HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Punahou boys come together for win
The Punahou Buffanblu didn't need a TV show to learn what a makeover is about.
The Buffanblu, using fullcourt pressure and timely passing, rolled over Leilehua 67-40 last night in the opening round of the James Alegre Invitational Tournament.
Punahou advanced to the semifinals, along with Iolani, Kamehameha and Radford.
The Buffanblu will play Radford at 7:30 tonight. In the other semifinal, defending tournament champion Iolani meets Kamehameha at 6 p.m.
In consolation play, Honokaa and Kahuku battle at 3 p.m., followed by Leilehua and Moanalua at 4:30 p.m.
Punahou coach Greg Tacon was patient through the first couple of weeks of preseason. His leading scorer, Miah Ostrowski, was busy with the Buffanblu football team that lost to Kahuku in the Division I state title game last week.
"All I care about is how our guys play with each other, how they react to each other," Tacon said. "We've got such a good thing going with all our volleyball and football guys."
Both Punahou's boys volleyball and football teams won Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships this fall.
Using practically the entire roster, Tacon got a good look at his younger players. Senior Danny Cho led Punahou with 14 points, hitting four treys. Ostrowski finished with 12 points and 6-foot-7 junior Spencer McLachlin added nine.
Punahou made 12 of its 16 free-throw attempts.
Sophomore Art Laurel led Leilehua with 15 points, mostly on the low post. Mike Tryon, a sophomore guard, added nine points. Leilehua made only four of its 10 free-throw tries.
The Buffanblu controlled the tempo from the start. They led 26-9 midway through the first quarter, substituting five at a time and pressing fullcourt to get a multitude of steals and layups.
The Mules were an interesting matchup, in part, because of height. Leilehua rotated Clayton Laurel (6-foot-2, 250 pounds), 6-4 Josh Brooks, 6-4 Carlton Walls and 6-4 Viliami Haunga in the frontcourt.
McLachlin, however, simply outran any of the post players up and down the floor. Often enough, Ostrowski found him for easy buckets.
Iolani 62, Honokaa 27
The Raiders zoomed to a 24-4 lead midway through the second quarter en route to victory.
Senior Wally Marciel led the Raiders with 12 points, including 5-for-6 accuracy from the foul line. Liloa Nobriga, a 6-3 freshman, added 11 points. As a team, Iolani shot 20-for-25 from the line.
Komakana Fernandez, a 5-6 junior, scored 12 points to pace Honokaa. The Dragons attempted only five free throws, making three.
Kamehameha 49, Kahuku 41
Jacob Ho poured in 19 points as the Warriors outlasted the Red Raiders.
Okesene Ale paced Kahuku with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Kamehameha outworked Kahuku in the paint, making 22 free throws (in 37 attempts). Kahuku tried only four foul shots, making one.
The Red Raiders stayed close despite a severe lack of preparation. Several players were occupied with the football state championship, which was settled last Friday.
"Turnovers hurt us, and we're missing the Unga brothers," coach Nathan James said of Devin and Kevin Unga. The twins were at practice all week in preparation for the HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl, which kicks off at 7:30 tonight at Aloha Stadium.
Radford 58, Moanalua 55
Mike Sooto scored 13 points and the host Rams overcame a dismal performance at the foul line to rally past the Menehunes.
Chris McSwain added 10 points for Radford, which made just 20 of 61 free-throw attempts.
Wayne West led Moanalua with 17 points. Stevie Austin added 14 points and Bao Lei Jun added 10.
The Rams overcame a 12-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Menehunes.