No. 1 ‘Iolani edges San Juan Hills, No. 3 Konawaena routs San Clemente

‘Iolani and San Juan Hills (Calif.) huddle during the final moments of regulation on Wednesday at Punahou's Pa‘ani Tournament. ‘Iolani went on to edge San Juan Hills, 53-49. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Nov. 29, 2023)

There’s March Madness, and there’s holiday hoops heaven.

This week’s prep basketball galaxy welcomed the Pa‘ani girls basketball tournament at Punahou on Wednesday with local teams posting wins over three California squads. At Radford, the annual James Alegre Invitational boys tourney tipped off with three games, including a nail-biter between OIA and ILH title contenders Leilehua and Punahou.

At Hemmeter Fieldhouse, the Pa‘ani tourney again used ewa and main courts simultaneously to complete four games in just three hours. Fans waltzed from the main-court bleachers to the folding chairs on the ewa side and back to get the action.

Callie Pieper scores on a pass from Mia Frye to open ‘Iolani’s lead over San Juan Hills (Calif.) to 50-46 in overtime on Wednesday. ‘Iolani hung on for a 53-49 win at Punahou’s Pa‘ani Tournament. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Nov. 29, 2023)

Pa‘ani Invitational
Ewa court
No. 1 ‘Iolani 53, San Juan Hills (Calif.) 49, OT
>> Iol: Justice Kekauoha 14. SJH: Anna Shreeve 24, Aryanna Hudson 23 (3 treys).

Callie Pieper sank two free throws to tie the game at 46 with 7 seconds left in regulation. The Raiders then pulled away on surgical passing against the Stallions’ 2-3 zone with Pieper finishing at the rim on two buckets. The Raiders led 52-49 with time running out in overtime when Kekauoha unexpectedly took a baseline jumper and missed, but San Juan Hills came up empty on the other end. Kekauoha then sealed the win with a free throw in the final five seconds.

Shreeve was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 20 points. ‘Iolani then clamped down with Mia Frye as a primary defender and consistent help defense. Hudson was also remarkable, sinking a wing 3 to give her team a 46-44 lead with 22 seconds remaining in regulation.

SJH came into the game with a 3-0 record. This was a state championship-level battle between two elite programs.

No. 3 Konawaena 59, San Clemente (Calif.) 25
>> Kona: Mikela Salazar-Harrell 23 (6 treys), Haikela Hiraishi 13 (3 treys). SC: Claire Pham 9.

Salazar-Harrell was on fire as the Wildcats moved the ball seamlessly, showing no issues with the newly-installed shot clock. The Wildcats swished four of their first five 3-pointers to open a big lead early, Even as their long-rang shooting cooled off, they dissected San Clemente’s zone defense and broke the lead open to 31-10 by halftime. San Clemente looked a bit like Orange Lutheran (Calif.), which had shooting woes in an OT loss at Kamehameha two weeks ago.

Whether it was jet lag or humidity, the Tritons figure to make the adjustment. Orange Lutheran went on to win three games at the Konawaena Invitational that week.

No. 10 Moanalua 36, Sierra Pacific (Calif.) 32
>> Moa: Akaecia Mateo 11, Shailoh Liilii 10. SP: Asia Jackson 9.

This was a matchup of two evenly-matched teams in a rugged, physical beatdown style game to the end. Liilii scored on a sideline inbounds play to give Moanalua a 34-32 down the stretch. Jamie Smith added a layup on a handoff from Liilii moments later to seal the win.

No. 7 Campbell 49, No. 9 Punahou 43
>> Cam: Aliyah Bantolina 20. Pun: Ahnastaziah Wright 16, Keilani Stewart 13.

The Sabers opened a 15-point lead in the second half against the young Buffanblu, who then used fullcourt pressure and got the margin down to just five points in the final two minutes of regulation.

Thursday’s games
Ewa court
San Clemente (Calif.) vs. Campbell, 5 p.m.
Konawaena vs. Moanalua, 6:30 p.m.
Main court
Sierra Pacific vs. ‘Iolani, 5 p.m.
Punahou vs. San Juan Hills, 6:30 p.m.

Friday’s games
Main court
Moanalua vs. San Juan Hills, 5 p.m.
Punahou vs. Sierra Pacific, 6:30 p.m.
Ewa court
Konawaena vs. Campbell, 5 p.m.
‘Iolani vs. San Clemente (Calif.), 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games
Main court
San Juan Hills vs. Konawaena, 8:30 a.m.
Punahou vs. San Clemente (Calif.), 10 a.m.
Sierra Pacific vs. Campbell, 11:30 a.m.
‘Iolani vs. Moanalua, 1 p.m.

See video highlights and interviews on social media: @HawaiiPrepWorld on Twitter/X and IG.


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