Got here (Moanalua) to the OIA-ILH Challenge after covering the Konawaena-Miramonte INSTANT CLASSIC girls hoops matchup at ‘Iolani. Leilehua had a 22-18 halftime lead, but yielded to Kamehameha’s persistent defense, and the Warriors won 48-43 behind Jayden Zarriello’s 19 points.
Liam Fitzgerald had 10 points and Joseph Gouty added nine for Leilehua (2-2). Both are young teams; Kamehameha has just one senior on the roster after guard Jake Smith transferred to Farrington in the offseason. But Greg Tacon’s squad hasn’t lost much, if at all, thanks to a spunky man defense and smart ball movement offensively.
That, if anything, is what hurt the Mules in the second half: inconsistent efficiency on offense. Occasional tough shots. Occasional turnovers. It was just enough for Kamehameha to convert into layups on the other end, as Mules coach Pat Wetzel pointed out.
The earlier games were a split between the public and private schools. Moanalua edged Mid-Pacific 47-44 in the first game and Punahou downed Kalani 41-28.
In the final game, which tipped off around 9 p.m., Farrington leads defending state champion ‘Iolani 30-29. The Govs have been much sloppier than they were in a 61-53 win over Punahou five days ago, and yet they’ve managed to stay close. They took the lead on Smith’s 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer. Third quarter about to start. It’s a school night. I wonder if getting kids home around midnight is a great idea. I’m sure the players don’t mind. Farrington has a pretty large contingent here, just as they did last year in this crossover tourney.
Q3: ‘Iolani 37, Farrington 37, 5:01
Raiders have charged back into this game. THey’re still pressing fullcourt man defense, but Farrington’s having inconsistency running its offense. The Govs were in a 1-2-2 zone defense most of the first half, but they’ve played man since.
Smith just hit his third trey of the quarter to give FAR a 40-37 lead. Other than his long-range shooting, the Govs are struggling against IOL’s big front line. Even in transition, Farrington shot three air balls in a row before Smith’s latest 3.
Another easy fastbreak layup for ‘Iolani. Pikai Winchester simply beat the defense down the court. That’s about four or five layups by IOL because FAR didn’t rotate back.
Q4: Farrington 50, ‘Iolani 49, 6:02
Raiders’ staying in the game with their lethal fastbreak.
Q4: Farrington 57, ‘Iolani 54, 2:07
The Govs got two strong drives by Ranan Mamiya to go on a 6-0 run and open a 57-49 lead. In the ILH, that’s basically Game Over. But the Raiders got a 3-point shot, and Farrington rushed a 3-point try instead of milking the shot clock. Hugh Hogland scored inside, and just like that, IOL is within 3 points with 2:07 left.
With the exception of Kalaheo, OIA teams sometimes lack discipline and self-control in the clutch. Learning to finish these kinds of games is a major task for just about everybody outside the mostly-slowdown ILH.
Q4: Farrington 62, ‘Iolani 54, :52.8
Smith hits four foul shots as Farrington scores five in a row for a 62-54 lead. ‘Iolani has gone ice cold from the perimeter and those easy fastbreak layups have been closed off by the Govs.
If Farrington holds on, this will be its fourth win in the last four games at this Challenge. It would also mean that the OIA split the four games today with the ILH. Remember, last year the ILH won 9 of 12 matchups in this tourney. No other team but Farrington won a game.
Smith is automatic at the charity stripe. Well, almost. He hits one, misses the second and Mamiya saves the ball, beaning it off a Raider out of bounds. FAR ball, :31 to go. On the inbounds, Mamiya is fouled. He hits one of two.
FINAL: Farrington 66, ‘Iolani 57
Moanalua 47, Mid-Pacific 44
> MOA—Karson Kruz 16 (6-6 FT), Domenick Bailey 8. MPI—Major Davis 14, Drew Kargol 12.
Punahou 41, Kalani 28
> PUN—J.B. Kam 12, Dayson Watanabe 10. KLN—Alex Tungplan 9.
Kamehameha 48, Leilehua 43
> KS—Jayden Zarriello 19. LEI—Liam Fitzgerald 10, Joseph Gouty 9.
Farrington 66, ‘Iolani 57
> FAR—Jake Smith 21, Ranan Mamiya 19. IOL—Robby Mann 13, Pikai Winchester 13, Zach Gelacio 10.