HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Leilehua's Kennedy Orteza blew by Roosevelt's Jayson Tasaka during last night's OIA playoff game at Moanalua.
Mules top Rough Riders to reach Red Raiders
Leilehua dominates in the paint to set up a showdown with top seed Kahuku tonight
Clayton Laurel poured in 13 points and blocked three shots as Leilehua overpowered Roosevelt 56-41 last night in the opening round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association basketball playoffs.
Leilehua (8-3), the No. 4 seed from the West, has the daunting task of facing Kahuku tonight on the Red Raiders' home court. Kahuku is the No. 1 seed in the East. The Leilehua-Kahuku winner will qualify for the state tournament, earning one of the OIA's four berths.
Laurel, a 6-foot-5 senior who has signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Hawaii, was part of a dominant frontcourt. Laurel, brother Art, and Josh Brooks manned the paint and controlled the momentum from the start.
Guard Dustin Pauu also scored 13 points for the Mules. Art Laurel and Kennedy Orteza added 10 points apiece.
Keo Keola led Roosevelt (7-5), the fifth seed in the East, with 13 points. Facing a 2-3 zone most of the game, the Rough Riders shot just 29 percent (14-for-48) from the field. They made just two treys in 17 attempts and were outrebounded 27-21.
"We picked a bad night to have a bad game. We couldn't catch the ball and we made so many unforced errors. We couldn't hit anything and that magnified the situation," Roosevelt coach John Chung said. "Leilehua played good, and they had a nice game plan. Really smart."
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Roosevelt's Kerstan Ho put up a shot as Leilehua's Clayton Laurel defended during the first half of last night's OIA playoff game.
That game plan included constant touches for Laurel, who made five of his eight attempts from the field. Defense, though, was the Mules' strength.
"Coach always tells us to play defense, especially on the help side," Clayton Laurel said of Keith Spencer, Leilehua's longtime guru. "Coach knew we'd win this game. He believes in us."
The Rough Riders were flat at the start against Leilehua's mix of halfcourt traps, zone and fullcourt pressure. Roosevelt committed seven turnovers as the Mules closed the first quarter with a 10-0 run.
Leilehua extended the lead to 21-8 after a breakaway layup by Pauu. Roosevelt pulled within 25-17 after Keola scored an easy bucket off a feed from Kila Delovio.
Art Laurel, who scored eight points in the second quarter, swished a 3-pointer as time expired. That gave the Mules a 28-17 halftime lead, which stretched to 16 in the third quarter.
Roosevelt pulled within 40-31, but Leilehua spread the floor and made enough foul shots down the stretch to keep the Rough Riders at bay.
Now the Mules can focus on their North Shore foes.
"We've seen Kahuku play on TV," Clayton Laurel said. "If we can stop Junior Ale, we can win. Coach knows we can challenge their two posts (Devin Unga and Kevin Unga)."
Roosevelt, which struggled with key injuries early in the season, was the only team in the OIA to beat Kahuku. Now, the Red Raiders' top opponent has been ousted.
"Our kids played hard," Chung noted. "I feel bad for them."
At Moanalua H.S. gym
ROOSEVELT--Kila Delovio 8, Robbie Fukuhara 0, Jayson Tasaka 0, Jeremy Harvest 5, Kenese Ola 0, Kerstan Ho 8, Darren Erickson 0, Keo Keola 13, Kaipo Spencer 0, Troy Quon 7.
LEILEHUA--Dustin Pauu 13, Kennedy Orteza 10, Kolwyn Dixon 0, Mike Tryon 2, Antonio Perreira 1, Josh Brooks 5, Art Laurel 10, Viliami Haunga 2, Clayton Laurel 13.
3-point goals--Roosevelt 2 (Harvest, Ho), Leilehua 3 (Pauu, Orteza, A. Laurel).
Moanalua 62, Pearl City 54
A 10-0 third-quarter run by the Menehunes put the game out of reach for the upset-minded Chargers. Six Menehunes scored in the third as Moanalua opened a 49-31 lead.
Pearl City persisted, however, and rallied with a 17-4 run. After Keoni Agni drove for a basket, the Chargers got as close as 53-48 with 2:39 remaining. Moments later, a free throw by sophomore Antwoin DeWalt brought the Chargers within 55-51 with 55 seconds left.
The Menehunes closed the game out with a 6-2 run as West scored twice on breakaway layups.
Moanalua (10-2) will face West No. 2 seed Campbell today at 5 p.m. at Kahuku's gym.
Wayne West scored 17 points and Bao Jun Lei tallied 13 to lead Moanalua, the No. 3 seed in the East. Stevie Austin guided the Menehune offense. He finished with nine points and four assists.
DeWalt led Pearl City (5-6), the sixth seed from the West, with 17 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Travis Cruz, one of the West's top scorers, tallied 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting.
"He's a great player. If you let him go, he'll make 'em," Moanalua coach Dan Hale said. "That's a scrappy team. They match up well with us. We wanted to be more patient and get our shots in our spots."
The Menehunes put Lei, a 6-foot-1 senior, in the post and got results.
"That put pressure on them," Hale said. "But I'm still surprised we got up as much as we did."
Pearl City was 2-for-10 from the arc.
Pearl City--Keoni Agni 2, John Giron 0, Rollie Salvacion 5, Sheldon Lucius 0, Troy Antoque 2, Travis Cruz 11, Andrew Blue 0, Karlo Rarangol 8, Antoin DeWalt 17, Alvin Dela Pena 0, Kawika Borden 9.
Moanalua--Bao Jun Lei 14, Stephen Kina 4, Jay Yoshizawa 8, Paul Wasada 1, Eric Garcia 0, Stevie Austin 9, Casey Shuler 1, Stanford Leti 2, Chris Holt 2, Wayne West 17, Tyler Thornton 2, Savaii Eselu 2.
3-point goals--Pearl City 2 (Cruz 2), Moanalua 2 (Lei, West).