The close losses sting a bit for Hawaii Prep.
Coach Fred Wawner doesn’t show the frustration. He is, however, pleased with improvement. Hawaii Prep rallied to get within three points of No. 7 Moanalua before ultimately falling 61-56 on Thursday morning at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic.
“I like the way we played the last three minutes,” Wawner said. “23 (Geremy Robinson) was tough to stop in transition. He made the difference.”
Robinson, a 6-1 sophomore, led Moanalua with 25 points. Ironically, he at his best down the stretch with defense, coming up with steals after missing 1-and-1 free throws in the final 15 seconds.
Center DiAeris McRaven added 11 points and blocked three shots in the second half. No. 7 Moanalua is 5-4 in preseason play.
Hawaii Prep has been in close battles so far, edging Hilo 51-48, then losing to Saint Louis 59-52.
Valentinas Ulinas, a 6-foot-5 wing, led Hawaii Prep with 24 points, including a 3 and 5-for-5 shooting at the free-throw line. However, the junior also lost the ball to Robinson after grabbing the rebound with 9 ticks left. He has the potential to be a 20-point scorer with regularity.
“I’d like him to get 10 rebounds a game,” Wawner said of the lanky junior.
Kelsen-Jaye Walker and Javan Perez chipped in 10 points each for HPA. Ka Makani shot 9-for-10 at the charity stripe. Moanalua improved at the foul line today, hitting 8-for-13 attempts.