Championship night is upon us at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Of course, it arrives with bittersweet tones. As PA man Rudy Tulonghari said, “Too bad it’s over.” True. But if it were much longer, we might not appreciate the gem that the late Glenn Young and the good folks at ‘Iolani (and Nike) created.
Fifteenth place: Waiakea 62, Kaiser 51
Thirteenth place: Punahou 66, Waianae 48
Eleventh place: Mid-Pacific 61, Kapolei 49
Ninth place (consolation): Corona del Sol (Ariz.) 91, Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 64
Seventh place: Dr. Phillips (Fla.) 57, De La Salle (Calif.) 49
Fifth place: ‘Iolani 63, Kailua 33
Third place: Kahuku 55, Southwind (Tenn.) 51
Championship: Oak Hill (Va.) 78, Findlay Prep (Nev.) 62
Game 32, 8 p.m.
FINAL: FINDLAY PREP (NEV.) 78, OAK HILL (VA.) 62
Findlay Prep brought their shooting strokes tonight, getting threes from a variety of key players while still playing great defense and protecting the rim.
Washington follows a missed layup and hits the follow in transition, then takes the next rebound coast to coast for a layup, 61-42. Donnie Tillman scores, 63-42. I have never seen Oak Hill controlled like this, let alone trail in a game. Coach Paul Washington Sr. imploring his team to keep pushing the ball, and Justin Roberts drives and dishes to Chaney for a monster slam, 65-42. Washington iso on the low post, powers into the lane, draws another defender an feeds Chaney for an easy lay-in, 67-44. It’s a clinic now.
Wigginton and Shuler hit threes to bring the Warriors within 48-39 with less than 3 minutes left in the third.
End Q3: Findlay Prep 57, Oak Hill 42.
Officials allowing some cushion room, so to speak, with contact in a game with so much size, speed and strength. Diane crashes into Alexander on the break, blocking foul. That was close. Findlay leads 33-21. Washington had an amazing, twisting bank shot in the lane earlier. Wiggington scores, 33-23. Oak Hill in man defense but willing to give their foes some space to shoot from distance. A good strategy? Maybe.
Pilots so strong defensively. Preston beats his man, stops at the block, and Washington strips the ball from behind. Washington draws a crowd, feeds Chaney, SLAM. 35-23. Wigginton hits a nice pull-up J just outside the block with :12 left.
End Q2: Findlay Prep 35, Oak Hill 25.
Pilots come out on fire as Lamine Diane has 12 quick points, including two 3’s, and Donnie Tillman has nine points as it’s 23-8 Findlay Prep with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
End Q1: Matt Coleman hits a 3 for Oak Hill just before the end of the quarter. 25-15 Pilots.
Game 31, 6:30 p.m.
KAHUKU 55, SOUTHWIND (TENN.) 51
Ethan Erickson, a 6-4 sophomore, enters for Kahuku, makes a big follow shot. Fotu pump fakes from the corner and drives, layup and-1. Makes the FT, KAH 44-39.
Robert Boyd swats a Kahuku shot in the paint. Marshall fouled on a drive, 1-and-1, swish. Villa shooting, makes two, 46-41.
Time out, Jaguars, 50-45, 4:17.
Marshall with a sweet drive and layup, 52-49. Kahuku time out, 2:42.
Erickson air-balls a 10-footer, but Sauvao is back on defense to take the charge, 2:12. Big play. They miss Ah-Hoy so much, but other guys are stepping up.
Fotu fouled, 1:49. Makes one of two.
Villa loses the ball, Boyd misses the dunk, Freeman misses a 3. But the Jaguars get a putback by Boyd, 53-51, 1:07. Time out, SW.
Fotu dribbling downcourt, Christian Jones steals it from behind. Now Southwind called for illegal dribble, nobody knows what happened. Kahuku turns it over at the left sideline. Chaos.
The Jaguars will hold for one shot, down 53-51. Coach Paul Edwards calls time out, :15.1 left. That’s their last time out.
Handoff to Freeman, gets a clean look from the top, shot is long, foul, :05.3. Sauvao was on him, but Freeman had a clean look. Can’t believe he missed. Villa hits both free throws, 55-51.
Fotu with two blocks at the rim, Villa hits two foul shots and Wright with the foul-line J, Kahuku 35-28. Avea nearly blocks a layup, causes a miss and Villa is off to the races, draws a foul, shooting two. They’ve got a lot of what it takes on both ends of transition. He hits both, 37-28.
Is the “high school” championship game of the Classic? Findlay Prep and Oak Hill fill their niches perfectly, but they’re not regular high school basketball programs. I’m sure no player playing at this level wants to hear that. They want to play anybody and everybody, the way Indiana had one classification for all schools until a few years back.
Incredible rotation defensively by the Jaguars, Kahuku moving the ball and can’t get a look until Fotu delivers a no-look pass from the corner to Wright, who has a mismatch at the rim, fouled. Makes both, 39-28. Kahuku’s biggest lead.
Robert Boyd drives on Wright, runner tumbles in, 39-30. Jaguars getting offensive boards and second life, Marshall hits a 15-footer from the baseline, 39-32. Time out Southwind, 2:29.
Marshall wing 3 good, 39-35. Kahuku two turnovers in a row. Marshall scores on a UCLA cut, Kahuku completely baffled on that play. Villa stripped on a drive, Freeman open 3, misses. Halfcourt press slowing Kahuku down, Red Raiders settling for threes, no touches on the block.
Fotu with a corner 3, but Carlos Marshall hits a pull-up J on him. Sauvao bucket, Freeman 3, Sauvao backdoor cut layup, assist by Villa, KAH 19-18.
Fotu fouled, makes both, 21-18. Double screen high, Freeman catch and shoot, rainbow 3 good. They do this all the time and nobody stops it. Sauvao 3, good! KAH 24-21. Might be his breakout game. Marshall scores again, 24-24.
FT by Jaguars, 25-24. Villa uses the high screen, launches the 3, swish, KAH 27-25. No sign of Kesi Ah-Hoy tonight.
Fotu tip-in on a miss by Villa, 29-25. Freeman WOHHH NBA 3 from the top at the shot-clock buzzer, man in his face. He is incredible. 29-28. Freeman with the iso clearout, shot clock winding down again. This is the Jaguars’ strategy at this point, and why not? Sweet spin move gets Marshall open, but he’s moving to his right, and it’s an air ball. Red Raiders rebound and Sauvao is picking cherries, easy layup.
Half ends with a Southwind miss and a minor skirmish on the offensive rebound as time expires.
End Q2: Kahuku 31, Southwind 28.
Mark Freeman is beasting again. Steal and blur. Layup. Jaguars lead 5-3, 4:47. Nice play, Codie Sauvao fastbreak bounce pass to Taimoana Wright, 5-5. Freeman for 3, 8-5.
Avea corner 3, splash, KAH 10-8. Avea coast to coast with a rebound, spin and dish, Wright baseline J good, 12-8.
Avea trying to drive on an iso but it’s too crowded, he passes, steal and Southwind scores.
End Q1: Kahuku 12, Southwind 10.
FINAL: ‘IOLANI 63, KAILUA 33
Mejia blocking shots, almost blocks Hugh’s shot, called for a foul. He didn’t touch him, bad call. Then he says something to another referee and gets a tech. That’s his fifth and he’s done for the night. This has NOT been the best officiated game of the tournament, and if you try to convince me this crew is the third-best of the tourney (fifth-place game), I’m not buying. Every questionable call has gone against Kailua. I suppose that’s not shocking, but Mejia should still avoid getting these technical fouls out of frustration (re: Kamehameha game).
Marrotte runs pick and roll with Mejia nicely, bounce pass and foul. Mejia hits both FTs to start the second half. 40-17. Marrotte blocks Hogland’s putback from behind, but the Surfriders turn the ball over on the other end. Cole Hogland shooting two, makes both, 44-17.
End Q3: ‘Iolani 50, Kailua 22.
The Raiders look refreshed. The Surfriders look like they’re on fumes. It’s been a busy few weeks and they probably should be tired by now. Who steps up from the reserve crew?
Alabanza wide open on the wing, 3 is good, 24-6. Inside-out, Hogland to Alabanza to Van Cantfort in the corner, swish. That’s three treys for him, 27-6. Genovia drive and kick to Alabanza, corner 3 good, 30-6. They keep diving in to help on the drive, it’s not working. Torres-Kahapea with a 3, 30-9. Hugh scores in transition, 32-9. He’s got fresh legs. Shouldn’t he be tired by now?
Torres-Kahapea 3 is off, he hits the floor. Bumanglag to Alabanza twice in a row in transition, left corner 3 good both times. One more time, pump fake and a 2, 40-9. Time out, Kailua, 2:25.
End Q2: ‘Iolani 40, Kailua 15.
Kailua upset ‘Iolani in the semifinals of the Surfrider Holiday Classic three weeks ago.
Hugh Hogland scores quickly in the post, leaving Christian Mejia behind. Hugh misses a dunk, that was a strong move. Mejia rebounds, pushes and finds Zach Marrotte for a layup, 2-2. Helam Baldomero hits a wing 3, IOL 5-2. Hugh scores inside, 7-2. Another miss, IOL pushes, Hugh catches a pass at midcourt, crossover and layup, 9-2. Time out, Kailua, 3:51.
IOL in 2-2-1 press, Kailua misses. Noah Bumanglag drives, Mejia swats it off the wall. Hogland inside, basket and foul on Mejia. 11-2, 3:22. Surfriders look tired. Hugh FT good, 12-2.
Justin Genovia drives, dishes, runs over Mejia, charging foul. Aaron Mejia drives, layup, 12-4. Ryan Van Cantfort 3 good, 15-4. Kailua double teams the cutter, Van Cantfort wide open on the top, good, 18-4. Everett Torres-Kahapea J good, 18-6. Bumanglag 3 from the wing, all net, 21-6.
End Q1: ‘Iolani 21, Kailua 6.
Game 29, 3:30 p..m.
FINAL: DR. PHILLIPS (FLA.) 57, DE LA SALLE (CALIF.) 49
Love, and now Burton with and-1 drives. 45-34, 6-0 run. Udenyi putback, 45-36. Udenyi hustles for a follow shot, 47-36. This came after Orr nearly air-balled a 3. It’s got to be that shoulder.
O’Dea 3, DLS down 8. Time out, DOC, 4:06. Panthers work the shot clock down and Burton is fouled on a hard drive. Makes both FTs, 3:33, 49-39. O’Dea wing 3 with a hand in his face, 49-42. Smith drives, layup, 51-42.
O’Dea fouled by Smith, 2:34, two shots. Makes both, 51-44. Love with a pull-up J in the lane, 53-44. Savarini misses a corner 3.
Udenyi follow shot, time out, DLS, 1:03. Dante Love to Poventud, 55-46.
Spartans marching. O’Dea’s 3 cuts it to 29-25. Panthers not getting good looks, settling for tough shots. Time out, DOC, 5:06. Daniel Love keeps making clutch drives and keeping the Panthers afloat offensively. DLS has no real answer for him in man defense.
End Q3: Dr. Phillips 39, De La Salle 34.
Who’s tired? Not Daniel Love. Drives, scores, 15-10. Fastbreak, Jordan Poventud scores on a pass from Burton, 17-10. Time out, DLS, 6:19.
Panthers struggling a bit in halfcourt with Udenyi controlling the paint. Love goes iso on the right wing and scores on a lefty layup, 21-12. When in doubt…
Burton drives hard for a layup, 23-12, but they leave Savarini open in the corner, all net. 23-15. Orr drives into the paint for the first time today. He’s been a beast attacking the paint all tourney. He has tape on his left shoulder. Makes one FT. Burton explodes to the rim, layup, 26-16.
End Q2: De La Salle 28, Dr. Phillips 18.
Daniel Love layup on a UCLA cut, nice pass, DOC 2-0. Nick Smith saves a long pass, behind the back pass for a layup, 4-0. Kevin Savarani has barely a good look, but swishes it from the wing for 3. Can’t give him that. It’s like Christmas for him, 4-3. Connor O’Dea fouled in the paint, shooting two. Makes both, DLS 5-4.
Steal by Dante Love, layup. Steal by Je’Quan Burton, layup, DOC 8-5. Emeka Udenyi in the paint, basket and foul. FT long, 8-7. O’Dea tough layup on the break, DLS 9-8. Smith powers inside, bucket and foul, FT short, DOC 10-9. They get the offensive carom on his miss, Daniel Love 3, 13-9.
The Panthers double-team Savarini on the wing, good scouting. But Charlie Miller is in the corner, fouled with :00.4 left. Was that a shot or a throw? Makes one.
End Q1: Dr. Phillips 13, De La Salle 10.
Game 28, 1:30 p.m.
FINAL: CORONA DEL SOL (ARIZ.) 91, MOUNT VERNON (N.Y.) 64
Note: Alex Barcello finished with 41 points, all in a most efficient manner, and Saben Lee added 21 in the Aztecs’ win. CDS takes the consolation title (ninth place).
Barello with 33 points and he’s missed maybe two shots. Amazing. He takes a break. Lee drives on Calixte, jump stop in the lane and scoop shot on the right. Old school all the way. Nice. 78-50.
Jason Douglas-Stanley corner 3, his first of the game. 80-56.
This freewheeling battle could slow down here, but I hope not. Barcello leads the break, bounce pass to Lee, layup. Textbook. Then he drives off a high screen, absolutely covered, lobs up a floater near the baseline, it bounces in. Wait, he just threw a pass away, deflected by Calixte, who drives for a layup a few seconds later. CDS 48-40.
Barcello steals a pass by a reserve, layup, 50-40. Morgan still not a factor on offense, and he’s covering Lee on defense. That’ll take the wind out of the sails.
Barcello on the break, another layup, 57-44, time out, Mount Vernon.
Shelan Yarde with the big block in the paint, off to the races, Lee fouled at the rim by Morgan. Makes both FTs, 59-44. Grier battles for the offensive board, scores, 61-46. Morgan feeds Calixte on a nice bounce pass, 61-48. Grier for 3, good, 64-48. Lee runs the break, pass to Barcello, sweet reverse layup, 66-48. Terry inbounds to Lee, pass back to Terry, corner 3 all net. Smooth shooter for a freshman. Lead pass on the break to Barcello, up high for the lay-in and foul. Crashes to the ground, hits the FT
End Q3: Corona del Sol 74, Mount Vernon 50.
Calixte still overpowering down low, but the Aztecs are running like the wind today. 5-0 run has them ahead 20-18, time out, MV. Lee fouls Calixte, two shots. That’s seven team fouls for CDS. Calixte makes one, 22-19.
Terry with a 3, 25-19, assist Barcello. Barcello 3, 28-19.
Barcello with the mid-range J, and after a missed layup by MV, fastbreak dunk by Lee. Time out, MV, 34-24, 3:45. The Aztecs build the lead to 40-24, but Mount Vernon cuts it to eight by halftime. Demetre Roberts’ steal and layup at the buzzer is huge.
End Q2: Corona del Sol 44, Mount Vernon 36.
Arizona commit Alex Barcello scores the six points for the Aztecs, but they trail 8-6. Saben Lee had a breakaway, but missed. Looked like he wasn’t sure if he’d dunk or lay in. Mt. Vernon center Gregory Calixte is on fire, six points already, 11-6. Lee steal at midcourt, give and go with Barcello, layup, 11-8.
Both teams in man, playing hard, last game of the tourney and trip, heading back to the desert and East Coast. Who wants a happy memory of this one? Calixte playing with a lot of energy, but CSL is pushing the break well, four guys down the court for a fastbreak and layup. Freshman Dalen Terry with a layup on the break, Aztecs take the lead, 13-12. Knights sharpshooter Noah Morgan struggling to get untracked.
Calixte works the block on an inbounds pass, easy layup. Barcello glides through the defense, great body control, layup, closest thing I’ve seen in this tourney to a Steve Nash imitation in many ways.
Morgan up on a long inbounds pass, alley-oop bucket.
End Q1: Mount Vernon 16, Corona del Sol 15.
Game 27, 12 p.m.
FINAL: MID-PACIFIC 61, KAPOLEI 49
Shepherd is unstoppable in this one. He keeps a ball alive on the offensive board with four putbacks before Kimura hits a wing 3, 46-34. Holy Moses Malone.
Kimura misses 1-and-1, Kapolei time out, 6:38. Great hustle by Kapolei on a potential turnover, but MPI steals the ball Shepherd tracks the ball down in the far corner, then whips a bullet pass to Ramos at the rim, layup, 48-34. Kieran Queen-Booker with a 3, his first for the ‘Canes, 48-37.
Shepherd resting and Nedd cleans up inside, putback, 48-39. Ramos slices the middle, kicks to Coito, corner 3, 51-39. Ramos 1-and-1, makes one and Coach Hirata calls time out. Ramos makes the second, 53-41.
Turnover Kapolei, just so klunky against the zone. Nedd pokes the ball from Kimura, ball loose, Kimura dives for it, Nedd does not. Time out, MPI, 2:46. Dive, Zoar!
Owls run some clock, Donlon brings the high screen and Kimura takes advantage with a layup, MPI 55-41. Ramos fouls Carter 35 feet from the rim. Carter shoots 1-and-1, makes the first, time out, KPO, 2:06. Carter’s second shot is good, 55-43.
Shepherd back in. Kimura tired, misses two FTs. Need with a J in the lane, 55-45. Thompson misses two FTs. Nedd fouled, :52.9, makes one.
Shepherd makes one, 56-46. Carter misses close on a layup over Shepherd. Thompson makes two FTs, 58-46. Nedd hits a layup, fullcourt press, foul. Kimura shooting two, makes one, Donlon follows, 61-48.
Shepherd starts the second half. Kapolei in 2-3 zone. Pass to a cutting Shepherd on the low post, fouled. Coach Ellison has also arrived.
Nedd with a catch in the post, nearly air balls his shot over Kimura. Next time, he travels. Fatigue setting in or Kimura is really bothering him.
Shepherd opened the quarter with a FT, and now he follows his own miss on a pass from Ramos, who sliced through the halfcourt pressure, MPI 33-24. Montgomery getting warmed up, hits a couple of layups, 33-28. Donlan tough in the paint, bucket and foul. FT is good, 36-28.
Great final 4 minutes of the quarter. Intensity level picked up.
End Q3: Mid-Pacific 43, Kapolei 34.
Donlon, a 6-2 post, great rebounding position, draws the foul, hits two FTs, 12-11.
Ramos with a corner 3, freshman Robert Thompson with a layup, MPI 18-15. Nedd with a layup, but Thompson hustles for a putback and-1, makes the FT, MPI 21-17.
Sloppy pass by MPI against the halfcourt press, Higa scores and hits the FT, 21-20, 3:51.
Time out, KPO, 3:26, KPO leads 22-21. Thompson 1-and-1, all net on both, MPI 23-22. Nedd with a tough double-clutch baseline J, KPO 24-23. Donlon scores after picking up a loose ball, MPI 25-24.
Shepherd has not played much, looks healthy. Might just be coach’s decision to rest him. Montgomery playing limited minutes. Travis Murayama hits a FT, MPI 26-24. He’s at the line again, 1:15, misses both. Higa drives baseline, shot blocked by Thompson. Donlon at the line; Kapolei keeps fouling. Tired? Donlon makes both, 28-24.
MPI holds for the final shot. Jacen Kimura’s wing 3 rattles out, but Thompson is a rebounding machine, corrals the ball in the paint and banks it in at the buzzer. Donlon and Thompson (6-2) have been huge.
End Q2: Mid-Pacific 30, Kapolei 24.
This may be one of the most evenly-matched games of the tourney. Two teams with talent, skill, coaching and coincidentally, in the same area of my Top 10 ballot. Kapolei missed Marquis Montgomery, a 6-4 junior, yesterday (funeral). He’s back to team with 6-4 Zoar Nedd. Should be fun to see them battle MPI’s energizer, Zion Shepherd.
Hurricanes coach Gary Ellison was on his team from start to finish yesterday. Such is the nature of preseason development. He’s not here this afternoon. Longtime assistant coach Kenneth Tangjian is in charge and he’s not shy about instructing the ‘Canes. Basics. All about basics with Coach Tangjian. Might be a quick hook, too. He’s already subbed out a post who didn’t stop and take an easy layup.
Owls coach Ryan Hirata is a stickler for fundamentals, too. He calls time out, 5:00, KPO 2-0. Isaiah Higa baseline drive layup, 4-0. Owls rotating some younger players into the game much earlier than usual. ‘Canes use halfcourt trapping to create a turnover, no payoff on the other end. Sophomore Hugh Donlon hits a FT, 6-2. Nedd scores, 8-2. Donlon to the bucket, scores and fouled. FT short, 8-4.
Second foul on sophomore guard Colin Ramos, both fouls while he was trying to box out much bigger posts. Can’t fault the effort. 3-pointer by the Nalu Coito, 9-7. Owls pushing hard, Ramos fouled at the bucket. Makes both FTs, 9-9. Here comes MPI’s fullcourt pressure, Kapolei patiently breaks it. Senior Riley Asuncion fouled, holding down the fort with Montgomery and Nedd resting. Makes one FT, 10-9.
MPI called for 5-second violation and Coach Hirata is disturbed. Working out the kinks. Ja’Shon Carter drives through traffic, banks it in from 8 feet out.
End Q1: Kapolei 12, Mid-Pacific 9.
Game 26, 10:30 a.m.
FINAL: PUNAHOU 66, WAIANAE 48
Falatea with a nice drive to avoid a charge, layup. Cockett crashes into a pile and hits the bucket, makes the FT, 64-43. Nafarette nice hesitation move on the baseline, drive and bounce pass to Tufono. Fundamental basketball is beautiful to watch.
Props to both teams. Waianae especially, a hard-working crew from start to finish, no grumbling or finger-pointing. Just blue-collar and unified through the ups and downs. I like this team’s toughness. Manu Taukolo, a 5-10 senior playing in the post against giants, covering guards on the wing, major props to him. Coach John Simbahon has some nice pieces to put together as the OIA West season nears. Kahikina and Mitchell protecting the rim, running the floor. If Waianae cuts its turnovers down to 15 or 12 per game, the future is bright.
Coach Matsuda played his reserves heavily and Waianae made a nice run.
End Q3: Punahou 54, Waianae 28.
Makaula with a bucket, Clemens with a FT and it’s 26-3. Punahou starts Judd Cockett and Kai Nafarrete this quarter. Nafarrete was on Top Plays (ESPN) last night. Blaze Kahikina layup, 26-5. Makaula with another bucket, time out, Waianae, PUN 28-5, 5:31.
Kahikina, a 6-3 junior, with a nice running hook to beat the shot clock. Smooth. Cockett scores his first bucket, 30-7. Mitchell bucket, 30-9. Cockett 3 is short, outlet to Mitchell and he goes from halfcourt on two Buffanblu to score, fouled. FT is good, 30-12. New five in for Punahou, pass to Falatea in transition, open corner 3 good. He’s shooting well today. Time out, Punahou, 3:35, 33-12.
Antonio Feria corner 3 before the end of the half.
End Q2: Punahou 40, Waianae 15.
Punahou missing two bigs: Falcon Kaumatule (6-8) and key reserve center Beau Whittaker (community service).
Chris Kobayashi splashes a corner 3, PUN 3-0. Douglas Mitchell, who was in the Slam Dunk Contest last night, hits one of two FTs, 3-1. Turnover Waianae, Kobayashi dishes to Kaulana Makaula, who drives baseline, bucket and foul. Misses the FT. Waianae turnover, Kobayashi layup. Waianae turnover, Duke Clemens scores inside, PUN 9-1. Time out, Waianae, 6:12.
Steal by Punahou off Mitchell, pass to Ke‘ala Martinson at the rim and Mitchell soars in like a condor to swat the ball into the bleachers. Serious hops. Makaula kick out pass to Zayne Chong, open 3 good as Mitchell tries to close out. Mitchell is everywhere, but he can’t defend all five Buffanblu. He’s trying. PUN 14-1.
Makaula misses a 3 and John-Gilbert scores Waianae’s first field goal, 14-3.
Tamatoa Falatea with a wing 3, then a steal near midcourt for a layup, PUN 21-3. Jack-Eli Tufono with two FTs, then he nearly draws the charge on the other end. Blocking foul.
End Q1: Punahou 23, Waianae 3.
Game 25, 9 a.m.
FINAL: WAIAKEA 62, KAISER 51
Yasue working his tail off, got one steal and dove for a loose ball, almost another one. Helps break the press and scores inside, 52-29.
Mattos in transition, crowd in the middle and he turns it over. Sophomore Hunter Dias with a corner 3 in transition, all net, 54-32. Young team, lots of potential. Another fastbreak, Brayden Nueku corner 3 good, 54-35.
Charging foul on Waiakea. Cougars running, Singelman scores inside, fouled. FT is short, 54-37. Mattos steal, fouled, double bonus. Makes one, 55-37, 5:00. Ma splits the traps and finds Nueku on the left wing, 3 is good, 55-40.
Free throws put Waiakea up 59-40. Yasue misses, Singelman follows. Yasue and Singelman together is a good look. Fastbreak, Ma goes up for a layup, Mattos fouls him hard, Ma’s head hits the floor. Basket good somehow and Ma gets up after a minute on the ground. Intentional foul call, referee says excessive contact regardless of intent. Kim shoots the two FTs, makes one, Kaiser ball, 61-45, 2:17.
Singelman hits two FTs, Bradley Wood swishes a 3 from NBA range.
Kaiser goes right to Singelman on the block, nice footwork, layup, 20-19. Next possession, another turnover. Safe to say the Cougars and Warriors had more turnovers than field goals in the first half.
Waiakea bringing fullcourt pressure, Mattos steal and layup, 24-19. Wesley Amuimuia with a leaping grab on a long pass, looked like a safety. Shaun Kojima feed to Jaden Opiana, foul-line J good, 26-19. Time out, Waiakea, 5:53.
Kaiser breaks the press, 2-on-1 and Shaun Kim botches it. Waiakea brings it back, Treyson Ishimoto bounce pass to Kojima, layup and foul. Time out, Kaiser, 5:34, 28-19. FT is good, 29-19, Waiakea’s biggest lead.
Kaiser breaks the press again, kick out to Kim, corner 3 all net. Nice. 29-22. Amuimuia beats his man to the spot on an inbounds cut, fouled, shooting two. Makes both, 31-22, 4:43. He’s feeling his groove, crossover, bank shot, good. 33-22. Waiakea drops a stolen pass out of bounds, but steals the next Kaiser pass and Ishimoto is fouled. This is Paul Lee basketball, which means it’s also old-school Hilo basketball, relentless fullcourt pressure. Ishimoto makes both, 35-22.
Kaiser throws a backcourt pass out of bounds. All this with Mattos resting. He’s back in lateral to Kojima, corner 3 all net, 38-22. Mattos fouled, now the Warriors have the bonus with 3:03 left in the third. Mattos, a lefty, makes both, 40-22.
Mattos fouled by Yasue, 1-and-1. He hollers “Off, off” and the FT is good, both of them. 42-22. Cameron Ma wing 3 good, 42-25. Jerek Prudencio, a 5-7 sophomore, hits a wing 3 for Waiakea, 45-25, then Mattos with another steal, layup, foul. FT is a swish, 48-25.
Cougars entry pass to Yasue, who powers to the basket, layup, 48-27. Mattos works a crowded space near the baseline, goes to the right hand for a 10-foot floater, all net. This guy is ambidextrous. Time out, Waiakea, 50-27. This is a 30-10 run in the third quarter. Coach Lee hasn’t yelled in several minutes. He actually smiled once. Warriors must be doing something good.
Ishimoto with a steal and layup, 52-27. Kaiser playing everybody, and everybody is learning lessons this morning. Waiakea has also played everybody, just an older, more experienced and cohesive group. When Kaiser is in halfcourt set, they’re tough on the block with Yasue, who is a lefty, and the improving Singelman. They have 3-point shooters, too,
End Q3: Waiakea 52, Kaiser 27.
There’s Mattos, off to the races with two fastbreak layups and Waiakea is on an 11-0 run to take a 13-11 lead. Time out, Kaiser, 6:13. Young Cougars a work in progress. Coach Branden Kawazoe
patiently grooming these cubs.
Yasue with an elbow jumper, but Mattos driving hard in transition again, behind the back and lays it in. Who’s tired? Not these guys, 15-13, Waiakea. Mattos with a steal, has a layup, fumbles the ball out of bounds. The teams trade possession near midcourt four times in a row before Mattos hits a 12-foot baseline J. Getting tired now, but still resilient, WAIK 17-13.
Freshman Cyrus Singelman with a bucket in the paint, gaining confidence with each trip. Mattos with a corner 3, good, 20-15. Singelman fouled, hits two FTs, 20-17.
End Q2: Waiakea 20, Kaiser 17.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 9 a.m. or 8 p.m., there is a core of coaches and players who go 100 percent at all times. Calvin Mattos of Waiakea is one of them. Both ends of the floor. He’s not the only reason I’m here live blogging a consolation game with maybe 25 spectators in attendance, but it never hurts to have a Calvin Mattos busting his tail every second of every game as if it might be his last.
Kaiser rolled to an 11-2 lead as Brandon Yasue worked the paint, even using a shimmy move to bank in a turnaround jump hook. He’s another workhorse guy who doesn’t get too up or down, just keeps bringing the lunchpail and hammer. Figuratively of course.
Nice time out by Paul Lee to remind his Waiakea squad exactly why they woke up at an early hour. They rally with a 7-0 run. One of the best things about the (35-second) shot clock is that it requires a sense of urgency, regardless of whether a coach schemes zone defense or clock-eating tactics.
End Q1: Kaiser 11, Waiakea 9.