HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Iolani's intensity leads to win
One of Iolani's goals was to bring more intensity to the hardwood.
The Raiders brought plenty of it last night, stifling Mililani for a 62-47 win at the Trojans' gym. Mililani committed 20 turnovers, including six in the pivotal third quarter.
"We were pressured into doing things we're not used to," Trojans coach Hiram Akina said. "They took us out of our system. We couldn't get the ball inside."
Kawika Shoji scored 14 points and Vinny Nip tallied 13 as four-time defending state champion Iolani improved to 5-1 in nonconference play.
Shoji, a 6-foot-4 senior, shot 7-for-7 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists to lead a balanced attack. Point guard Barry Kang also doled out four assists, with just one turnover, against Mililani's mix of man and 2-3 zone defenses.
"We needed to be patient and set the tempo," Nip said.
The Raiders, coming off a loss to archrival Punahou, made defense a focal point. "Defense was an area of focus. Our intensity hasn't been consistent," Kang said.
Mililani (3-3) struggled at times against Iolani's halfcourt traps. A.J. Clark, a transfer from University High, scored 13 points and hauled in four boards to lead the Trojans.
The host squad led for much of the first half, taking a 6-4 lead on a layup by Clark. An 11-6 run was capped by Donovan Olmos' 3-pointer for a 15-8 lead shortly before the end of the first quarter.
Iolani, which platooned in the opening quarter, chipped away at the lead. The Raiders went ahead on freshman Liloa Nobriga's layup midway through the second quarter.
After taking a two-point lead into halftime, the Raiders opened the second half with an 11-2 blitz. Nip, a 5-9 senior, scored six points during the run, and every bucket came off an assist.
Clark scored six points in a row to bring Mililani within 37-33, but the Trojans wilted against Iolani's defensive pressure. The Raiders went on an 11-0 run to open a 15-point lead late in the third quarter.
Mililani got no closer than 13 the rest of the way. "Their experience over us was a difference. This is a great learning experience for us. We'll only learn and get better from it," Akina said.