-8 from 3-point range in the first half. Lokana Enos had nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from the arc as the Red Raiders couldn’t seem to miss.
“We talked about transition defense, but half of that battle is matching up,” Moanalua coach Byron Mello said.
Enos didn’t get an open look after that with Rocky Ramones covering him.
“We face-guarded Lokana,” Mello said. “He’s a physical player.”
Kahuku got open looks, pushing the ball and hitting the corners in transition, but didn’t hit much after the break. The Red Raiders were 2-for-12 from the arc. They cut the lead to 60-52 in the final minutes on an and-1 finish by Damuni, but got no closer. After shooting 7-for-9 from the foul line in the first three quarters, Big Red was 3-for-9 there in the fourth quarter, stunting any progress.
“It’s a learning experience,” Enos said. “We’ll use it to get better.”
This was the second meeting between the two teams. Moanalua won the first matchup 63-51 on Jan. 29 on its home court.
Kahuku (18-9) 10 21 14 13 — 58
Moanalua (19-6) 13 17 18 18 — 66
Kahuku: Daniel Kaio 5, Lokana Enos 9, Thorton Alapa 0, Shon Reid 8, Ethan Erickson 11, Robbie Sauvao 12, Marcus Damuni 8, Kamuela Miller 0, Kenai Liua 5.
Moanalua: Isaiah Sugiura 8, Blayze Simon 2, Rocky Ramones 8, DiAeris McRaven 8, Geremy Robinson 25, Kyle Hughley 5, Deanan Oliveros 0, Elijah McGruder 10.
3-point goals: Kahuku 8 (Enos 3, Sauvao 2, Reid 2, Kaio), Moanalua none.
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|