St. Francis 55, ‘Iolani I-AA 53, Final
Baldwin 46, Waianae 40, Final
Saint Louis 68, Roosevelt 49
Kailua 43, Waipahu 35
>> See game summaries below.
Seventh place: ‘Iolani I-AA vs. Waianae, 3:30 p.m.
Fifth place: St. Francis vs. Baldwin, 5 p.m.
Third place: Waipahu vs. Roosevelt, 6:30 p.m.
Championship: Kailua vs. Saint Louis, 8 p.m.
Sometimes, the consolation bracket — a.k.a. “Fifth-Place Semifinals” — can seem like a downer. Morose. Somber. But it just depends on 1) what team is playing, and 2) motivation.
I can see Baldwin over on the bleachers behind one of the team benches. They’re watching glumly. This is a proud, successful program with a long history of tradition. But the Bears lost to Roosevelt 62-52 in Thursday’s opening round, and now they’re delegated to the losers bracket. Roosevelt, which won the Kalani Summer League — a nice feat for most programs — could be one of the surprises of the early season.
Baldwin’s motivation in any tournament is, always, to win the thing. They don’t have that chance now. Glum.
Then there’s St. Francis, a team that lost two starters via transfer and, I believe with certainty, the best player in Division II boys basketball, Matthew Nuumanaia, who graduated. They’re stocked with football and baseball players, and they have no other motivation than to play their hearts out. That, they’re doing. They’re going back and forth with ‘Iolani I-AA and it’s a four-point game with 5 minutes left. Fun game to watch.
‘Iolani I-AA, or ‘Iolani II if you prefer, is no pushover. These Raiders reached the final of this tourney two seasons ago and were stopped only by their in-house comrades, ‘Iolani D-I. But they’re playing hard, playing together, guys 5-foot-4 driving into the lane for and-1 plays against much bigger guys. Football guys. You wouldn’t know this was a consolation game. And the game is going up and down, not because of a lack of defense, but because both teams can run the floor. They’re playing tough, loose and free, something you won’t see a lot of once the ILH regular season begins.
The semifinal matchup of Saint Louis and Roosevelt might be the best one of the night. Saint Louis has an experienced, skilled and fast backcourt. No Fred Ulu-Perry, though. Roosevelt is tough-nosed, a strong man-to-man defensive squad with a dangerous scoring guard in Kevin Foster. He scored 31 points in the win over Baldwin.
Consolation: St. Francis 55, ‘Iolani I-AA 53
This back-and-forth game turned into an eight-point lead for the Saints with 4 minutes left, but the Raiders came up with steals off fullcourt pressure to rally and tie the game. ‘Iolani had the ball, trailing 54-53 in the final 30 seconds when one of the Raiders was called for an offensive foul with 3.5 seconds left.
‘Iolani committed an intentional foul on the inbounds pass, but there was just 0.3 of a second remaining. St. Francis hit one free throw and passed the ball in — just in time — to get the win.
High scorers: SF—Noah Kurosawa 15, Viliami Pua 11, Justin Sarsedo 11. I—Jackson Sealey 13 (three treys), Quinton Slade-Matautia 12.
Baldwin 28, Waianae 18, Half
Waianae stuck to a 2-3 zone all half and Baldwin was nice and patient attacking it. I’ve seen the Bears and their high-post, backdoor-cut offense a lot of times against man defense. Seeing them execute against zone was interesting. Waianae got some decent ball movement against Baldwin’s man defense, but not a lot of flow. More settling for OK shots. The Bears have a significant size advantage and could just sit in a zone — most OIA players are not good perimeter shooters — but that’s not coach Wayne Gushiken’s philosophy.
Baldwin 38, Waianae 31, end Q3
Bears dominated the quarter, but the Seariders hit a couple of 3-pointers to stay close.
Baldwin 46, Waianae 40, Final
Typical, grind-it-out, solid win for the Bears. Just straight halfcourt man and good halfcourt offensive execution. Seariders had their share of open shots, but they’re not a great shooting team. They also let Baldwin melt 2 minutes off the clock when the score was 42-38 with 4:00 to go. Waianae has some athleticism, but no real halfcourt trapping. Yet.
High scorers: B—Zachary Ayers 13, Sam Balantac 13, Kody Takushi 10, Liam Wake 8. W—Ikaika Trueman-Reed 13 (two treys), Tyger Rohr 13 (two treys), Kimo Remington 7.
Saint Louis vs. Roosevelt
Halftime: Crusaders 36, Rough Riders 22.
Saint Louis went on a 15-5 run to end the first half. A lot of balanced scoring for the Crusaders, who are running the floor when possible and running a solid halfcourt offense patiently. Roosevelt ran well early, but couldn’t finish. Then Kevin Foster got hot with nine points in less than 3 minutes to start the second quarter to get the Rough Riders within 21-17. Since then, though, it’s been all Crusaders.
Ihaka Johnson has a couple of treys and Jimmy Nunuha has been tough to the basket. Jaymason Nunuha has been one of the busy Crusaders on the offensive glass.
Crusaders continue to play solid halfcourt man defense. Rough Riders have struggled to get open looks, especially without a low-post scorer. Lead is up to 52-33 in the final 2 minutes of the third.
End third quarter: Saint Louis 55, Roosevelt 34.
Reserves playing for Roosevelt, which cut the lead to 10 before the Crusader starters put the press on and go on an 11-1 run to close it out.
Kailua vs. Waipahu
The Surfriders have a size edge that is substantial, but Waipahu’s quickness and patience are paying off. Kailua is struggling to stay with the Marauders, who led 6-4 after one quarter.
Waipahu stretched the lead to 14-9 despite halfcourt traps by the Surfriders. Waipahu is using a platoon system that is working well so far. Lead is down to 14-13 at the half.
The Marauders saw a small lead disappear in the close moments of the third quarter. Keoni Serikawa’s corner 3 at the buzzer gave Kailua a 26-25 lead.
Since then, Kailua has gone on a 13-5 run, fueled by its tough on-ball defense. Surfriders lead 39-30 with 3:00 to go.
FINAL: Kailua 43, Waipahu 35. Kailua is now 3-0.
High scorers: K—Hano Kohatsu 15, Keoni Serikawa 10, Kamu Scheer 8. W—Airon Castaneda 12, Elijah Taimatuia 8.