Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Damien rallies
for 53-47 victory

Matthew Gochenouer pumped in 15 points and Devin Shiroma scored all 13 of his points in the second half as Damien rallied past Word of Life 53-47 last night at the Monarchs' gym.

By winning the play-in game, Damien advanced in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu third-place tournament. The Monarchs, 3-12 in Division I league play, will play University today at McCabe Gym. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

"We missed a lot of free throws and sometimes we don't play defense," Damien coach Abe Kamana'o said. "Word of Life came out to play with a good game plan. Hat's off to them."

Word of Life finished the season 9-9. The Firebrands went 8-3 in Division II play.

"We're proud of them. They never gave up," Word of Life coach Jenic Tumaneng said. "They know they can play at the Division I level, but it's a matter of being more consistent."

Aaron Tipoti scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds for WLA. Senior Brashton Satele hustled for 11 points and seven boards.

WLA, which had a four-point lead midway through the third quarter, succumbed to its own mistakes. The Firebrands committed 18 turnovers against Damien's trapping full-court and half-court defenses. The Firebrands also made just six of their 13 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

The Firebrands shot 67 percent from the field in the opening quarter to set the tone against Damien's man-to-man defense. When the Monarchs switched to their trapping defense, the momentum slowly slipped away. Satele scored inside off a feed from Kamalu Kealoha, and Tipoti hit a foul shot to give WLA a 30-26 lead with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter.

That's when Shiroma caught fire. After missing three shots and going scoreless in the first half, he sank a 3-pointer from the left wing and then a trey from the right corner to tie the game at 33-all. His breakaway layup just before the end of the stanza gave Damien the lead for good, 35-33.

"They were in a matchup man, and we struggled until we started moving on offense," Kamana'o said. "We hit a couple of 3s, and that opened up the middle."

Shiroma hit a 3-pointer from the left corner as the fourth quarter started, sparking an 8-2 run. Mana Mikaele's free throws gave the Monarchs a 43-35 lead.

"Damien had good guard play. They didn't get rattled, even though they were down," Tumaneng said.

Word of Life pulled within 49-45 on Jordan Ranche's drive to the basket with a minute left. After a Damien turnover, Kealoha's 3-point try from the top curled out, and the Firebrands got no closer. Gochenouer broke away for an easy layup for a 51-45 lead with 45 seconds left.

At Damien Memorial H.S. gym

Word of Life1371314--47


WORD OF LIFE--Chris Cutkelvin 0, Kamalu Kealoha 2, Nathan Alvarado 4, Brashton Satele 11, Jordan Ranche 5, Mike Hanakahi 2, Aaron Tipoti 17, Jorge Torres 6.

DAMIEN--Brad Akiona 0, Winni Boy Gapuz 3, Justin Casil 2, Matthew Gochenouer 15, Devin Shiroma 13, Antonio Cerezo 11, Mike Sipili 2, Mana Mikaele 5, Sione Tau 0, Garyk Ontai 2.

3-point goals: Word of Life 1 (Alvarado), Damien 5 (Shiroma 3, Cerezo 2).

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