After pulling away late in semifinal victories, top-ranked Punahou and upstart McKinley will meet for the Pete Smith Classic championship on Saturday.
Punahou advanced to the final by fending off No. 2 Farrington 51-41 in overtime in Friday’s first semifinal game at Kalaheo Gym.
McKinley then surged away from tournament host Kalaheo in the fourth quarter and joined the Buffanblu in the title game with a 56-38 win over the third-ranked Mustangs.
The five-day, 16-team tournament closes Saturday with eight games at Kalaheo starting at 9:30 a.m. Kalaheo and Farrington meet in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. The Punahou-McKinley championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Punahou advanced by outlasting Farrington in a halfcourt battle. Punahou led 15-11 at halftime and the scoring pace picked a bit in the second half. Farrington forward Tua Unutoa scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and powered the Governors in the fourth quarter as they erased a five-point deficit. They tied the game at 37-37 when Bryce Tatupu-Leopoldo banked in a jumper in the lane with two seconds left in regulation.
Punahou’s Kala’i Santos hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring in overtime and the Buffanblu limited Farrington to four free throws in the extra period. Dayson Watanabe scored six of his 13 points in overtime as Punahou inched away.
Punahou’s Justin Kam and Farrington’s Jake Smith found themselves hounded by the opposing defenses throughout the game. The Governors played a box-and-one against Kam and held him to two points while Smith finished with six.
The second semifinal was similarly defensive in nature with Kalaheo taking a 19-13 lead into halftime.
The Mustangs maintained a cushion late into the third quarter until the Tigers tied the game at 32-32 on Jonah Howard’s 3-pointer with 1:35 left in the period.
Dan Villejo gave McKinley the lead with a driving layup with 58 seconds left in the third and the Tigers outscored the Mustangs 22-6 in the fourth. Villejo scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, punctuating the win with a breakaway dunk, and Macjun Otarra finished with 13.
The Tigers held Kalaheo — again missing leading scorers Kaleb Gilmore and Kupaa Harrison — to six free throws in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs were shut out from the field.
Zac Marrotte hit three of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter and led Kalaheo with 17 points.