LIVE BLOG: #2 Kaiser 72, Farrington 58, F

A matchup of OIA East teams in this consolation game at the ‘Iolani Classic. On paper, it might not look extremely interesting, but this is a preview of what they’ll do (or not do) come regular season. Kaiser is coming off a 39-38 loss to a tough Mid-Pacific squad. At the time, Kaiser was ranked No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10. (I haven’t taken a look at the new rankings that were released this morning.)

Farrington? They upset then-No. 5 Leilehua on Saturday, but took a 22-point loss from Kamehameha. They have a tall mountain to climb with a young roster, but the win over Leilehua shows what the Governors can do. They’ve only got eight players today, so the usual rotation and deep subbing is out. A chance for the eight who made it to show what they can do with extended minutes.

FIRST QUARTER
Chance Kalaugher goes to work right away on the low post, hitting a nice turnaround shot. All net. He could do that all game long. But he doesn’t get the ball again in the post and by the time Kaiser subs in five new players, Farrington is up 6-2.


Ehzikiel Santiago hits a corner 3 on a feed from Mosi Afe and it’s 9-4, Farrington. Time out, Govs, 4:23. Paul Madamba has his second steal already. He’s at the line shooting two.

Just checked the new rankings. Kaiser is still No. 2 despite the loss to MPI. Why? The ballots were sent in by Monday, noon — before the Kaiser-MPI game was played. I’m guessing the Cougars will drop a spot or two in the next poll, but that was the kind of game that says as much (or more) about the Owls as it does about the Cougars. Yes, at some point this season, probably before the ILH regular season, Mid-Pacific will be ranked. Had they been at full strength and won the Surfrider Holiday Classic two weeks ago, it might have happened already. The current No. 10 team is Lahainaluna, which has already beaten Leilehua, which is now No. 8.

Coach Steven Leopoldo imploring his guys to execute offensively. They’ve been running a lot of flex, and it’s not quite there yet. I remember Merv Lopes teaching it to his team at Hawaii Prep in the early 1990s. By the second year, they mastered it.

Ethan Hollandsworth’s putback ties this game at 13, but Afe hits a 12-foot bank shot with a few seconds left in the quarter. Farrington leads 15-13 entering the second quarter.

SECOND QUARTER
Miah Fepuleai nails a straightaway 3 for Farrington, but the Kaiser reserves are pushing the pace and getting easy layups. None of Farrington’s defenders is willing to be physical in the paint. Hard to believe, but true. THey don’t have any beefy guys on the roster, and they’re short-handed today. Less than 6 minutes to go in the half and Kaiser’s starters are back in.

Kalaugher cuts to the low post, entry pass, easy layup. Cougars lead 21-20. Time out, Farrington, 5:19.

Two more Farrington turnovers and two more buckets for the Cougars. Momentum switching quickly. Mahiko drive uncontested through the middle for an easy layup. 27-20.

Kaiser not playing tight defense either. Afe drives down the middle uncontested, layup. 28-24.

Michael Miske with a great off-hand, hangtime lefty layup. L.J. Gonzales hits a pull-up 3 for the Govs. Then Keoua Mahiko scores on a tough bank shot and Miske is at it again with a scoop shot on the right side for an and-1 three-point play. Cougars lead 35-26.

Miske finds Mahiko wide open for an easy layup. Christmas has arrived early.

The half ends with Kaiser up 37-28. That’s an 18-7 run to close the half.

THIRD QUARTER
Govs cut the lead to 37-32, but Kaiser put its press back on and spurred a 7-0 run. Kaiser begins the second half without Kalaugher starting. INstead, they have senior reserve guard Bryan Iha on the floor. He just drained a corner 3. He’s a lefty. Now he grabs an offensive board.

Quarter ends with Kaiser up 49-40. Kawazoe still mixing his reserves with his starters. Kalaugher did not play in the third and he’s in full sweats. Might be done for the day. He’s taken a pounding from defenders all preseason, and he can’t seem to get a break on calls — some of which are his own doing. But I’ve seen him get whistled for a normal bump or battle for position, and the little guy gets the call. If he sits, that’s an extra 12-14 minutes that gets spread around to reserves.


FOURTH QUARTER
Govs making some nice open court plays, still need to clean up the halfcourt game. The passing. Chemistry class in session. Fepuleai hits a wing 3 to cut the lead to 51-43, but Kaiser’s Jalen Pinks swishes a wing 3 of his own. Time out, Cougars, 6:21.

What it is: Govs hit the cutter, and he draws two defenders. He’s got an open man underneath, but instead of stopping and dishing a bounce pass for an easy layup, he tries to pass over a pair of 6-foot-plus posts. He’s just 5-6. Easy deflection. Kaiser pushes and gets an and-1, euro-step layup by Cameron Ma. His free throw opens the lead to 13. That’s a five-point swing.

Guys going too fast. I’ve seen it a lot in preseason. A lot of those guys who can’t control or change their speed will end up on the pine once preseason is over. Coaches have a hard time rewarding players who repeat the same mistakes. Unless there is no depth. Then there is no choice but to endure the pain.

Farrington gets a steal and layup off the fullcourt press, but Kaiser breaks it the next time when nobody covers the ballhandler. I give Leopoldo a lot of credit. He’s been extremely patient and positive with this young team. They’ve gotten better each week, bit by bit.

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