VIDEO: Miracle shot lifts Punahou to win

The final 12.2 seconds of a wild battle between No. 2 Punahou and No. 3 Saint Louis in ILH play at McCabe Gym. Down 58-56 with 1.7 seconds to go, Punahou’s Kala‘i Santos banks in a 74-foot prayer for the miraculous win as his team overcomes a 13-point deficit.


  1. A Fan January 15, 2015 7:32 am

    2 things I noticed. Punahou didn’t have any timeouts left after they hit the 3-pointer to cut the lead to 1 point. There was less than 5 seconds left in the game. St. Louis did not and should not have inbounded the ball. The game was over and they could have let the clock expire and walk off the court. That is a coaching error. The staff needs to let the boys know they are up by 4 points with no timeouts. So you don’t even get close to the jump shooter (no 4 point play) and you let the time expire if they make it. You do not foul to stop the clock and you don’t touch it after the shot it made. Game is over. Also, you need to have the defense after the ft is made match up on the perimeter. Bad game management here. The last shot should have never happened although it was a great shot.

  2. A Fan January 15, 2015 7:33 am

    I just watched the replay on my friend’s video. After the shot was made by Punahou to be down by only 1 point, there was less than 5 seconds. Therefore the ball did not need to be inbounded since you have 5 seconds to inbound the ball before a loss of possession occurs. The game should have been over at that point. This goes on coaching for not telling the kids the situation.

  3. Paul Honda January 15, 2015 4:09 pm

    It’s a good point and originally, I thought the same thing. He could’ve held on to the ball.

    If your friend can post that video showing the clock and the ball in the same frame, I’d love to see it. From my angle I couldn’t get both in the video. But from my editing, there was 6 seconds left when Kam’s shot went through the net. It’s entirely possible that there was less than 5 seconds left when Nunuha touched the ball. But my guess is that there was possibly 5 or more. It’s a tight, tight window.

    The thing is, from the time the ball goes through the net on Kam’s shot to the moment the referee starts to count down from 5, there’s some gray area. Hopefully, your friend’s video can clarify that.

    I’ll say this, and I already said it on my recap post — the odds of making a 74-foot shot are remote at best. If every coach who gave up a 74-foot miracle shot would be deemed at fault, there would be a lot of very good coaches on that boat.

  4. a fan January 15, 2015 6:57 pm

    When the ball went through the net and the STL kid actually touched it, there was less than 5 seconds. When the ref actually started his 5 second count to inbounds the ball, there was less than 4 seconds. You have to remember, the ref does not start the 5 second count immediately when the ball goes through the hoop. He starts it when the offensive player picks up the ball. When the ball was picked up it was far below 5 seconds on the game clock. The game was over.

    Watching both this video and the video on, after the ball is inbounded, it takes about 1.5-2 seconds to foul the kid leaving about 1.7 left on the clock. When added up, that still leaves less than 5 seconds.

    The game is over.

  5. Paul Honda January 15, 2015 9:19 pm

    Yup, it all depends on when the referee starts counting. And clearly, Nunuha didn’t watch the ref on this, so there’s an inexperience factor. But we’re talking about a second or a fraction of a second here, and I find it tough to blame a player or coach for taking the safe way out.

    In the end, it was a 74-foot shot at the buzzer that went in the bucket. It’s the old timers like me (and maybe you) that would’ve handled it differently because of our experience.

  6. Dave Reardon January 15, 2015 9:23 pm

    Watch SportsCenter tonight. This play made the top ten.

  7. a fan January 16, 2015 9:07 pm

    Any experienced coach or viewer knows that the referee will not start his or her 5 second count until the offensive player touches the ball. Now, if the offensive player is taking their sweet ol time then the ref will grab the ball, place it on the baseline and start his or her count. If the ball gets knocked to the side that ref has the discretion to stop the game clock to put the ball into the proper position.

    Let’s go go over this.

    12.2 seconds on the clock – Punahou player touches the ball right before mid-court
    7.2 seconds – Punahou player shoots the clock
    5.3 seconds – Ball goes through the net
    4.0 seconds – St. Louis players grabs the ball
    1.7 seconds – St. Louis player is fouled and the game clock is stopped

    Also the distance from the FT line to the basket on the other side is 74 feet. The player is clearly around 8-10 feet closer. He is standing clearly 4-6 feet beyond the 3 point line. The shot is approximately 64-66 feet. It is a great shot but the facts should be reported as well.

  8. Paul Honda January 20, 2015 10:36 am

    Well, Dwayne, I know it’s you because 1) nobody else would chastise a non-Punahou player or coach (or both) as much as you have over the past 15 years on HSN, Honda Report or here, 2) no one else would enjoy a great Punahou play as little as you do, and 3) nobody tries to discredit my reporting quite like you have over all these years.

    That being said, I appreciate your detailed breakdown. As I asked before, I still would like to see your video evidence of the actual time for each action. I ask because I didn’t have an angle to shoot video of the entire sequence that recorded the clock, as well. From my video editing, it appears that there were 5+ seconds on the clock when the ball went through the net, and Punahou coach Darren Matsuda confirmed that he saw this on the scoreboard clock, too. Matsuda said that Nunuha would’ve had to pass the ball in or get a 5-second violation. This is a gray area that hasn’t been confirmed: did the official start his count when the ball went through the net, or when it hit the ground, or when Nunuha touched the ball? We can guess, but we don’t know 100 percent for sure.

    So your interpretation of the clock differs significantly from what Coach Matsuda saw with his own eyes. Or, we just don’t know when the referee started his count. Nunuha took his chances and minimized the risk by passing the ball in. As I noted earlier, the safe route in the minds of more experienced players would’ve been to take our sweet old time grabbing the ball.

    As for the 74-foot or 66-foot shot, that’s a number that I took an educated guess at, of course. The court is 94 feet long. That’s a 47-foot distance at halfcourt. Another 27 feet from halfcourt to the opposite 3-point line. That’s 74 feet total. Santos was off center, no question, and shot from the sideline next to the hash mark. He’s above the 3-point arc (top of the key), but because he’s at a wide angle near the sideline, that factors in some minus and plus footage to the equation. I’m sticking with 74 feet, give or take a few. Could be wrong, of course.

    Dwayne, some advice: Enjoy more, chase me less.

  9. A Fan January 21, 2015 12:46 pm

    Please watch the video. The ref did not even start his 5 seconds count until the STL player touched the ball. Since the ref did not start his count until after the STL player touched the ball and like you said Matsuda confirmed that there was 5 seconds on the clock, the ref’s 5 second clock would have started with under 5 seconds left since the ref did not start counting until the ball was touched. He clearly did not start counting when the ball went through the net. It is on the video you guys posted also. Please watch your video and notice when the ref actually started his count.

  10. Observer January 30, 2015 9:17 pm

    Clearly the game should have been over.

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