Ryder Hsiung catches fire from 3 to spark No. 3 Punahou over No. 7 Saint Louis

Punahou’s Ryder Hsiung (23) made all six of his 3-point attempts in the first half against Saint Louis. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The Punahou Buffanblu are heating up while the Saint Louis Crusaders are wondering what just happened.

Ryder Hsiung had the hottest quarter of the season, swishing five consecutive 3-point shots in the second quarter, to finish with 24 points in Punahou’s 59-49 win over Saint Louis. Third-ranked Punahou improved to 4-2 in ILH play (14-8 overall). Saint Louis had a chance to even its league mark, but dropped to 2-4 (3-8 overall). If not for Hsiung’s torrid shooting — he was 6-for-6 from the arc with 22 points in the first half — it’s an entirely different game.

Coach Darren Matsuda had his Buffanblu in the gym early, 2:30 p.m., to get extra shots up. Hsiung said he got at least 100 shots before the 5 p.m. tip-off.

“We knew Saint Louis was going to come out in a 1-3-1 zone, so we just wanted to be patient and move the ball. We knew we were going to get open 3s, open layups. We just executed really well,” said the 6-foot-4 junior.

The Buffanblu are just a week or so removed from a 3-for-20 shooting night from 3-point range. That was in a loss to then-No. 1 Maryknoll.

“I think this gives us more confidence going into our next game. We’ll keep on building our confidence going into the middle of the season, which is right now. We’re doing a good job with that,” Hsiung said.

Meanwhile, Jayden de Laura finished with 25 points, providing a major spark in Saint Louis’ fullcourt pressure. The visitors forced the Buffanblu into seven turnovers during the first quarter, an unusual reversal of roles for Punahou. The football standout had missed the past week due to Polynesian Bowl practices, activities and game.

Going full blast, de Laura was winded at times, but his string of three consecutive treys brought the Crusaders within 57-48 with 2:50 left.

“This is only our third game with the entire team,” de Laura said, referring to the return of himself and other football teammates. “I think we’re going to click before the playoffs.”

At Hemmeter Fieldhouse
Saint Louis (3-9, 2-4 ILH) 12 11 16 10 — 49
Punahou (14-8, 4-2 ILH) 16 24 11 8 — 59

STL: Jayden de Laura 25, Malu Ing 0, Caleb Shin 3, Isaac Silva 2, AJ Bianco 6, Shoncin Revuelto 0, Aiva Arquette 5, Kahaku Marquez 0, Nalu Liftee 6, Kalan Ellis 2,

PUN: Yoshi Kobayashi 11, Peyton Macapulay 2, Kanoa Kalahiki 2, Kai Nafarrete 5, Noah Kameehonua 6, Grant Nakanishi 0, Ryder Hsiung 24, Alexandru Iosivas 5, Jordan Deshawn Hepting 2, Ioasa Tua 2.

3-point goals—Saint Louis 5 (de Laura 3, Shin, Arquette), Punahou 11 (Hsiung 6, Kameehonua 2, Kobayashi, Nafarrete, Iosivas).


  1. For the love of the game January 21, 2020 6:00 am

    Punahou easily takes one of the spots in states this year and don’t be surprised if they take it all. Why? Because they have the smartest coach out there. He utilizes his top 10 and rotates to see who works with each other which is called TEAM WORK. If Ryder and Yoshi can continue to hit outside shots and Peyton continues to be a team player who doesn’t care to score and continues to get everyone involved (true point guard at heart) and take care of the ball they will win because of him being a very disciplined player by moving the ball around until the shot is open. Both Damien and St Louis only depends on talent which is basically only 4-5 players; Damien has the top best 4 starters but without TEAMWORK talent will only take you so far; Hayden continues to not get his team involved and once he has the ball only thinks to score even in unthinkable situations. But their coaches never correct him to pass the ball to his bigs who are opened; by the 4th quarter they are out of gas and will never win the battle in close games because they all become selfish. Their coaches are clowns and their bench sucks cause they don’t get a chance to get better to help out in critical situations (bad coaching they think they are college coaches when they suit up in their ties showing who they really are a bunch of clowns) St Louis is like Damien depends on talent although their point guard Isaac is like Peyton he handles the ball and involves his teammates scores when there is an opportunity. Third spot for states will be between Punahou and St Louis and will come down to their coaches and you will know who is the better coach in critical times. Better luck next year for Iolani and Mid PAC and we will see what Damien does when they lose their 2 best players to graduation.

  2. Eh Brah January 21, 2020 11:58 am

    Punahou will live and die by he treys. They were hot last night so they won.

  3. Junior Savao January 21, 2020 1:02 pm

    1st year head coach for St Louis. But I like where he is taking the program. The boys actually look like they are playing disciplined basketball (which is a big change from the last 5-6 years). All their ILH losses have been close and they have had chances to pull out wins. In any case, so far so good for his 1st season and it looks SLS can build on this for the next few years (in a brand new gym facility).

  4. punahousux January 22, 2020 9:43 am

    smartest coach out there? he got outcoached by Grant all year last year.

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