The last time an OIA Division II boys basketball team looked this solid, the Farrington Governors rolled to a state title with a dynamic playmaker named McEnroe.
The year was 2011 as Jacob McEnroe sparked the Govs to the D-II state crown with a 58-45 win over Pahoa in the final. Seven years later, his younger brother is paving a similar path for the running Govs. Raefe McEnroe had 21 points and eight rebounds in a 72-57 runaway victory over No. 6 Kailua on Friday night.
No. 9 Farrington is now 5-0 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association East. Top 10 teams Moanalua, Kalaheo, Kahuku and, now, Kailua, have fallen to the Govs. Three of those four games were at home, and Farrington proved its toughness on the road by winning at Kahuku’s gym on Wednesday.
Farrington? Is it possible the best team in the OIA is not a D-I program?
First, the breakdown of the win, giving Kailua its first OIA East loss after four wins.
>> Farrington shot 27-for-54 from the field (50 percent and limited Kailua to 35 percent (16-for-46). The visitors were 4-for-19 in the first half, missing numerous shots in the paint against Farrington’s front court of McEnroe (6-3), Christian Havea (6-3) and Pono Roberts (6-2).
>> The Govs’ box-and-one defense featuring Aaron Bagaoisan and Modesto Bacaltos on Kailua’s Everett Torres-Kahapea was very effective in the first half. Torres-Kahapea did not take a shot in the opening quarter and had just four points by halftime. He finished with 19 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 at the free-throw line.
>> Farrington stormed to a 26-15 lead by halftime even though McEnroe had just two points. The Govs patiently ran their offense against Kailua’s man-to-man defense.
Bagaoisan tallied 16, including four fastbreak layups in the second quarter. His defense, though, was game-changing. It’s the same approach Farrington took against Kailua a year ago.
“That’s my game, defense,” he said. “Our big guys get the rebounds, and Aemon (Kurt Castro) and Felly (Ahadain) make the passes.”
McEnroe isn’t looking too far ahead. With another Top 10 win, he isn’t surprised that his teammates are clutching up.
“We show time and time again we’re a consistent team. It’s not a fluke. We work hard in practice and it shows in the game,” he said. “The team is not centered around me and Christian. We have other talented players. If you stop me for a half, another man can drop 20 on your head right there.”
The biggest cheer on a night filled with wild flurries and clutch shots by both teams came when 6-4 senior Shayden Tatupu-Timu swished a free throw in the final minute of play.
Coach Steven Leopoldo‘s team will host Kaimuki on Tuesday and Anuenue on Friday. Then it’s away games at Kaiser and Roosevelt, a home finale against Castle, and a road battle at Kalani. The reality of finishing first in the East is not so far away.
“Yeah. Our spirit is raised and our confidence level is up,” McEnroe said. “It’s a good experience playing these D-I teams, showing them we’re not just a D-II team.”