The bull’s eye target is getting larger by the game for the Kailua Surfriders.
Ranked No. 6 this week in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10, its highest point of the season, Kailua endured all Kaiser had to give early on before taking command for a 66-54 win on Wednesday night.
Everett Torres-Kahapea poured in 30 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field. Kaiser’s stingy defenders were draped on the senior guard all night, but he neutralized their efforts with step-back 3s and disciplined attacks into the gaps for mid-range jumpers. The crafty playmaker also set up teammates again and again with drive-and-dish plays. Lydell Romero finished with another solid all-around game, 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Isaiah Hopson tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and solid protection at the rim defensively.
As a team, the Surfriders shot 49 percent from the field (22-for-45) and 78 percent at the free-throw line (18-for-23). They were relentless on the boards and finished with a 44-24 edge in rebounding.
Torres-Kahapea’s shooting was eye-popping, but Kailua’s patience and precision in halfcourt offense has improved with each week. They used some fullcourt pressure and dropped it after one quarter.
“Kaiser’s got good guards. They broke it a few times,” Kailua coach Walter Marciel said, noting that he wants to save his team’s legs for a big showdown at No. 9 Farrington on Friday.
The only blemish for Kailua was drawing two technical fouls in the second half in what had been a relatively quiet game. The young Cougars didn’t get called for one.
“We talk about it all the time, having composure, and two of our guys didn’t do it tonight,” Marciel said. “We don’t want to get into that. We’re better than that. Through preseason, we had some struggles with that. Until this game, we haven’t had a technical in about eight games. That could change a game immediately.”
Torres-Kahapea, who normally doesn’t get mixed up with back-and-forth chirping, was whistled for one of the techs.
“It was protective instincts. He got up in my teammate’s face, so I just wanted to back him up. I don’t want us looking like a soft team,” he said.
He credited his hot shooting — 4-for-7 from the arc — to lots of reps with some help from an assistant coach.
“Coach Will (Elliott) does a good job working with me. We get in the gym a lot. Coach Kealii (Tilton) helps with the intensity on defense,” Torres-Kahapea said.
Kailua takes nothing lightly. They scouted the Cougars well, and the visitors still made eight treys — in 28 attempts.
“We want to stop penetration. 14 (Kenji Toyama) had a couple of good games. (Hunter) Dias hit a couple of 3s when we left him alone, but overall we played pretty good defense. We talk about you can’t have a bad day on ‘D’. You can have a bad day shooting, but not on defense,” Marciel said.
Sophomore Mario Drummer led Kaiser with 16 points. Dias added 13, hitting three treys, and Toyama finished with 10. Junior center Cyrus Singelman was dismissed from the team, coach Kenneth Powell said, for violating school policy.