It’s been a crazy few minutes here at the Punahou Invitational, where Kalaheo and Kahuku are knotted going into a second overtime period.
Kalaheo had the lead thanks to some clutch free throws by seldom-used sophomore Harry Wallace. He’s stepped up big with senior leader Kekai Smith sidelined (meniscus surgery).
Kieran Spencer swished a 23-footer pull-up 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Red Raiders a minor miracle. That tied the game at 42-all.
The Mustangs went ahead on two foul shots by Andrew Kearney with a minute to go in the first overtime. Then Taimona Wright hustled for a putback to tie the game at 44 with 35 seconds left. Kalaheo then missed a short baseline shot in traffic and Kahuku was awarded the ball after it went out of bounds.
Fullcourt pressure by the ‘Stangs and Kahuku nearly traveled at midcourt when Latu caught a pass. Wright got a shot off from NBA range before the buzzer, but it was an air ball and Kahuku’s guys were cracking up. They almost lost this game, then almost won it. I’d be smiling, too.
So, we go to the second overtime period. Kenny Spencer hits an NBA-distance trey from the top for a 47-44 lead with 3:00 left. Then he comes up with a clutch steal and breakaway layup for a 49-44 lead at 2:04.
Game over? Captain Whitlock swishes a corner 3 to cut the lead to 49-47 with 1:30 to go. Kalaheo pressing, nearly gets a steal. The ball goes off Codie Sauvao and is headed out of bounds, but he saves it miraculously to a teammate at midcourt. Time out, Kahuku. That just saved the game, maybe.
Kenny Spencer then drives right against man defense, draws an extra defender and smoothly delivers a dime to Latu for an easy layup. Kahuku is up 51-47 with 1:00 left.
Alex Layi misses a tough 15-footer in the lane, but Wright rebounds and throws the ball out of bounds. Kalaheo ball, :26 left.
Whitlock hits a floater from the left elbow and it’s 51-49 with 16 seconds left. Craazy!
Kalaheo fouls Sauvao, who then misses both FTs. But Latu saves the day with an offensive rebound and he’s fouled with :05.2 left.
Latu swishes both free throws to ice the win for Kahuku. What just happened? Amazing. Kahuku wins 53-49.
All this has happened with Coach Alan Akina observing from the bleachers for a second game in a row as an interim coach takes his place on the pine. Kahuku is back to providing an accurate roster again. Are things back to “normal”?
Not quite. Akina was sitting next to family and attorney Eric Seitz, who says he will file suit against the school’s administration unless they return his calls immediately. The case could be in court, in front of a judge, as soon as Monday morning.