By Paul Honda
Just a quick note for prep basketball fans about sixth-ranked St. Joseph.
The Cardinals got a 44-point performance from swingman Jacob Andrade in a 65-47 win over No. 10 Hilo last night at Afook-Chinen Hilo Civic Auditorium. For fans who saw St. Joe at Moanalua’s Na Menehune Holiday Classic in late December, the concept of one of their players scoring that much is interesting. The Cardinals play very disciplined, smart offense and defense. Conservative would be the word, the kind of team that makes the extra pass for an easier shot and sticks to its 2-3 zone as opponents brick away from the perimeter.
Andrade had a nice tourney that week in Honolulu, but caught fire against run-and-gun Hilo. The Tribune-Herald’s Kevin Jakahi reports that the senior was 17-for-25 from the field, including 8-for-11 from the arc.
It’s been some time since St. Joseph consistently gave the BIIF’s powerhouses some serious run. The Jon Chamberlain teams of the early 1990s come to mind, but the program and school, with shrinking enrollment, have needed a shot of good news since. Coach Harry Scanlan-Leite has been a rock since taking over the program. His understated, low-key and positive approach fit perfectly at St. Joe, which also features sophomore center Thomas Fairman (6-foot-5), shooting guard Sebastian Ohara-Saft and point guard Will Scanlan-Leite, the coach’s son.
The Cardinals’ win isn’t just a win over an old rival. With the BIIF in frugal mode due to budget cuts, the schedule is formatted by division, so all East teams play a home-and-away schedule. That’s great news for Division II programs like St. Joseph since most of the top teams in the BIIF are out east. That means more chances for notable wins — Waiakea, Keaau and Kamehameha-Hawaii are all solid D-I teams.
Even Pahoa, a D-II program, has talent and a good chance to make the state tournament. The Daggers gave Hilo a tough game over the weekend. The Big Island always has a lot of hoops talent, even with most of the West side teams in a down cycle.
Andrade’s 44-point night is a statewide single-game high so far. Aaron Fernandez of Kalaheo scored 41 in a nonconference game against Campbell on December 11 at the Pete Smith Classic.
On the girls side, Roosevelt’s Mikela Thoemmes had 35 against Moanalua on Dec. 23.