This is a great semifinal matchup, the first of the preseason, between ILH powerhouses Kamehameha and Punahou. Kamehameha enters the game ranked No. 6 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 and Punahou is at No. 2.
The Buffanblu led 21-11 out of the gate, but the Warriors have come all the way back behind some really neat 3-point shooting.
Kamehameha leads 25-23 at the half. Jayden Zarriello with some nice long-range shooting for the Warriors.
The winner will face Kaiser in the finals on Wednesday. Kaiser upset No. 1 ‘Iolani 53-46 in the earlier semifinal.
5-0 run to start the second half has the Warriors up 30-23. A 3 by Noah Gelacio and a 2 by Pono Arias. So many bulls-eye shooters on the Kamehameha roster no matter how deep Coach Greg Tacon goes. The Buffanblu have rarely been slowed down, and here it is, an ILH rival doing it to them. They’re handling the Punahou press with relative success and getting open looks out of their halfcourt sets.
This is when the speedy Buffanblu look young. And it hasn’t been easy since Jack-Eli Tufono, Punahou’s highly-effective post scorer, left early in the game with an ankle injury.
Kaeler Kahana with a corner 3 and it’s 33-23. Time out, Punahou.
Chris Kobayashi with a nice 3 from the top, but Punahou then throws it away against Kamehameha’s halfcourt trap.
Nice pick-and-roll execution, Kahana dishes to Nakoa Pauole for the easy layup. KS leads PUN 36-27.
Punahou pushes the break and gets a bucket from Cole Arceneaux, and then a feed from Zayne Chong to Maninoa Tufono, their 6-foot-3 freshman, to cut the lead to 38-31 entering the final quarter.
Noah Gelacio with a drive down the lane and a sweet scoop shot past a defender to give Kamehameha a 46-36 lead with 3:52 left.
Chong with the elbow set shot to cut the lead to eight and Punahou steals a pass downcourt, but Kobayashi’s pass to Tufono is stolen. Kobayashi answers a moment later with a 3-pointer, and it’s 46-41. Kamehameha ball, 2:34.
Warriors running time off with their motion offense when Zarriello travels in the lane while triple teamed. Kobayashi with another corner 3 and it’s 46-44. Kahana fouled at midcourt. It’s the fifth team foul for Punahou, 1:49.
Noah Gelacio trapped in the corner, calls time out, 1:14.
Jared Lum brings double-team pressure and Kahana dribbles the ball off his leg, backcourt violation, 1:02. PUN ball.
Kobayashi hits Tufono, the freshman, and he scores on a drop step. That ties the game at 46 with 37.8 seconds left. What a comeback and who knew it would be sparked by the younger Tufono brother?
Punahou defense in a mad scramble — it’s like they’re losing, not tied — and Tufono fouls Kahana, falling on him near the top of the key. That’s only the sixth team foul. :29.4 left. Buffanblu seem intent on getting a last shot even if they foul and KS goes to the line.
Another scranble, loose ball, and Pauole dribbles it off his teammate, Zarriello. Great defense by Punahou. Risky, but it worked. PUN ball with 15.3 seconds left.
Arceneaux’s pull-up 16-footer on the baseline is an air ball. Kahana rebounds and takes a halfcourt shot that glances off the front of the rim. OVERTIME! Woohooo…
Arceneaux drives and kicks to Lum for a 15-foot baseline J, splash. PUN up 48-46.
Arceneaux pushes the break, fouled, hits the first of a 1-and-1. Second shot, 2:16, misses. 49-46.
Saint Gelacio tries a somewhat contested wing 3, misses. PUN ball and counting down toward 1 minute.
Lum scores again, this time in the paint, and it’s 51-46.
Zarriello fouled and he’ll shoot two with 1:00 left. He hits the first, 51-47. Makes the second, 51-48. PUN inbounds and calls time at :52.9.
KS sets up its halfcourt press, but PUN handles it and Chong is fouled. 1-and-1 with :35.1 to go. Swishes the first, 52-48. Misses the second.
KS gets two good looks. Kahana misses from the top and Noah Gelacio misses from the corner. Tufono to the line with :13.1 left. He makes the first, 53-48. He misses the second.
Kamehameha gets a 30-foot shot attempt, but it misses and that’s it. Great game.