GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kalaheo's Neil Bowers (31) battled for a rebound with Kaimuki's Dexter Tautofi during last night's 51-46 Kalaheo victory. The Mustangs advance to play Mililani tomorrow.
win for Smith
Kalaheo advances to the
OIA title game to face Mililani
By Paul Honda
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Thursday, Feb. 12
At Kaimuki Game 1: Moanalua 71, Kapolei 51 2: Kaimuki 69, Nanakuli 45 At Pearl City 3: Radford 54, Kahuku 38 4: McKinley 54, Pearl City 38
At McKinley Third place: McKinley vs. Kaimuki, 6:30 p.m. Championship: Mililani vs. Kalaheo, 8 p.m.
Sometimes, fate cannot be denied.
With their former head coach making his first appearance since suffering a stroke last year, Kalaheo outlasted Kaimuki 51-46 last night.
The win propelled the defending Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Mustangs into the OIA Tournament title game. Kalaheo will meet Mililani, a 57-54 winner over McKinley, tomorrow. Tip-off at McKinley High School Student Council Gymnasium is set for 8 p.m., following the third-place game.
Kalaheo (12-1) needed all the help it could get against a tough Kaimuki squad. Against a backdrop of championship banners on the Kalaheo gym wall, the presence of legendary Pete Smith was a huge plus for the Mustangs.
"He's the reason this place is here," longtime friend and Kalaheo's first-year boys' head coach Chico Furtado said.
Smith's former players responded tremendously. "It was emotional, really emotional. We found out he'd be here right before the game," said Theo Fujita, who led the Mustangs with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. The guard also hit four clutch free throws in the final 1:05.
Fujita's timely shooting offset Kaimuki's trademark 2-3 matchup zone defense -- the same one that led the Bulldogs to a win over Kalaheo late in the regular season.
Despite keeping Kalaheo center Sam Wilhoite under control, Kaimuki trailed 39-28 early in the fourth quarter. Kaimuki head coach Stephen Lee implored his team to be patient offensively, and it listened.
Jimmy Miyasaka, who finished with 17 points, drilled a trey from the top, and Isaiah Ano cut for a pass from Nick Milan for a layup. After Kekoa Onaga hit two foul shots, Bulldog fans were howling joyfully with Kalaheo's lead cut down to 39-35.
Wilhoite answered with a foul-line jumper, but Milan drove the baseline for two more points, and Miyasaka sank two free throws in an 11-2 run to pull Kaimuki within 41-39 with 3:52 left in the game.
Despite having the bonus free-throw situation in their favor, the Bulldogs didn't capitalize fully. Milan missed a tough 15-footer from the baseline, and Neil Bowers hustled for a putback off David Moore's missed layup to give Kalaheo a 43-39 lead with 2:21 remaining.
Ano, a tenacious defender and key ballhandler, fouled out with 47 seconds to play. Moore went to the line and missed the front end of his 1-and-1. That led to a pull-up jumper from the foul line by Miyasaka, who completed a three-point play to bring the Bulldogs within 47-46 with 25 seconds to go.
Davey Nguyen, in for Ano, helped Kaimuki's full-court press smother Kalaheo on the in-bounds play, but Bowers alertly called time out a moment before the 10-second violation was whistled. On the ensuing play, Kaimuki fouled Fujita, who swished two foul shots to give his team a 49-46 lead with 14.6 seconds left.
Kaimuki, which struggled against Kalaheo's man defense in the second half, couldn't get the ball to Miyasaka, its best outside shooter. Onaga launched a 23-footer and missed, with Bowers corralling the rebound. He sank two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Wilhoite finished with 14 points despite being double- and triple-teamed most of the night.
"We needed to break down their defense for us to have a chance," Stephen Lee said. Kaimuki drew six fouls in the third quarter with hard drives to the basket, but seemed to fizzle out off the dribble in the final stanza.
"This is tough. I know we could've beat them," Lee said.
Kaimuki (10-4) meets McKinley for third place tomorrow at 6 p.m.
At Kalaheo H.S. gym
No. 7 Kaimuki (10-4)
No. 4 Kalaheo (12-1)
Kaimuki--Davey Nyugen 0, Kekoa Onaga 9, Dexter Tautofi 0, Jimmy Miyasaka 19, Nick Milan 8, Tone Faasea 4, Isaiah Ano 6.
Kalaheo--Chris Tumaneng 2, Matt Nakashima 0, Theo Fujita 21, William Elliott 6, Neil Bowers 4, Joshua Perry 2, David Moore 2, Daniel Phair 0, Sam Wilhoite 14.
3-point goals--Kaimuki 3 (Miyasaka 2, Onaga), Kalaheo 7 (Fujita 5, Elliot 2). No. 3 Mililani 57, No. 9 McKinley 54: Alex Patykula scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the final quarter as the OIA West champion Trojans (12-0) rallied past the Tigers.
The Trojans had trouble with McKinley's lineup of 5-foot-9 and under mighty mites until fatigue settled in.
McKinley, using a rotation of seven players, led 41-30 early in the fourth quarter before Patykula scored eight points in a 17-2 run that gave the Trojans a 47-43 lead with 3:04 to play.
Robert Holder scored 18 points and Abel Werner tallied 17 to lead McKinley (10-4).
At Mililani H.S. gym
MCKINLEY--Mark Nakatsuka 2, Abel Werner 17, Kapena Quisano 10, Brandon Barbasa 0, Iakopo Taumua 1, Robert Holder 18, Golden Lawrence 0, Josh Valdez 6, Bobby Shimabukuro 0, Chris Quiocho 0, D. Vo 0, N. Lessary 0, S. Liufau 0.
MILILANI--Blaine Kanno 0, Lorenzo Abernathy 0, Maka Kahoano 0, Puna Neumann 7, Scott Neumann 10, Stevie Viel 0, Aaron Kanno 0, Ryan Shular 0, Clarence Gray 3, Charles Richie 0, Andrew Tokumi 4, Alex Patykula 20, Jonovan Santos 4, Nick Rogers 9, Mikhail Mabry 0.
3-point goals -- McKinley 4 (Valdez 2, Werner, Quisano), Mililani 3 (Patykula 2, Rogers).
Saint Louis 54, University 50
Kulia Aiona scored 17 points and Jacob Barit added 10 as the Crusaders held off a late University charge to advance in the ILH tournament.
The Junior 'Bows made it close as Scott Nishimoto scored all 18 of his points in the second half, helping to pull University within three with a minute left, but they could get no closer as Stephen Lei made one free throw with two seconds left to ice the game.
At Damien Memorial gym
Saint Louis (4-11)
SAINT LOUIS--B.J. Batts 2, Bo Ronduen 4, Ryan Brilhante 2, Kelii Zablan 0, Stephen Lei 6, Bronson Abrigo 0, Brandon Va'a 4, Kulia Aiona 17, Elliott Purcell 0, Cameron Bayne 9, Jacob Barit 10.
UNIVERSITY--Scott Nishimoto 18, AJ Clark 2, Michael Tenorio 1, James Cabras 7, Albert Li 1, Lucion Holyfield 12, John Duro 3, David Johnson 6.
3-point goals -- Saint Louis 3 (Aiona 3), University 4 (Nishimoto 4). Mid-Pacific 55, Word of Life 42
Mid-Pacific jumped out to a 14-2 lead early in the fourth quarter, but needed a strong fourth quarter to hold off a pesky Word of Life team.
Chris Perry led the Owls with 17 points and Chris Freshour added 14. Brashton Satele led the Firebrands with 17 points as Word of Life closed the margin to 24-22 early in the third quarter before Mid-Pacific ran away with the win.
The Owls wil face Damien tonight in the semifinals.
At Mid-Pacific gym
Word of Life (12-2)
WORD OF LIFE--Chad Siu 5, Michael Baas 2, Shane Lawrence 6, Gilbert Gonzalez 1, Andrew Rutherford 0, Brashton Satele 17, Maika McWayne 0, Koa Pickard 8, Carl Montiho 0, Jorge Torres 3, Jordan Ranche 0.
MID-PACIFIC--Burton Woodhull 2, Josh Mitchell 12, Chris Perry 17, Ryan Chun 2, JD Lum 2, Kellen Hastie 4, Chris Freshour 14, Bryson Beirne 2.
3-point goals -- Word of Life 1 (Siu), Mid-Pacific 0.