Live Blog: Pete Smith Invitational semifinals

Kalaheo placed its newly-won state championship banner behind one of the baskets.
Kalaheo placed its newly-won state championship banner behind one of the baskets.

St. Francis takes on Konawaena in the first semifinal and Kalaheo tangles with Punahou II in the second.

Saints coaches say they are very wary of Konawaena, they beat the Wildcats with a split squad last year but they expect them to be more explosive. The term “gym rats” kept coming up.

Matthew Nuumanaia starts things off with a bomb from the top of the key. But Kona rallies when the Saints go cold. 3-3, 4:33 left.

Ranan Mamiya hits a pair of 3s, one of them a fallaway attempt at the buzzer, and St. Francis leads 14-7 after 1 quarter. The Saints have seven turnovers.The Wildcats have only four, but they can’t hit anything.

Saint Francis with three more to start the second but lead 17-12.

Saint Francis goes into the locker room with 15 turnovers and a 23-21 lead. Konawaena has turned it over eight times, but went cold in the second quarter. Mamiya leads the Saints with nine points and nobody else has more than three, including Nuumanaia. Jonah Bredeson leads the Wildcats with eight points and is outhustling everyone on the floor.

Konawaena goes on a run to start the third and leads 28-23. The Saints had only two turnovers in the run but missed five straight shots. Konawaena runs it to 8, but Nuumanaia responds with a fast-break bucket after two missed three throws. Konawaena leads 36-30 with 204 left in the third. Nuumanaia continues to rally St. Francis but Konawaena is doing just enough. The Wildcats lead 36-32 with a quarter left to play.

St. Francis cuts to three, 38-35 with 6:59 left. Konawaena calls a timeout when Mamiya follows his own free throw miss.

Mamiya hits a long 3-pointer to make it 40-38 Konawaena. The Wildcats are trying to slow it down but keep turning it over. Coach Bobby Awa is shouting across the empty gym at his players, telling them to execute.

Mamiya gives the Saints the lead with a corner 3, 41-40. Mamiya is carrying them. Konawaena hits a free throw and Nuumanaia answers with two. St. Francis leads 43-41 with 2:13 left in the game.

A turnover with 28 seconds left might have doomed St. Francis. Konawaena converts after a strip and leads 48-45 with 19.2 seconds left. Justin Sarsuelo misses a corner 3 and Konawaena escapes with a 48-45 win.

Kalaheo and Punahou II up next.

The Buffanblu came out strong and Kalaheo finally ties it at 13 on a layup with 1:10 left in the first quarter. Punahou comes back, though, and leads 15-13 after one quarter. Kalaheo pulling away, leads 22-17 with 1:11 left in the half. Kalaheo goes into the locker room up 26-17.

Kalaheo is keeping its margin, leading 42-27 with a minute left in the third quarter. And the buzzer sounds with Kalaheo up 44-27 after three. It looks like it will be Kalaheo and Konawaena in the championship tomorrow night.

Kalaheo is really patient on offense, even Alika Smith is applauding after that last possession. It helps that the Mustangs can hear his instructions with every pass in the near-empty gym. Kalaheo 46, Punahou 31, 4:59 left.

Kalaheo dropping bombs on Punahou, just patiently working it around until they get an open look. This one is over, Kalaheo 57, Punahou 34.


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