This is day two of the Hawaii Self Storage Black and Gold Classic at McKinley.
We’ve been grinding away at All-State Football stuff all week, so it’s catch-up time for this Pupule. I came here expecting Kalani against Kamehameha’s Division II (technically, I-AA) team. But because another school (Campbell) pulled out of the tourney, Kamehameha has both its D-I and D-II teams in the tourney, so that’s where I got a little mixed up.
So, it’s Kamehameha’s D-I program — a team that was talented, effective and young last year — against last season’s D-II state finalist, Kalani, in the first match in a few minutes (3:30 p.m.). Kamehameha is ranked No. 5 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10.
After that, it’s Kapolei against Kaimuki (5 p.m.), and then possibly the marquee matchup of the tourney, No. 4 Maryknoll versus No. 8 Kahuku (6:30 p.m.). University and host McKinley will play in the 8 p.m. nightcap.
I’m hoping to catch the James Alegre Invitational and the final of the Surfrider Holiday Classic tomorrow. I’ve seen Punahou and Farrington already, and they’ll have a rematch; they met this past Monday. I’ve seen Honokaa, too. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Saint Louis, which got a big win yesterday over host Radford.
Kalani vs. No. 4 Kamehameha
Game time here at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium. It’s warm. The Falcons lost some outstanding guards to graduation, but Nathan Davis has invigorated the program. They train year-round and have a chance to finish atop or near the top of the OIA East regular-season standings — before the D-I and D-II league playoffs begin. Kalani is young, no doubt, but I like what they’ve got.
As good as Kamehameha is, it’s astounding — and testimony to the strength of the ILH — that they’re behind ‘Iolani and Punahou in the rankings.
Warriors have the size advantage, not making the low-post shots. Kalani staying in this with three 3-pointers. Kobe Young back in the game, powers his way for a three-point opportunity as Kalani fans call for a travel. Kamehameha leads 14-11 with :57 left in the first quarter.
Kamehameha 17, Kalani 15, end first quarter.
Kamehameha was in a 2-3 matchup zone in the opening quarter. How rare is that with Tacon at the helm? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Tacon defense go that long in zone. EVER. Or maybe I’m wrong. They’re covering with man principles, but switching often. Tacon’s imploring his guys to stay on Kalani’s 23, Kapaa Nishimura, but he swishes his second 3-pointer of the game anyway.
Kalani leads 20-18 with 6:08 to go.
Kalani is in a 2-3 zone, but there’s no physicality, no boxing out. Nothing but white shirts crashing the boards, but the Warriors haven’t been able to cash in yet. Kalani played at a hectic tempo early on but had more turnovers than baskets. Still, they’ve got the power of 3.
Big run by Kamehameha to take a 30-23 lead. Time out and Tacon tells his guys to switch so yes, they’ve been playing man defense. Saint Gelacio with a nice 3 and Jaden Zarrellano (please forgive my spelling until I get a photo of the rosters) with a corner 3 and a layup to spark a 12-3 run.
Half ends with Kamehameha ahead 34-27.
Warriors open with a wing 3, but Nishimura hits his third trey and the Falcons rally to tie it at 38.
NOTE: Fatu Su’a-Godinet, arguably one of the top players in the state, is not playing for the Warriors. I’m told he’s on the Big Island at the all-star football game (Life Champion Bowl).
Kalani really increased the defensive pressure after halftime, trapping the ball in the backcourt.
Quarter ends with Kamehameha up 46-40.
KS leads 56-55 before closing strong. Zarrellano drives for a three-point play and the Warriors Pull away with free throws — a 9-1 run.
FINAL: Kamehameha 65, Kalani 59.
Kaimuki vs. Kapolei