Merry Roundball, Dec. 21 (updated Sat 4 am)



Update 4 a.m. Friday night’s boys tournament scores:

Friday, Dec. 21
• ‘Iolani Classic
√ Semifinal: La Lumiere (Ind.) 70, Oak Hill (Va.) 67
> Oak Hill (ranked No. 6 in USA Today Super 25) lost its first tournament game since the 1988 final, ending a streak of 22 wins
√ Semifinal: Findlay Prep (Nev.) 40, Montrose Christian (Md.) 35
√ Consolation: Tsinghua (China) 52, McKinley 42
√ Consolation: Yates (Texas) 76, No. 3 ‘Iolani 56
√ Consolation: No. 9 Hilo 42, No. 6 Moanalua 39
√ Consolation: No. 5 Kalaheo 40, No. 4 Kamehameha 38
√ Consolation: No. 8 Kapolei 35, Kahuku 29
√ Consolation: John Carroll (Md.) 46, Coolidge (D.C.) 34

• Punahou Invitational
√ Semifinal: Benson Tech (Ore.) 51, No. 2 Punahou 49
√ Semifinal: G.W. Carver (Ala.) 61, Wilson (Ore.) 39
√ Consolation: Kailua 43, Mililani 36
√ Consolation: Hawaii Prep 50, Farrington 37
√ Consolation: No. 1 Maryknoll 57, King Kekaulike 50
√ Consolation: Baldwin 53, Melbourne (Australia) 52
√ Consolation: No. 7 St. Francis 46, Punahou II 33
√ Consolation: No. 10 Konawaena 66, Campbell 28

• Walter Wong Invitational
√ Saint Louis 41, Leilehua 36
√ Mililani 65, Damien 44
√ University 53, Castle 31
√ No. 7 St. Francis 49, Pearl City 47

Update 11:30 p.m. Well, another night of interesting basketball at the ‘Iolani Classic is done. Montrose Christian and Findlay Prep crawled to the finish with a slow-paced game. Findlay won 40-35 in a game the looked like this: Set up the halfcourt offense, run a play, reset, run another play, repeat and rinse three or four times.

Normally, this works at some point. But both teams looked a little sluggish, even as they worked their tails off on defense, rebounding, positioning. One thing true about this year’s field is that there’s a dearth of perimeter shooting. There’s Josh Ko of Kalaheo. There’s

Detrick Mostella … uncanny, smooth, assertive. Six treys against Oak Hill tonight, then he goes and wins the slam dunk contest in a pretty solid field.

Dunking over a 7-footer? Check.

Doing a cradle dunk over someone in a chair? Check.

Dunking over three people, including the 7-footer? CHECK MATE.

Holy moley that was fun. Thanks to Jerry Campany for helping me with the video.

Tomorrow, it’s La Lumiere against No. 1 Findlay Prep for the title. Upset special? If the Lakers win, that’s what it’ll be called. But they’re playing the best basketball of any team in the tourney, and that’s been true since day one.

I predicted (to another fan) tonight that La Lumiere would beat Oak Hill 69-62, and I was a bit off. Tomorrow? Fatigue will be a factor, as it was for the Lakers in the fourth quarter against Oak Hill, which scored 30 points in the final eight minutes.

But I think the Lakers will recover from any lingering effects and finish strong. Senior leadership can do that in this tourney, as we’ve seen before.

9:45 p.m. Great game between La Lumiere (Ind.) and Oak Hill (Va.) in the first semifinal. Lakers led by 28 and nearly lost the lead. Oak Hill rallied to within 68-67 in the final seconds before losing, 70-67. (More in tomorrow’s story in the Star-Advertiser.)

The most interesting thing is that Oak Hill called off its fullcourt press — its bread and butter — because of La Lumiere’s strong backcourt. But late in the game, that press sparked a huge run, a 30-point fourth-quarter.

Last I checked, Montrose Christian led 26-25 against Findlay Prep (Nev.). In the second half. A bit slow.

6 p.m. Four days until the Big Day and I haven’t bought a gift yet. But I’m receiving plenty thanks to this amazing game.

I was busy with some work earlier, but now I’m free and partaking of the roundball festivities at the ‘Iolani Classic. I didn’t get here in time to see Kalaheo’s 40-38 win over Kamehameha, and I didn’t see Hilo’s 42-39 win over Moanalua. But I’m here.

• ‘Iolani Classic (with Star-Advertiser Top 10 rankings)
√ Consolation: Tsinghua (China) 52, McKinley 42
√ Consolation: No. 8 Kapolei 35, Kahuku 29
√ Consolation: No. 5 Kalaheo 40, No. 4 Kamehameha 38
√ Consolation: No. 9 Hilo 42, No. 6 Moanalua 39
√ Consolation: Yates (Texas) 76, No. 3 ‘Iolani 58
(updates coming later)
√ Consolation: John Carroll (Md.) 46, Coolidge (D.C.) 34
√ Semifinal: La Lumiere (Ind.) 70, Oak Hill (Va.) 67
√ Semifinal: Findlay Prep (Nev.) 40, Montrose Christian (Md.) 35

Meanwhile, they’re playing at the Punahou Invitational and Walter Wong Invitational.

But tomorrow’s slate is a little more interesting with two big ILH girls games: ‘Iolani at Maryknoll and Punahou at Mid-Pacific. Even more interesting, the ‘Iolani-Maryknoll game is scheduled at 1 p.m. Why? I can only guess. The Classic needs all hands on deck and co-athletic director Eddie Maruyama — the girls basketball coach — is a big part of the on-hands work every day and night. More so on championship night.

But that works out beautifully, maybe, for fans who want to see if Chico Furtado’s team can pull another surprise by beating the Raiders. As for the Punahou-MPI game, the Owls care coming along nicely under first-year coach Liz Kam, the former Maryknoll guard. They’re winning and improving without Kiki Robertson having to score 30 or 40 points per game.

That’s good for the team, but I’ll admit it. I would love to see her play and score 40 or even 50 in a game this season. Can she do it? She hit the 30-point mark against ‘Iolani twice (or was it three times?) last year. I’ve seen some amazing scorers in my years, including Kahea Schuckert at Honokaa in the early 1990s. Anybody who can score 40 gets huge props from me.

Anyway, Coolidge (D.C.) and John Carroll (Md.) are locked up in at 16-all stalemate at the half in a consolation game. Brutally boring, sad to say. When will coaches let their guys run the floor and play BASKETBALL? Like I wrote yesterday, I’m all for La Lumiere. They’re willing to play sound, fundamental basketball while pushing the tempo. Though this is the best field ever, according to tourney founder Glenn Young, the pace has been, well … less than merry.

Someone get Santa back on his sleigh.

Updates coming later. Jerry Campany is at Punahou for tonight’s semifinals.

Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser


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