FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ben Thomas of Montrose Christian hit the backboard when he was fouled by Chris Merriewether of Arlington County Day last night. Merriewether's foul was ruled intentional.
Montrose wins with 3s and D
Defense usually wins championships, but there's no recipe for stopping giant 3-point shooters.
Kevin Durant, a 6-foot-10 senior, and 6-7 teammate Greivis Vasquez scored 16 points each as Montrose Christian fought off Arlington County Day 48-36 last night in the semifinals of the Iolani Classic.
As a team, Montrose Christian shot only 36 percent from the field. From deep, however, the Mustangs hit six of their 15 3-point tries. Durant, who will play at the University of Texas next season, was 3-for-6 from the arc.
"At practice, we work hard on our zone offense," the former Oak Hill player said. "On defense, we knew they could shoot the ball."
ACD shot 2-for-10 from the arc against Montrose's man defense. The Mustangs clogged the lanes and applied constant pressure on the ball.
"We had to rely on our defense. Our guards had good control of the tempo, and that's because of our defense," longtime Montrose Christian coach Stu Vetter said. "From Day 1 of practice, we believe in our defense."
Vetter credited several Mustangs, including point guard Taishi Ito and Adrian Bowie, for setting a defensive tone with purpose.
Durant and Vasquez also hauled in seven rebounds each for the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Mustangs were outrebounded 32-26, but committed only nine turnovers against a tenacious Apache defense.
A.J. Stewart, a 6-8 junior, led ACD with eight points and 12 rebounds. He also had two of his team's seven blocked shots. Jason Bennett, a 7-3 senior, added eight points, nine caroms and five blocks.
The Apaches shot 34 percent from the field and made just four of 12 tries from the foul line. They also turned the ball over 16 times without one of their floor leaders, Josue Soto.
The senior guard left the game in the first half after scoring five points. He remained in the trainer's room for the rest of the game. "He has a fever of 103. He hit his first 3, and then it was like someone shot him," ACD coach Rex Morgan said. "At first we thought it might be appendicitis, but they think it might be a viral infection."
Bennett missed his classmate. "If he plays, I think we win. He motivates us," Bennett said.
Durant and Vasquez swished four of their team's five treys in the opening quarter. That set the tone and a relatively comfortable margin for the rest of the contest.
The Mustangs drained five of their eight 3-point tries and took a 19-9 lead into the second quarter. "We figured they'd come out in a zone," Vetter said.
ACD junked its zone and went to a straight man-to-man defense to stay within a single-digit deficit for most of the next two quarters. To Vetter's dismay, his team continued to shoot from the perimeter instead of driving against the man defense.
The Apaches pulled within 5, but got no closer. By the fourth quarter, Montrose Christian expanded the lead.
The Mustangs spread the floor with 4 minutes left and opened the largest lead of the game, 44-30, on a layup by Vasquez.
Fairfax (Calif.) 54, Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 51
Chace Stanback hit a pair of treys to trigger a 10-2 second-half run as the third-ranked Lions outlasted the No. 14 Knights.
Stanback finished with 18 points and Matt Shaw had 10 points for the Lions. Jonathan Mitchell led the Knights with 15 points, while Danilio Hutchinson added 10 points.
Fairfax guard Ja'Shon Hampton suffered a neck injury, running into the sideline bleachers with 2:09 left. Play was halted for 20 minutes as he was treated and transported to Straub Hospital.
Urspring (Germany) 48, Iolani 42
Nicolai Simon scored 18 points, including 4-of-5 accuracy from the 3-point arc, as Urspring fought off a rally by the Raiders. Lucca Staiger added 12 points for Urspring, which shot 7-for-14 from the arc and outrebounded Iolani 22-10.
Case Miyahira, who made four of his seven 3-point tries, led Iolani with 14 points. Kawika Shoji added 10 points. Iolani was 5-for-16 from the arc.
The host Raiders trailed for most of three quarters until Shoji's back-to-back baskets, including one off a midcourt steal, made it 34-all shortly before the end of the third quarter.
Vinny Nip sank a free throw and Miyahira drilled a 3-pointer to bring Iolani within 44-42 with less than 3 minutes left. Shoji stole the ball under the basket a minute later, but missed a 3-point try and Urspring regained possession with 32 seconds remaining.
Mountain View (Ariz.) 50, Palm Beach Lakes (Fla.) 41
Stephen Rogers, Kendall Wallace and Ryan Seymour combined for 33 points as the Toros rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit.
Rogers finished with 12 points, hitting his team's only two 3-pointers. Wallace, who missed all seven of his tries behind the arc, finished with 11 points, five assists and four steals. He played all 32 minutes.
Kendall Jones paced the Rams with nine points.
Kahuku 65, Nanakuli 44
Okesene Ale pumped in 23 points and Devin Unga sparked an aggressive Red Raider defense with seven steals. Ale connected on eight of his 13 field-goal attempts, grabbed four rebounds and had five steals for Kahuku, the defending Oahu Interscholastic Association champion.
Unga finished with 11 points, while his twin brother, Kevin, added 13 points and a team-high eight boards.
Kahuku shot 52 percent from the floor and limited the Golden Hawks to 41 percent shooting. The Red Raiders also outrebounded Nanakuli 32-21 and forced the Hawks into 23 turnovers. Nanakuli shot 1-for-10 from the 3-point arc.
Anson Amaral led Nanakuli with 13 points.
Punahou 61, Maryknoll 53
Miah Ostrowski poured in 25 points, including 9-for-10 shooting from the foul line, as the Buffanblu rallied past the Spartans in a battle of Interscholastic League of Honolulu squads.
Spencer McLachlin added 12 points on 6-for-7 accuracy from the field. The 6-7 junior also had seven rebounds.
Travis Liu sparked Maryknoll with 15 points, including 3-for-6 shooting from the arc. Tyler Tsukazaki, coming off a 37-point effort against Kalaheo, managed 12 points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Kohala 53, Damien 49
Ikaika Kahoopii scored 14 points and Ryan Bautista added 11 as the Cowboys rallied in the third quarter for the win. Kelly Nakamura grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists to help Kohala.
Aminis Thomson led the Monarchs with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Matt Gochenouer added 10 points, hitting both of his 3-point tries. Damien shot 42 percent and committed 16 turnovers against Kohala, which pressed fullcourt occasionally.
Kalaheo 41, Leilehua 39
Chris Tumaneng hit a pull-up 15-foot shot from the foul line with 1.5 seconds left to lift the Mustangs over the Mules. Chase Moses led Kalaheo with 20 points, while Tumaneng finished with seven points, five rebounds and four assists.
Clayton Laurel led Leilehua with 10 points.