LIVE BLOG: ‘Iolani Classic, day 4

Leilehua coach Russ Fitzgerald lights a fire under his team in a 9 a.m. battle with Pearl City on Tuesday. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Dec. 19, 2017)

It’s early in the day and day four is underway. It’s 75 degrees and overcast outside, slight breeze and not much humidity. In the air-conditioned confines of the Lower Gym of ‘Iolani’s Father Bray Athletic Complex, all is well.

Scores and Wednesday’s schedule are at the bottom of this post.

Note: Kamren Victorino-Kato of Kamehameha became the first local-school entrant to win the tournament’s slam dunk contest. Trevin Wade of Montverde was runner-up, and Kamaka Hepa of Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) placed third.


Jefferson (Ore.) 63, Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) 50, F (semifinal)
The Democrats will meet top-ranked Montverde Academy (Fla.) in tomorrow’s championship game. Jalen Brown poured in 18 points and dropped three treys to lead Jefferson. Kamaka Hepa, their 6-10 University of Texas-bound center, added 17 points. Khalil Chatman added 14 points to power the “Demos,” as the team nickname is spelled on their jerseys.

Will Chavarin paced the Dragons of Oakland, Calif., with 18 points. Naseem Gaskin chipped in 10.

Jefferson (Ore.) 52, Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) 35, 4Q, 6:41
Dems PG Robert Ford goes down with a left-ankle sprain after driving to the bucket. He walks off after writhing on the court for about 30 seconds. That could’ve been a huge loss for Jefferson.

Jefferson (Ore.) 47, Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) 33, end 3Q
Democrats center Kamaka Hepa is asserting himself and taking control now.

Montverde (Fla.) 79, Fairfax (Calif.) 70, F (semifinal)
RJ Barrett had 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Lions withstood a fierce rally by Fairfax to advance. Filip Petrusev added 16 points and five boards, while Andrew Nembhard added 12 points, six assists and two steals, and Michael Devoe tallied 11 points and five assists. Makhi Mitchell had 10 points and seven caroms before fouling out.

Jamal Hartwell led Fairfax with 21 points and Robert McRae added 20. Ethan Anderson powered his way to 18 points as the Lions cut a 20-point deficit to 74-70 with 49 seconds remaining. Montverde put the game out of reach on a free throw and a layup by Nembhard, plus two more foul shots by Barrett.

Montverde (Fla.) 74, Fairfax (Calif.) 67, 4Q, 1:03 (semifinal)
Fairfax is making a game of it, cutting the lead to seven on Shawn Booker’s wing 3. Time out, Lions.

Montverde (Fla.) 57, Fairfax (Calif.) 38, end 3Q
Tremendous man defense by the Eagles.

Montverde (Fla.) 38, Fairfax (Calif.) 28, halftime
The balance of power is clear. The Eagles have benefited from huge scoring outputs by RJ Barrett in games one and two, but tonight, the rest of his team hasn’t blinked as Fairfax shadows the spectacular 6-foot-7 senior. Makhel Mitchell, a 6-9 junior, has six points and five boards, and 6-10 senior Filip Petrusev has been outstanding at both ends with 11 points, three boards and a block. Barrett has been a company man as usual, delivering another versatile performance: seven points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals. Senior guard Andrew Nembhard has been solid with nine points, three dimes and a steal. Michael Devoe has five assists and a steal.

The Lions have gotten some scoring punch from Ethan Anderson (seven points) and Jamal Hartwell, who has 12 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the arc. The problem is that the Eagles went into lockdown mode defensively after Coach Kevin Boyle called time out with 5:47 left in the second quarter. Since that point, the Eagles turned a 23-22 game into a 10-point halftime cushion.

Montverde (Fla.) 18, Fairfax (Calif.) 15, end 1Q
A strong first quarter for 6-9 center Makhel Mitchell. The Montverde junior has four points and four rebounds with an assist and a steal. The Lions are doing all they can to help on RJ Barrett, who has 4

Greensboro Day (N.C.) 46, Taft (Calif.) 44, F (consolation)
Will Dillard’s putback gave the Bengals a 46-44 lead. Moments later, his defense caused a turnover at midcourt, and John Newman went to the line for a one-and-one with :05 left. His shot missed, but the Bengals stripped the ball from Taft PG Kihei Clark as he tried to pass downcourt, and time expired.

Noah Dunn led Greensboro Day with 10 points. Freshman Carson McCorkle added nine. Kihei Clark sparked Taft with 19 points.

Greensboro Day (N.C.) 39, Taft (Calif.) 36, end 3Q

Greensboro Day (N.C.) 32, Taft (Calif.) 23, halftime
Senior Tripp Greene splashes a corner 3 at the buzzer to stretch the Bengals’ lead to nine.

Greensboro Day (N.C.) 16, Taft (Calif.) 12, end 1Q

Rainier Beach (Seattle) 71, ‘Iolani 42, F (consolation)
Ken Curtis scored 20 points and Kendall Williams added 13 for the Vikings. Kawika Lee led ‘Iolani with 11 points and Cole Hogland added eight.

Rainier Beach (Seattle) 57, ‘Iolani 28, end 3Q

Rainier Beach (Seattle) 35, ‘Iolani 18, halftime
Vikings defense has set the tone from the start. Now here comes the halftime free-throw contest.

Rainier Beach (Seattle) 15, ‘Iolani 7, end 1Q
Vikings coach Mike Bethea imploring his team to “shoot the basketball.” Good advice. His team passed up a few open shots and turned the ball over at least once on those situations. Raiders suffering from turnover issues, but Noah Bumanglag has attacked the rim consistently.

Rainier Beach (Seattle) 7, ‘Iolani 2, 1Q, 5:53
Unforced turnovers by the Raiders. Vikings driving at will on the Raiders, time out ‘Iolani.

No. 3 Maryknoll 46, No. 9 Kapolei 45, F (consolation)
Robben nearly steals the inbounds pass, foot on the line, :05.1. Pass gets in to Kaimana Rodrigues, handoff to Ja’Shon Carter, who is fouled in the corner as he tries to drive. Carter to the line, one-and-one with 2.4 seconds left. Free throw hits the front of the rim, rolls to the glass and peels off. Rebound Maryknoll, Carter tries to tie him up, time expires. Maryknoll escapes with a close win. That’s two close wins by ILH teams over OIA teams in the last two games here at the Classic.

No. 3 Maryknoll 46, No. 9 Kapolei 45, 4Q, :06.5
Ja’Shon Carter advances the ball past midcourt, time out, Kapolei with :07.5 left. Then Maryknoll calls time out. Inbounds pass to Zoar Nedd, tied up and jump ball called. Still Kapolei ball. The Hurricanes call time out with :06.5 left.

Marcus Tobin led Maryknoll with 10 points. Nikko Robben and Makoto Kamata had nine apiece. Zoar Nedd had 23 points to lead the ‘Canes. Carter tallied 15.

No. 3 Maryknoll 46, No. 9 Kapolei 45, 4Q, :12.4
Sophomore Nikko Robben steal and layup gives Maryknoll a 44-43 lead. Nedd drives, fouled, one-and-one. Makes the first, ties the game, :34.5. Makes the second, Kapolei leads. Isiah Gelacio fakes the 3, Nedd jumps and Gelacio drives for a 13-foot floater all net. Time out Maryknoll.

No. 9 Kapolei 43, No. 3 Maryknoll 42, 4Q, 1:06
Zoar Nedd three-point play, dish by Ja’Shon Carter. Kapolei leads 41-40, 2:23. Follow shot gives Maryknoll a 42-41 lead, but Nedd hits a turnaround jump hook in the lane, Kapolei leads 43-42 with 1:20 to go.

No. 3 Maryknoll 38, No. 9 Kapolei 36, 4Q, 4:36
Steal by Kapolei leads to a wing 3 by Ja’Shon Carter, assist by Zoar Nedd.

No. 3 Maryknoll 36, No. 9 Kapolei 31, end 3Q
Ja’Shon Carter drives and dishes to Julius Buelow for a Kapolei basket at :05 to go in the third.

No. 9 Kapolei 34, No. 3 Maryknoll 29, 3Q, 1:23
Fouls piling up for Kapolei. Maryknoll is in the bonus with more than 2 minutes left in the third. Kaimana Rodrigues picks up his third PF.


No. 9 Kapolei 26, No. 3 Maryknoll 24, halftime
Isiah Gelacio’s floater in the paint cuts the lead to two points with :04 left in the half. The Hurricanes scrapped their way back into the lead, leaping for loose balls and hitting the floor. Kaimana Rodrigues and Jalen Miller leading the gritty ‘Canes defensively. Zoar Nedd his having his best game that I’ve seen in preseason. He has three offensive boards for putbacks and is dominating the defensive glass.

No. 3 Maryknoll 15, No. 9 Kapolei 11, end 1Q
Steals and layups by Jaylen Cain and Kalai Akaka propel Maryknoll to a 12-9 lead. Ja’Shon Carter’s FTs cut the lead to one, but Isiah Gelacio cuts to the rim, takes a bump from Zoar Nedd and scores. His three-point play gives Maryknoll its largest lead.

No. 3 Maryknoll 4, No. 9 Kapolei 4, 1Q, 4:15
Hurricanes line up in a 3-2 zone. Zoar Nedd covering the top and dropping into the paint. He’s got a lot of ground to cover, but he’s the perfect guy for it at 6-4 with quick feet, long arms. Early unforced turnovers stifling Kapolei.

No. 10 Kapolei vs. No. 3 Maryknoll (consolation)
Hurricanes played perhaps their best game of preseason yesterday in a win over No. 2 Kamehameha. Maryknoll has lost its last two games since opening nonleague play with 10 wins. This could be a great game.

Lahainaluna 68, No. 10 Moanalua 57, F (consolation)
Lunas are up 60-53 when Robinson misses a layup, then commits a foul with 1:09 left. Casinas cuts the lead to five, but Lahainaluna scores on a layup against the press. Reece Pascua hits a FT with :47 left, 63-55.

Polu hustles for a rebound and is fouled by Robinson. That’s five PFs for the big man. Polu makes one FT, then tries to rebound his own miss on the second, violation. stepped in too early.

Koa Evalu Robinson led the Lunas with 18 points before fouling out. Reece Pascua added 14, Carter Stockham added 12 and Siale Hafoka chipped in 11.

Freshman Geremy Robinson led Moanalua with 14 points. Saige Pulu finished with 13.

Lahainaluna will play the Kapolei-Maryknoll winner, Wednesday, noon. Moanalua will play the Kapolei-Maryknoll loser, 10:30 a.m.

Lahainaluna 58, No. 10 Moanalua 51, 4Q, 3:42
Saige Pulu scores inside, then steals the inbounds pass and scores again to cut Lahainaluna’s lead to seven. CJ Kalma’s clutch 3-pointers helped Lahainaluna stave off Moanalua’s earlier run.

Lahainaluna 50, No. 10 Moanalua 44, end 3Q
Na Menehune cut the score to 47-44 after a 10-footer by Caleb Casinas and a layup by DeAeris McRaven. Lunas are on the ropes, but still composed.

Lahainaluna 36, No. 10 Moanalua 26, halftime
After seeing an 18-point lead whittle down to seven, the Lunas expanded it shortly before intermission. Moanalua G Geremy Robinson’s steal and coast-to-coast layup at the buzzer cut the lead to 10.

Lahainaluna 26, Moanalua 19, 2Q, 3:31
Time out by Lunas coach Jason Justus. This is the closest Moanalua has gotten since falling behind 21-3. Lunas are bigger inside, more physical from end to end with fullcourt man pressure. Na Menehune beginning to attack the paint via Saige Pulu.

Lahainaluna 22, No. 10 Moanalua 7, end 1Q
The Lunas opened the lead to 21-3, converting two steals into layups since Moanalua replaced its starters.

Lahainaluna 8, No. 10 Moanalua 1, 1Q, 3:53
Two teams with some very contrasting styles. The Lunas are all about defense and tempo, less explosive offensively than last season. Na Menehune would love to run the floor every second of the game. So far, it’s been a Lunas kind of pace. Lunas center Koa Evalu Robinson, a 6-foot-4 tank, has dominated inside with six points already. Moanalua coach Byron Mello has subbed out his entire starting five.

No. 2 Kamehameha 55, No. 8 Kalaheo 46, F (consolation)
Hoku Arias scored 15 points, Christmas Togiai had 12 and Lokahi Pauole added 11 as the Warriors overcame the Mustangs. No. 2 Kamehameha suited up just six players because its seniors were at Founder’s Day festivities on campus. Coach Greg Tacon utilized all five time outs as the Warriors led from start to finish.

Cameron Chiu led No. 8 Kalaheo (10-7) with 17 points. Andrew Kearney, who did not play in the first quarter, added 10. The Mustangs, squeezing in games while finals is going on at campus, showed up to the tournament today just five minutes before game time. There are two more finals on Wednesday.

No. 2 Kamehameha 50, No. 8 Kalaheo, 43, 4Q, 2:31
The Warriors led 45-35, but the Mustangs’ fullcourt and halfcourt defensive pressure is wearing Kamehameha down. Coach Tacon has burned through nearly all his time outs to preserve the legs of his six Warriors.

Update: Coach Tacon confirmed that it’s Founder’s Day at Kamehameha, so the seniors are fulfilling their obligation. Coach Rob Pardini of Kalaheo confirmed that the school has finals all week, so they’ve been working out the timing as best they can. And there’s still finals tomorrow.

No. 2 Kamehameha 26, No. 8 Kalaheo 20, halftime
Andrew Kearney played in the second quarter. Kamehameha still playing fairly well, though they had a few turnovers late in the half, including a shot-clock violation. I was informed that Kamehameha’s seniors are participating in a school-related ceremony. Also, Kalaheo has finals tomorrow, so that will be another interesting scenario. Will the Mustangs have enough players?

No. 2 Kamehameha 16, No. 8 Kalaheo 9, end 1Q
Very impressive performance so far by Kamehameha’s six players.

No. 2 Kamehameha 7, No. 8 Kalaheo 3, 1Q, 4:29
Warriors have only six players present. Could be the rest of the team is in class. Kalaheo entered the gym with 5 minutes left on the warm-up clock. Officials granted both teams an extra 5 minutes. It looks strangely empty on that bench, but Kamehameha coach Greg Tacon is enjoying the challenge. After a Kamehameha basket, he high-fived a team manager. Kalaheo senior Andrew Kearney is present, but hasn’t played yet.

Kamehameha (8-2) is No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10. Kalaheo (10-6) is No. 8.

Leilehua 35, Pearl City 29, F (consolation)
Jaymond Agdinaoay scored 13 points to lead the Mules, who did not suit up senior Liam Fitzgerald (ankle). Ryan Yamamoto led the Chargers with seven points.

Leilehua 19, Pearl City 7, halftime
Here’s a matchup that will be repeated during the coming OIA West regular season. Liam Fitzgerald of Leilehua is resting (ankle). He threw down a solid two-handed slam yesterday on a breakaway, but his is a smart move. The ankle hasn’t had enough time to heal since he hurt it two weeks ago, and the regular season begins on Saturday. Today and tomorrow are valuable opportunities for Mules coach Russ Fitzgerald and Chargers coach Lionel Villarmia to see which of his starters and reserves are up to the challenge.

The gym is mostly empty. There might be a lack of motivation or an excess of it. Players want playing time. That’s the currency, of course. And this is practically the last chance, really, to prove how trustworthy you are as a player, in live action, at least until league play begins. When a coach told me the other night that his team sometimes lapsed into individual play, this is what he was talking about. Who is a great teammate? Who will lose a coach’s trust? Who listens? Who blanks out?

FRIDAY, DEC. 15
‘Iolani Classic
>> Game 1: ‘Iolani 55, Pearl City 25
>> Game 2: Rainier Beach (Seattle) 99, Moanalua 53
>> Game 3: Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 77, Kamehameha 48
>> Game 4: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 78, Kalaheo 54

SATURDAY, DEC. 16
>> Game 5: Fairfax (Los Angeles) 83, Leilehua 33
>> Game 6: Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 103, Kapolei 54
>> Game 7: Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 95, Lahainaluna 27
>> Game 8: Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 59, Maryknoll 33

MONDAY, DEC. 18
‘Iolani Classic
>> Game 9: Lahainaluna 61, Pearl City 26
>> Game 10: Moanalua 55, Leilehua 51
>> Game 11: Maryknoll 62, Kalaheo 42
>> Game 12: Kapolei 57, Kamehameha 51
>> Game 13: Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 54, Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 35
>> Game 14: Fairfax (Los Angeles) 71, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 55
>> Game 15: Montverde Academy (Fla.) 89, ‘Iolani 43
>> Game 16: Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) 59, Greensboro Day (N.C.) 57, OT


TUESDAY, DEC. 19
‘Iolani Classic
>> Game 17: Leilehua 35, Pearl City 29
>> Game 18: Kamehameha 55, Kalaheo 46
>> Game 19: Lahainaluna 68, Moanalua 57
>> Game 20: Maryknoll 46, Kapolei 45
>> Game 21: Rainier Beach (Seattle) 71, ‘Iolani 42
>> Game 22: Greensboro Day (N.C.) 46, Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 44
>> Game 23: Montverde (Fla.) 79, Fairfax (Los Angeles) 70
>> Game 24: Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 63, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 50
Slam Dunk Contest: Winner is Kamren Victorino-Kato of Kamehameha

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20
‘Iolani Classic
>> Game 25: Pearl City vs. Kalaheo, 9 a.m. (15th place)
>> Game 26: Leilehua vs. Kamehameha, 10:30 a.m. (13th place)
>> Game 27: Moanalua vs. Kapolei, noon
>> Game 28: Lahainaluna vs. Maryknoll, 1:30 p.m. (11th place)
>> Game 29: ‘Iolani vs. Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.), 3:30 p.m. (seventh place)
>> Game 30: Rainier Beach (Seattle) vs. Greensboro Day (N.C.), 5 p.m. (fifth place)
>> Game 31: Fairfax (Los Angeles) vs. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), 6:30 p.m. (third place)
>> Game 32: Montverde (Fla.) vs. Jefferson (Portland, Ore.), 8 p.m. (championship)

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