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Sobers leads Vulcans to win
Jeff Law got what he wanted from guard Travis Sobers last night.
"We've been waiting for that for a long time," Law, the Hawaii-Hilo coach, said after Sobers scored 25 points to lead Hawaii-Hilo past host Chaminade 82-69 in a PacWest basketball game last night.
A gathering of around 150 at McCabe Gym saw the Vulcans build up a big lead and keep their conference championship hopes alive. Hilo improved to 5-4 in the league and 15-7 overall. The Silverswords, who could've clinched the title with a win, fell to 15-8 and 7-3.
Hilo has a game at Hawaii Pacific tomorrow and two home games against Brigham Young-Hawaii left. Chaminade has two left against HPU. Hilo, Chaminade and BYUH (4-4 in league) all still have a chance for the championship.
"This helps," Law said. "We have to pretty much win out to be in it, so we're just taking it one game at a time."
Sobers, the son of retired 11-year NBA veteran Ricky Sobers, took charge of the game early, scoring off an offensive rebound, on a cut to the hoop and finally a 3-pointer as Hilo took an 11-4 lead. The Vulcans never trailed.
At the end of the first half, Sobers executed a perfect final possession, milking the clock and then breaking down his defender with five seconds left. His 8-foot runner fell through as the horn sounded, and Hilo led 41-29.
It didn't get better for the 'Swords after the break. They missed their first five shots from the floor, and the Vulcans went up 56-33.
But Chaminade finally found its range, hitting a flurry of shots from behind the arc, including three in a row. The Swords closed it to 73-64 as Chris Reaves (12 points) and Zack Whiting (team-high 23) got hot.
It wasn't nearly enough, though, and Hilo made 13 of 16 free throws in the last 5 minutes.
"We lost it way before that," Chaminade coach Matt Maher said. "We didn't come out ready to play. Intensity is definitely lacking with these guys."
Chaminade shot just 34 percent, and Hilo shot 50 percent and grabbed 42 rebounds to 36 for the 'Swords.
Sobers got a lot of help, including 22 points and 11 rebounds from Joe Travis, and 18 from Justin Griffin.
"The difference was just playing with energy," Sobers said. "Every game we don't play with energy, we get in trouble."