Merry Roundball, day 1 (update 9:30 pm)

Dec. 13, 2012. Players from Dr. Phillips (Fla.) and Jin Ling (China) mingle after a first-round game at the ‘Iolani Classic. (photo: Paul Honda)

Update 9:30 p.m. Final: ‘Iolani 52, Moanalua 29 (girls). Raiders regained momentum to start the fourth quarter. Major edge in depth for ‘Iolani. They aren’t raining in the threes like last year, but the pace is still fast and the press is still tough.

Update 9:10 p.m. Nice rally by Moanalua, which got within eight of ‘Iolani during the third quarter. They’ve settled down, handled the press better. But ‘Iolani leads after three quarters, 35-25. The Raiders rotate five players in, five out. That should take a toll on Na Menehune.

Update 8:50 p.m. Half: ‘Iolani 31, Moanalua 13 (girls). This isn’t over, but ‘Iolani has more energy, scoring punch and discipline in its second five than most teams in Hawaii have in their starting five. I really thought they’d struggle some with Kylie Maeda and Saphyre Rezentes gone (graduated). But they’re a machine right now, nonstop fullcourt pressure and nice halfcourt sets most of the time. High-low post game for Alex Masaquel, Jade Botelho, too.

Update 8 p.m. Final: Southlake Carroll (Texas) 56, Maryknoll 45. Lady Dragons warmed up in the second half from the arc, and guard Kami Mickens (Boston College) returned after sitting with foul trouble. Mickens just too quick defensively (three steals) and offensively in transition for the Spartans, who went cold from the field against the tall Dragons. Maryknoll should learn a lot from this game, especially with late-game tactics. Coach Chico Furtado tried to get them to foul quickly in the final 2 minutes. Sometimes, they did it. Other times, too slowly. One instance, the Spartans let Southlake burn 30 seconds off the clock before fouling. Young team is learning.

Update, 7:38 p.m. Southlake Carroll 44, Maryknoll 38, end third quarter. Southlake finally got hot from the arc, hit three treys and opened a 41-34 lead. Maryknoll got within 3, but Southlake got a three-point play late in the quarter. Questionable non-call on a travel by the team in green before the three-point play.

Update 7:15 p.m. Maryknoll has an upset in the making, leading Southlake Carroll (Texas) 28-26 at the half. A lot of hustle plays, steals off rebounds, good basketball savvy by the smaller Spartans. Southlake has launched a ton of 3-point shots and didn’t make one until late in the first half.

If they start hitting more threes, that’s trouble for Maryknoll. But if the Texans remain cold, it could be a huge win for coach Chico Furtado’s squad. Maryknoll is No. 10 in the Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Top 10.

6 p.m. It’s a three-day smorgasbord of hoops. Here’s some art from the ‘Iolani Classic girls tournament.

In the first two games, Oregon City (Ore.) defeated Lahainaluna 81-42 and Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) downed Jin Ling (China) 61-43. The team from China has improved each year; it was a close game at the half.

More later. Maryknoll and Southlake Carroll (Texas) are about to tip off. Hoping to get some info from Na Menehune Challenge at Moanalua, where some of the top OIA and ILH boys teams are squaring off for the next three days. I’m here at ‘Iolani today and at Moanalua tomorrow. Wish I could see every game at both venues, at Hilo (Larry Manliguis Hilo High Holiday Classic) and Kalaheo (Pete Smith Classic).

Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser


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