LIVE BLOG: Govs 60, Sabers 55, final

The OIA boys basketball quarterfinal round tips off tonight. Winners advance to the semifinals and clinch berths in the state tourney. Losers drop into the backdoor bracket to compete for the fifth and sixth berths out of the OIA.

Has Farrington reached its peak long ago? Or is there new life in the postseason?

First Quarter
Farrington 4, Campbell 2, 6:08

Sabers come out in a 1-2-2 zone and the Govs are slicing it up with interior passing. Too bad they turned it over once already and shot a quick 3 before there was any offensive help to rebound.

Defensively, Govs are pressuring at midcourt and Mamiya is a major pest.

Govs 11, Sabers 9, 3:08
Farrington had the lead up to 11-4 even after Campbell junked its 1-2-2 zone in favor of man defense. David Marrero, their 6-5 center, re-entered and took over the boards, and Michael Merchant hit an open 22-footer from the top. Govs used a 1-3-1 trap nicely, but we’ll see if they keep the 2-2-1 fullcourt press on.

Sabers 16, Govs 12, end Q1
Since Mamiya left the game, the Govs’ defense has been weak. Campbell on a 12-1 run. Jomar Gapusan hit an open 3, and Merchant drove and dished to Morrero for an easy layup before the buzzer. Sabers went back to the 1-2-2 with Marrero and the Govs struggled against it with Tua Unutoa on the bench.

Second Quarter
Sabers 24, Govs 14, 3:25

Lamart Dudley works in the paint for two putbacks, and Jayce Bantolina blazes upcourt on a fastbreak for a scoop shot and a 24-14 lead. Govs getting killed on the boards not because of Campbell’s height advantage, but because they simply refuse to box out. That’s the last thing I expected from the normally resilient Govs.

Sabers 32, Govs 26, halftime
Mamiya back in the game and the Govs go back to fullcourt pressure, get an easy steal on a bad pass. Marrero is getting a breather, and now Unutoa and Bryce Tatupu-Leopoldo are taking over the interior. I’m not sure if Mamiya sat so long because of fouls, precaution (previous injury) or maybe it’s just the rotation they set up to save his legs for the second half.

Mamiya hustles for a putback and scores on a three-point play to cut the lead to 25-20. Merchant hits two foul shots after being fouled at midcourt by Jake Smith. Tatupu-Leopoldo drives fearlessly on the break and scores on Marrero, who tries to draw the charge for some odd reason. He’s the best shot blocker in the OIA.

Smith scores on a tough jump hook in the paint and the Govs get the ball back, but turn the ball over. Gapusan feeds Merchant on a 3-on-1 layup for a 30-24 lead.

Govs cut it to 30-26, then another blunder, fouling Merchant at halfcourt as the clock ticks down to 5.4 seconds. This stuff is killing Farrington. Merchant his both foul shots. Smith’s prayer in the right corner is contested by Bantolina, a good 6-2 leaper, shot no good.

In spite of all the mental errors, Farrington down just six at the half.

Third Quarter
Sabers 37, Govs 34, 2:18

Farrington got within 35-34 after hitting two treys, one by Mamiya. (Sorry I missed the other one while I was blogging about Michael Eletise.)

Sabers looking a little ragged now. Two air-ball threes.

Sabers 39, Govs 36, end Q3
Unutoa’s baseline drive past Marrero brought the Govs within 37-36, but Campbell scored on an easy inbounds play at the rim to stretch the lead back to three just before the end of the quarter.

Fourth Quarter
Campbell 43, Farrington 40, Q4 4:24

Great defensive struggle, which can be fun sometimes, and it is in this case. Govs got within 41-40 on Mamiya’s putback, and had a chance to take the lead, but Tatupu-Leopoldo’s little jumper in the paint missed and Merchant scored on a tough drive on the fastbreak.

Sabers sticking with that sticky 1-2-2 zone.

Govs 45, Sabers 43, 2:21
Govs regain the lead, 44-43, on a steal by Smith, who passes to Mamiya, and gives right back to Smith for a layup with 3:33 left. A missed 3 by Merchant and the Govs take off for a fastbreak and hit a FT for a 45-43 lead.

Another JCHS turnover (Merchant), but Farrington misses a big break when Mamiya misses a reverse layup. Sabers then brick a 3. It’s too bad Marrero is not getting any touches. He may not be the best post scorer, but they absolutely won’t pass it to him on the low post even with an 8-inch advantage.

Govs 46, Sabers 43, 2:01
Time out by JCHS after Merchant slips and signals for a TO before he’s stuck. Farrington brought about 100 fans here and they have TAKEN OVER the facility. Saber fans have gone silencio when their team needs them most.

Sabers 47, Govs 47, :35
Marrero hustles for a putback with 1:50 left to cut it to 46-45, and Mamiya is called for a pushoff near midcourt as Merchant sells (i.e. flops) the call. Loose ball and Unutoa is called for a foul. Dudley at the line, hits one and then the second for a 47-46 lead with 1:10 left.

Both teams in the bonus, but the Sabers opt to cover Tatupu-Leopoldo (Dudley) 30 feet away. He drives and draws a foul with :42 left. He misses the first (double bonus), but the second is all net, tying the game at 47.

Sabers call time out.

Sabers 47, Govs 47, :05.8
Sabers work the clock down against Govs’ zone, but Dudley loses the ball as he drives from the right wing. Held ball, possession Governors. Time out. Crazy finish!

Sabers 47, Govs 47, end Q4
Govs have lots of time, but Kapono Kakalia rushes the driving shot and is whistled for a charge with 1/10th of a second left. It was a 2-on-1, but he never saw his teammate open. OVERTIME!

Govs played a very smart fourth quarter and really could’ve won this in regulation.

Govs 56, Sabers 55, OT :56
Gapusan to Bantolina, who is so fast and athletic, on the fastbreak for the first points of overtime. But Smith answers with a corner 3 for a 50-49 Govs lead.

Missed shot by JCHS, Unutoa fouled on the rebound and hits two FTs for a 52-49 lead. But the Govs leave Merchant wide open and he swishes the wing 3 to tie it up with 2 minutes to go.

Govs very patient, looking like the team that was ranked No. 2 early in the season. Unuota pump fakes and drives, getting Marrero to bite, jump and foul. He’s gone with his fifth foul.

Unutoa breaks the tie with two free throws at 1:25, Govs lead 54-52. Sloppy ballhandling by a Campbell reserve guard and Tatupu-Leopoldo steals it, feeds Smith for a layup and the Govs have a 56-52 lead, looks like a lock.

But Campbell’s Alika Bantolina hits a corner 3 to cut it to 56-55. Time out JCHS, :56.

Govs 60, Sabers 55, final
Sabers falling apart. Unutoa drives for an easy 2, 58-55, and then Mamiya tips a pass by another Campbell reserve guard out of the trap, and Tatupu-Leopoldo scores easily for a 60-55 lead.

Campbell is having a solid season, but they crumbled down the stretch in a big way because they don’t have a strong presence on the high post or low post offensively.

Big win for the Govs. Starting to look like that world-beater back in December. They move on to the semifinal round and will play Kalaheo, which beat Mililani tonight, on Tuesday at McKinley. Game time to be announced later.


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