The second OIA semifinal is underway.
Kahuku 5, Leilehua 4, Q1 3:45
The Red Raiders are in their usual 2-3 matchup zone, which means they’re stretched out applying pressure on the ball with 6-5 Samuta Avea and 6-1 Tama Green. The Mules are in straight man defense. This is an intriguing matchup becaUse Leilehua has been a stellar defensive team all season, and they’ve got enough size and height to battle Kahuku.
Kahuku with some completely unforced turnovers. They’ve got three already, but with Avea extending pressure to almost fullcourt, they’re going to give Leilehua some challenges.
TV time out.
Leilehua 10, Kahuku 9, end Q1
Mules using a 2-2-1 press that was effective for the first 6 or 7 minutes. Kahuku broke it the last two times, getting an alley-oop dunk by Denhym Brooke in the final seconds.
Leilehua 21, Kahuku 18, Halftime
Keanu Akina drained a pair of 3-pointers to give his team a five-point lead, but the offense was stagnant against Leilehua’s halfcourt zone defense. The Mules pulled back the fullcourt press, a good move.
Leilehua isn’t scorching any nets, but they got a 16-footer from Koa Kauhi along the way, and they’ve done a better job of ball movement to get open looks against what had been a very stingy 2-3 matchup zone. Kahuku opted to trap while Leilehua had the ball for a last shot in the final 45 seconds, and the Mules got an easy drive from Joseph Gouty with 3 ticks on the clock.
Kahuku 27, Leilehua 23, Q3 3:18
Red Raiders open the second half with a 9-0 run, making some nice passes and crashing the offensive glass for easy buckets. Brooke’s layup on a pass from Harris (high post) gave Kahuku a 22-21 lead.
Kahuku 34, Leilehua 27, end Q3
Some interesting things happened in the final minute of the third.
1. Gouty got hurt and looked woozy after Green collided with him on a steal attempt. Borderline intent.
2. Mules jacked up an NBA-range 3 moments later, missing and giving Kahuku the ball with a 31-27 lead.
3. Akina’s 24-foot shot from the top hit the front of the rim, the glass and then fell in with :05 left. Biggest lead of the game for Kahuku
Kahuku 41, Leilehua 29, Q4, 2:26
Mules have scored eight points in the second half, no solution for Kahuku’s 2-3 zone. The Red Raiders aren’t pressuring the ball beyond the 3-point line, but their length and energy make a big difference. Leilehua’s posts have forgotten about that high-low game that worked earlier.
There was a five-minute delay after a foul on a fastbreak with Avea taking a hard foul from two Mules. He got two shots and at least one technical — I think it was a double tech, one on each side — was finally in the books. All in all, Kahuku’s defense has dominated and they ran the floor much more in the second half.
Leilehua stayed in halfcourt defense most of the way. Kahuku has rarely been tested in a fast-tempo, high-pace game this season since the arrivals from New Zealand. On Thursday, it’ll be interesting to see if Farrington opts to keep its fullcourt pressure going against a team like Kahuku, which doesn’t have a lot of superior ballhandlers, but has finishers like Brooke and Avea.