[ HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ]
A tournament title game is not exactly the best time for any team's top scorers to go cold.
Fortunately, for University High, defense won a championship yesterday. The Junior Rainbows used an air-tight man-to-man defense to rally past Maryknoll, 47-38, for the Black and Gold Invitational championship at McKinley Student Council Gym.
Michael Tenorio led the way with 13 points, including two key 3-pointers in the second half.
"It was a team effort," Tenorio said.
Tyler Tsukazaki paced the Spartans with 12 points.
In a battle that had the feel and intensity of a regular-season meeting, the two Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools accumulated a large quantity of floor burns and bruises.
"We came out and played better defense in the second half," University coach Walter Quitan said.
Forward David Johnson and center John Duro, the mainstays of University's offense, combined for only eight points, but provided rebounding and defense down the stretch. Johnson, a 6-foot senior, hauled in eight rebounds. Duro, a 6-2 senior, pulled down six boards.
"They always double and triple Duro," Quitan said.
Maryknoll led at halftime, 20-15, and extended the lead to seven early in the third quarter. Quitan put Johnson, who scored 56 points in his two previous games, on the bench after the senior started the second half with a cold shooting touch.
Tenorio did the job defensively on Tsukazaki, effectively negating his explosive scoring ability. The Maryknoll sophomore scored just four points after intermission as the shorter, but stronger Tenorio applied muscle and hustle in covering the shooter.
"He threw stuff at us we hadn't faced, like taking our main player out of the game," Maryknoll coach Blaine Gier said of his counterpart.
A 14-2 run by the Junior Rainbows gave them a 29-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Junior 'Bows opened a 40-30 lead in the final minutes.
University improved to 4-1 in nonleague games. The Junior 'Bows travel to the Maui High School Invitational next week.
The Junior Rainbows beat Waipahu 64-49 and Roosevelt 62-54 in overtime, in the first two rounds.
Maryknoll dropped to 3-3. The Spartans head to the Honokaa Invitational next week.
"We've progressed since the Kalaheo tournament last week," Gier said.
The Spartans defeated host McKinley 57-38 and Kapolei 50-43 to reach the finals.
Roosevelt 66, Kapolei 60, OT: Kerstan Ho pumped in 28 points and Danton Balbas tallied 14 to lead the Rough Riders in the third-place game.
Jefferson Gaygay led the Hurricanes with 12 points. Brad Padayao, Darcus Coleman and Po'okela Ahmed added 10 points apiece.
Kaimuki 60, Waipahu 43: Jon Torres poured in 18 points to lead the Bulldogs in the fifth-place game. Joe Bryan and Powell Rivera led the Marauders with 14 points apiece.
McKinley 49, Mid-Pacific 44: Kapena Quisano scored 15 points to spark the Tigers in the seventh-place game. Kallen Hastie led the Owls with 20 points.