Saints make it back to back D-II state titles

St. Francis guard Kordel Ng stole the ball away from Damien guard Lindon Sevilleja during the second half of the HHSAA Division II championship basketball game on Friday. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The St. Francis Saints have come a long way.

With a 76-52 win over Damien on Friday night, the Saints won their second boys basketball Division II state title in a row. Coach Ron Durant stuck with the winning formula: a heavy dose of Kameron Ng and Kordel Ng off the dribble, occasional sprinkles of 3-point bombs from Bryce Nishida, plenty of steady ballhandling and floor leadership from Jett Tanuvasa, big post play from Boris Vukovic, and lots of energy plays from Bubba Akana.

St. Francis finished the season 29-3.


The departure of 6-foot senior Manoa Kuali‘i-Moe before the state tournament could have made a major impact.

“We had a couple of team meetings about Manoa and we told everyone they had to chip in. We can’t just count on Kameron to carry us,” Durant said. “Last night (in the semifinals), Boris came up big with 19 (points) and 17 (rebounds), a critical game against Kauai. Today, Titus (Liu) comes in, hits a 3, and Bryce hits 3s. When guys step up, it helps make up for losing Manoa.”


It was another title, another large koa trophy to take back to their campus in Manoa Valley. Kameron Ng finished the tourney averaging 29.3 points per game, selectively taking advantage of creeping defenders to dish some timely passes to teammates for easy buckets. That helped the Saints overcome an early 9-2 deficit.

“At that point, we got all our jitters out and started playing our game,” the junior guard said.


The only three losses all season came in tournaments. Punahou eked out close wins twice against St. Francis. Kamehameha hung on to beat the Saints, as well. Yet, the program is likely to remain in D-II. Durant cites the depth and size of the league’s D-I programs, and with five seniors leaving soon, he wants at least two or three players in the 6-3 to 6-4 range before seriously considering a move up.

“We’ll have to discuss that as a staff,” he said. “We’ve got Kameron and Kordel coming back. Jett got better as the season went on. We’ve got Titus. It’s tempting.”

Division II

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1Feb. 14(4) Hawaii Prep vs. KauaiKauai, 53-50St. Francis
2Feb. 14(1) St. Francis vs. RooseveltStF, 62-51St. Francis
3Feb. 14(3) Seabury Hall vs. DamienDMS, 57-45'Iolani
4Feb. 14(2) Kalani vs. HonokaaKaln, 51-33'Iolani
5*Feb. 15Seabury Hall vs. HonokaaHon, 47-41Kaimuki
6*Feb. 15Hawaii Prep vs. RooseveltRoos, 44-43Kaimuki
7Feb. 15Damien vs. KalaniDMS, 45-37St. Francis
8Feb. 15Kauai vs. St. FrancisStF, 65-42St. Francis
9*Feb. 16Honokaa vs. RooseveltRoos, 54-44Stan Sheriff Center
10*Feb. 16Kalani vs. KauaiKaln, 42-38Stan Sheriff Center
11Feb. 16Damien vs. St. FrancisStF, 76-52Stan Sheriff Center
* — consolation

COMMENTS

  1. ??? February 17, 2018 8:14 am

    Congrats, welcome to D1 next season 🤙🏽


  2. Loca1boiAnonymous February 17, 2018 9:00 am

    @???
    Are they finally going D1 next season?


  3. for Love of the game February 17, 2018 12:31 pm

    They should move up to D1… the whole game they were saying Cameron one of the best players in the state if not the BEST player in the state then why the heck is he playing in a D2 school. You heard that all year long since last season actually I’ve been hearing he was the best player in the state since he was 11 he is super good so… Why is he playing in a D2?


  4. WinniNgTime February 17, 2018 3:03 pm

    Big ups to Damien. That team is a bunch of young PTPers who are fearless. No doubt their young guns are gunna make some noise in the tourney these next few years.


  5. Loca1boiAnonymous February 17, 2018 8:44 pm

    @ for the love of the game

    Ng, albeit a talented scorer, was definitely not the best player in the state last season or this season.


  6. My opionion February 18, 2018 12:22 am

    St. Francis had no business in DII this year. Ranked #3 in the State go figure. Damien should be the DII champs. St.Francis is a bunch of sandbaggers like Iolani Football. No pride in staying down. What coach has no shame kind of embarrassing to me he should have went up DI this year. There’s no pride or glory for St. Francis.


  7. for the love of the game February 18, 2018 9:49 am

    @loca!boiAnonymous

    The announcers on the TV kept mentioning throughout the entire game. I know he ISN’T the best player in the state but thats all I kept hearing this year and last year from the announcers.

    @Myopionion
    I agree. Their coaches are shady 1 minute left up by 25 points Damien subs with all their bench players and they keep the NG brothers in. Shady as hell and yup no pride. Sadly our daughter graduated from SFS and we stopped all alumni funding because of what the school has become.


  8. JetWavy February 18, 2018 11:19 am

    The coach says he won’t move up to D1 until he has two or three players at 6’3-6’4? Not many D1 teams in the state have that on their roster now. Mid-Pac, who competes at the D1 level, has 6’2, 6’1, and 6’1 as their tallest players – and we all know roster heights are exaggerated. I would love to see Mid-Pac move down next season and win the D2 title but I respect the heck out of them for staying up at D1 and I hope they do. They take their licks but they grind it out and this season shocked some teams. D2 needs to have their own separate top 10 from the D1 list I can’t see SFS who played Hanalani and UH Lab being ranked ahead of the D1 ILH and some OIA teams who have tougher regular and post-season schedules.


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