One of the traditions within the legacy that ‘Iolani Classic founder established was this: a Chinese high school team has played in this tourney every season for years now.
This year’s invitee, Guangming, is up against a tall order in La Lumiere, which is ranked No. 6 in the nation by USA Today. This is one of four games scheduled today to complete the opening round.
Wednesday/Day 1 scores
Lone Peak (Utah) 89, Farrington 24
Mount St. Joseph (Md.) 72, Leilehua 42
Martinsburg (W.V.) 73, Kahuku 48
Sierra Canyon (Calif.) 83, Kamehameha 34
Thursday/Day 2 scores
Guangming (China) vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)
Kaiser vs. The Master’s Academy (Fla.)
Kaimuki vs. ‘Iolani
Mid-Pacific vs. Fairfax (Calif.)
The Lakers from Indiana are sticking with halfcourt man defense and take a 12-2 lead, using their size advantage and ball movement. They force three early turnovers off their base defense.
With 3 minutes to go, they switch to a matchup zone. The Dragons set up a 2-2-1 halfcourt press and also a 2-2-1 three-quarter press. The Lakers break it easily. THe lead is up to 15-5 with 2:27 to go.
Sophomore Grant Bender’s wing 3 caps a big run by the Lakers, who open the lead to 23-5. It’s 23-7 after one quarter.
The Lakers get sloppy and start taking sub-par shots with a 16-point lead. A 3-pointer and a steal off the halfcourt press turns into an easy layup by the Dragons. The lead is 23-12. After looking completely intimidated and bewildered by the athletic Lakers, the Dragons are on fire.
Starting PG Tyger Campbell is back in the game and the Lakers settle down. Brandon Cyrus, a 6-foot-4 senior, swishes a corner 3 and it’s 26-12. Brian Bowen, with the blonde ‘do, attacks the rim and hits one of two FTs. Jeremiah Tilmon, their 6-11 junior, battles on the board and hits a putback. Like a lot of Chinese teams, Guangming seems unwilling to box out for rebounds.
LL leads 29-12 with 3:33 left.
Junren Lin sinks a corner 3 for the Dragons, but Cyrus answers with another corner 3 of his own. The Lakers run the break hard and Bowen is there again to crash the offensive glass for a putback. He is the energizer of this team.
The Lakers are going deep, playing at least nine or maybe 10 in this first half. They won’t have the benefit of an extra day’s rest — like the teams that played on Thursday — but they’re quick, smart and always have three guys near the basket offensively on every shot. LL leads 39-19 at the half.
The last time La Lumiere was here (in 2012), they had a fine team and an incredible dunker/3-point shooter named Detrick Mostella. The best dunking exhibition during the contest I’d seen since Josh Smith a decade or so earlier. He now plays for Tennessee.
Bowen opens the second half with an designed alley-oop dunk, then goes coast to coast for a bucket. After an inbounds and layup by Campbell, Bowen scores on a putback. Cyrus drives on the break for a lefty layup, then gets a long pass in transition for a breakaway dunk. Time out, Dragons with 5:54 left in the third. La Lumiere leads 51-39. That’s a 12-0 run in just over 2 minutes.
Dragons trying to stay disciplined, but the forced shots against a longer, taller and more athletic team keep coming. Cyrus shows his hops with a monster dunk on the fastbreak. Bowen adds another layup. It’s 55-19.
Quarter ends with the Lakers ahead 60-20.