The finale is here. I’m going to miss the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Watching seven to eight basketball games every day is a sign of wellness, not illness, no matter what a few people might intimate. Especially when there is 1) air conditioning, 2) great hospitality, 3) a beautiful venue, 4) sacred, yet graceful tradition. I need no Christmas presents, though I appreciate new socks all the time. This is Christmas. Thank you, God Almighty.
Listed rankings are from our Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.
Montverde (Fla.) 71, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 43, F (championship)
Montverde (Fla.) 59, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 39, 4Q, 3:21
Things a wee bit testy here, but nothing serious. RJ Barrett got his teammate’s attention and pointed to the scoreboard just to remind him that it’s all business.
Montverde (Fla.) 54, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 33, end 3Q
Nembhard is carving up the Jefferson man defense and Makhel Mitchell is the beneficiary. Mitchell now has 16 points, 10 in the third.
Montverde (Fla.) 37, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 20, halftime
The top-ranked Eagles had the lead up to 37-16 late in the first half. The Democrats have figured out a few ways to attack Montverde’s tough man defense. Kamaka Hepa has six points and three boards, and Khalil Chatman also has six points.
Mahkel Mitchell scored two early buckets before picking up fouls on back-to-back plays. He has six points and Karrington Davis has five off the bench. RJ Barrett is unsolvable for every team in this Classic. He’s active, explosive, aggressive. The Duke-bound senior has 12 points and would have more if not for four missed free throws in the second quarter, including a couple of one-and-ones. Andrew Nembhard, the future Florida Gator, has nine points, all in the first quarter, and also has three assists and two steals.
Montverde (Fla.) 21, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 6, end 1Q
The Eagles have systematically dissected the Democrats like nobody’s business. Jefferson had dominated the field, but Montverde is dominating in every possible way. Andrew Nembhard already has 11 points and RJ Barrett has eight points, four boards.
Montverde (Fla.) 7, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0, 1Q, 5:18
Fairfax (Los Angeles) 66, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 60, F (third place)
The Battle of the Bays goes to the South Bay. The Lions withstand a furious Dragon attack after opening the lead to double digits.
Fairfax (Los Angeles) 35, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 34, halftime
The Dragons trailed throughout the first half and had to claw back to get within a one-point margin.
Greensboro Day (N.C.) 61, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 49, F (fifth place)
Freshman Carson McCorkle led the Bengals with 13 points. Clemson-bound John Newman added 12 points and Noah Dunn had 10. Ken Curtis sparked the Vikings with 19 points. Trevante Anderson added 14 and Freddie Roberson tallied 10.
Greensboro Day (N.C.) 52, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 35, 4Q, 4:29
Vikings making a run of sorts now, constant pressure at midcourt fullcourt and the Bengals are showing signs of fatigue, turning the ball over. Missing mid-range shots.
Greensboro Day (N.C.) 52, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 30, end 3Q
For awhile, it looked like the Vikings might put a run together. Not to be. GDS keeps bringing on tough defense and offensive rebounds for Rainier are a rarity.
Greensboro Day (N.C.) 34, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 19, halftime
The Bengals stretched the lead to 24-3 at one point before the Vikings finally started hitting shots from the field.
Greensboro Day (N.C.) 21, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 3, end 1Q
The Bengals are all business. Rainier has committed five turnovers and the Bengals are running the floor over and over. John Newman took a shot to the eye on a drive with 4 seconds left, intentional foul called and he hits both shots. Then he feeds lobs to Noah Dunn and the 6-5 junior hits a double-pump jumper in the lane at the buzzer. WOW.
Taft (Calif.) 62, ‘Iolani 47, F (seventh place)
Demetruis Calip led the Toreadors with 16 points and Makani Whiteside added 13. Kihei Clark and Khalil Haywood scored 11 each, and Brandon Wilson chipped in 10.
Frank Felix had 14 and Noah Bumanglag nine points for the Raiders.
Taft (Calif.) 47, ‘Iolani 29, end Q3
Taft (Calif.) 34, ‘Iolani 18, halftime
No. 3 Maryknoll 51, Lahainaluna 42, F (ninth place)
Jaylen Cain led the Spartans with 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers to spur a run in the first quarter. Marcus Tobin added 12 points and Makoto Kamata chipped in 11. Isiah Gelacio finished with nine.
Siale Hafoka led the Lunas with 13 points and Reece Pascua tallied 10.
No. 3 Maryknoll 23, Lahainaluna 16, halftime
No. 3 Maryknoll 19, Lahainaluna 9, 1Q, 4:54
Coach Kelly Grant hasn’t softened up one bit even though it’s day five. He lit into one of his top players about defense and since then, the Spartans have gone on a 7-2 run.
No. 3 Maryknoll 12, Lahainaluna 7, end 1Q
No. 3 Maryknoll 5, Lahainaluna 2, 1Q, 5:20
Lunas coach Jason Justus said two players are sitting out as a disciplinary measure.
No. 9 Kapolei 67, No. 10 Moanalua 54, F (11th place)
Moanalua’s reserves play all out and cut the lead down by the final buzzer. Zoar Nedd finished with 11 points and Marquis Montgomery added 10 for Kapolei. Montgomery is a good 3-point shooter, doesn’t take more than two or three attempts per game, but he can hit that consistently. Isiah Higa and Ja’Shon Carter added nine each. Carter had a great tourney: 20, 20, 15 and nine today.
Isaiah Sugiura led Moanalua with 14 points. Caleb Casinas had 12, and center DeAeris McRaven had nine while playing most of the game. McRaven is a sophomore and already 6-5. He gutted it out today, still playing solid defense to the final buzzer. Geremy Robinson also had nine points.
No. 9 Kapolei 59, No. 10 Moanalua 39, end 3Q
No. 9 Kapolei 39, No. 10 Moanalua 25, halftime
Menehune offering almost no resistance on the low post. It’s slender sophomore DiAeris McRaven, at 6-5, trying to defend the rim alone. Kapolei has a size advantage, especially with Pulu out, but there’s no physicality at all by Moanalua in its 2-3 zone.
No. 9 Kapolei 23, No. 10 Moanalua 17, end 1Q
Mello benches his marshmallow defenders and Moanalua hustles back to within 20-15. Geremy Robinson drives to the bucket on the break, contact from behind, no whistle. Lead referee bad angle, couldn’t see the contact by the second defender, but Moanalua is back in the game. Saige Pulu, a key scorer for Moanalua, has ice taped to his left leg. Might be done for the day.
No. 9 Kapolei 18, No. 10 Moanalua 7, 1Q, 3:22
Another slow start for Na Menehune, very similar to the way they started yesterday against Lahainaluna, when they fell behind 21-3. Turnovers against midcourt pressure by Kapolei. The last play before Menehune coach Byron Mello called time out turned into a 3-on-none fastbreak for Kapolei. They’re giving up uncontested layups, content to trade baskets. Kapolei has looked like it cares from the opening tip. Mello cares, but right now, his players… that’s up for debate. Again. A coach can only do so much.
No. 2 Kamehameha 47, Leilehua 33, F (13th place)
Sophomore Christmas Togiai scored 13 points and Kobe Young added 10 for the Warriors. Jaymond Agdinaoay led the Mules with 13 points.
No. 2 Kamehameha 35, Leilehua 22, end 3Q
Sophomore Jordan Ke-a swishes a long 2 at the buzzer. Mules running some nice pick-and-roll with Noah Park and 6-foot-6 Elijah Robinson. Warriors so active on the boards, on defense, all the things that stats don’t quite measure. Energy.
No. 2 Kamehameha 33, Leilehua 18, 3Q, 3:10
Mules chip away at the lead and bring it down to 29-18, but Christmas Togiai scores inside and feeds Kobe Young for a fastbreak layup.
No. 2 Kamehameha 26, Leilehua 10, halftime
Fatigue showing for the Mules as the Warriors go on a 15-0 run to begin the second quarter. Leilehua PG Tashaun Wright has carried the load, especially with Liam Fitzgerald out (ankle). This is their third game in three days, fourth in five days. Kamehameha is actually fresh after the seniors got a rest yesterday. Kobe Young with the breakaway slam. Warriors are pressing and running, rotating deep into the roster. Lele Kawaiaea is in uniform, but not playing yet. He says he wants to play, but this is the smart approach. Long ILH season ahead and additional recovery time from his injury is best.
Wright keeps attacking. He drives and dishes to Jose Guillen for a bucket with 1.9 seconds left in the half.
No. 2 Kamehameha 9, Leilehua 7, end 1Q
Mule fans are small in numbers but very spirited this morning. Kamehameha has its full roster today after suiting up only six players yesterday due to Founder’s Day on campus. Coach Greg Tacon has already whistled once. That didn’t happen all game yesterday.
Pearl City 48, No. 8 Kalaheo 45, F (15th place)
Shot clock changes the basic strategy of holding the ball in the last 2, 3, 5 minutes. Pearl City leads 44-43, but they have to beat the shot clock and Jayden Parel hits two FTs for a 46-43 lead.
Mustangs miss a reverse layup and a 3. Yamamoto to the line with :10.7 left, hits the first and it’s 47-43. That should ice it. Makes the second, then Kalaheo throws away a mid-court pass. This should be over, but Pearl City throws away an inbounds pass and Kai Samiere is fouled. Makes two shots, it’s 48-45. Mel Oandasan to the line, misses the one-and-one, Kalaheo calls time out with :01.6 left.
This is when I wish the NBA rule to advance the ball to midcourt was in play for high school. Ryan Pardini is the best shooter on the floor for Kalaheo, but I’m not sure Pearl City will mark him. Long pass goes over Pardini’s head, bounces, he retrieves it! But he needs to step back behind the 3-point line and travels. Game over.
Justin Pfau led Pearl City with 15 points. Ryan Yamamoto finished with 11. Ryan Pardini scored 16 to pace the Mustangs. Kanoa Smith added nine.
Pearl City 37, No. 8 Kalaheo 34, 4Q, 6:30
The Chargers tie the game on a bucket by Kobe Gouveia and take the lead on a 3 by Ryan Yamamoto. This is not a last-place game (or a game to avoid last place. This is a battle of wills, two tired teams on an early Wednesday morning. Pride of Pearl City. Pride of Kalaheo.
No. 8 Kalaheo 23, Pearl City 17, halftime
The Mustangs are down to just six players, just like Kamehameha yesterday. There are two finals going on back at Kalaheo’s campus, so it’s Kalaheo’s 6 Shooters holding down the fort.
FRIDAY, DEC. 15
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> Game 25: Pearl City 48, Kalaheo 45 (15th place)
>> Game 26: Kamehameha 47, Leilehua 33 (13th place)
>> Game 27: Kapolei 67, Moanalua 54 (11th place)
>> Game 28: Maryknoll 51, Lahainaluna 42 (ninth place)
>> Game 29: Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 62, ‘Iolani 47 (seventh place)
>> Game 30: Greensboro (N.C.) 61, Rainier Beach (Seattle) 49 (fifth place)
>> Game 31: Fairfax (Los Angeles) 66, Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) 60 (third place)
>> Game 32: Montverde (Fla.) 71, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.), 43 (championship)