The McKinley Tigers are playing well so far in their matchup with Kailua at the Punahou Invitational. The Tigers started strong and led 14-6. The lead was down to 24-21 by halftime, and then the Tigers opened the second half with a 9-0 run.
Kailua has stuck with man defense, and the trio of Huthifa Abel-Jawad, Kyle Moraga and burly 6-foot-5 center Mark Burke has been efficient. Burke scored twice in the paint during the run, and Jeremy Coloyan soared over the defense for an offensive putback. Kailua may have overall size and height advantage on the Tigers, but it hasn’t shown. Nobody’s boxing out.
They may still be weary from their successful trip to Oregon, which they finished second in. Flew home Sunday. Played on Monday.
Interesting. Dan Villejo is on the floor now for McKinley. He may have played in the first half; I was away for several minutes. But he’s out there, no knee brace, and looks to be in outstanding physical shape. Question is how long that repaired ACL can hold up less than a year after injury.
6:41 left in the game and Kailua’s talented, three-sport standout, Noah Auld, is down. Looks like a left ankle injury. His teammates carry him off. Get well, Noah.
Villejo is out after racing around the court for the past 2 or 3 minutes. My guess is that’s it for him. They’re weaning him back slowly. OIA regular season starts this weekend. Bad timing for Kailua with Auld’s injury. McKinley looks like a much different team now with Burke, who is built like Wes Unseld, and Abel-Jawad back on the court. Abel-Jawad had missed some time due to a partially collapsed lung. Looks OK now.
Tigers just playing keep-away now, but Kailua coach Walter Marciel has his team increasing on-ball pressure. Turnover, basket for Kailua. It’s 39-29. Time out called by Coach Duane Omori with 4:36 to go.
Noah Ah Yat drills a wing 3 to cut the lead to 39-34 with 2:34 left.
Kailua forces another turnover — this press is working well — but loses the ball and McKinley misses a gimmie layup. Traveling on Kailua after the rebound. 2:05 to play.
Another McKinley turnover. Freshman Everett Torres-Kahapea hits a wing 3 and it’s 39-37. Tigers score a layup after breaking the press. Kailua ball with :56.8 left.
Ah Yat fouled, but misses both FTs. Short. That’s jet lag.
Villejo back in for crunch time. 1-and-1, :39.3. All net. 42-37. Second shot is good, 43-37.
The freshman, Torres-Kahapea, comes up big with a pull-up 3 from 24 feet straightaway. With a hand in his face. 43-40, :14 left.
Abel-Jawad at the line for 1-and-1, hits both, 45-40, :13.6.
Tigers press off the make and Kailua throws the ball out of bounds. McKinley wins 45-40 in a mild upset.