Shot clock takes test run in tournament
Dan Hale can only dream of being a high school player again.
After all, in the Punahou coach's day, and for any day prior to this season, there was no such thing as a shot clock in Hawaii high school basketball. The teams at Radford's James Alegre Invitational played with the clock for three days, and fans got to see a quicker tempo than usual.
Punahou won the final in a 58-54 nail biter over Kalaheo, giving the two powerhouse programs a split of two games in the span of two weekends. The Buffanblu, even with a number of first-time starters, were crisp offensively and swarmed all over the Mustangs from end to end.
Guard Dalton Hilliard thrived on the quick tempo. Forward Kameron Steinhoff showed his rugged play in the post with 11 rebounds, and also demonstrated some new-found 3-point range. The 6-foot-5 junior drilled a pair of treys during Punahou's key third-quarter run.
All in all, though, the tourney will be best remembered for the shot clock.
"I didn't think I would enjoy it so much," Hale said. "I know the kids enjoyed it, too. It creates a sense of urgency. I loved it even though we had a lead on Kalaheo and they weren't forced to foul, and we knew we had to shoot. I liked it all the way around. Not one bad thing about it. I think it's the way to go. I think Hawaii basketball needs it."
Critics of the shot clock maintain that the ebb and flow of a high school game should not be dictated by influences from the pro or college ranks. However, it certainly seemed that at the higher level of local prep hoops, players have the skill level to deal with the shot clock.
"I just think that's how basketball should be played and that's how fans like to see it played," Kamehameha coach Jesse Nakanishi said. His Warriors also played in the Alegre Invitational, using their high-pressure man-to-man defense along with a 2-3 zone.
"It's uptempo and a lot of excitement. For me, it takes the stall out of the game. I think it rewards tough defense, which we stress. It's another means of forcing a turnover," he said.
Conversely, if a shot clock is in play, there are teams that simply sit in the paint and let opponents shoot bricks from the perimeter.
"Then that's part of the strategy," Nakanishi said. "It will still allow for more basketball to be played instead of people holding the ball. You either have to penetrate or shoot, and if they sit in a zone. you're picking your poison, I feel. A lot of people would know that they have to become good shooters, and they have to take the reps and reps and reps. So I see the positive. I would be a proponent for it. We want to prepare them for the next level. Freshmen in college (from Hawaii) don't know how to react sometimes with the shot clock."
Nakanishi would love to see the shot clock implemented, if not at the state level, then at least in the ILH.
"As a league, we could have a shot clock and still adjust to playing without it in the state tournament. You see us playing in the 40s and 30s a lot of times (in the ILH), and that's because there's no shot clock," he said.
Athletes of the week
Cheyenne Lishman, Kalaheo basketball:
the junior scored 27 points against Kamehameha and 30 against Punahou at the James Alegre Invitational.
Sarah Robinson, Moanalua softball:
fired a perfect game and went 3-for-4 against Kaimuki. She struck out seven.
Beau Albrechtson, Kaimuki:
scored 22 points with 11 rebounds against University.
Daniel Arruda, Roosevelt: scored 19 points, including 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range, against Saint Louis.
Noah Chong-Viernes, University: scored 17 points against McKinley.
Daniel Colon, Kaimuki: tallied 15 points, including 4-for-4 shooting from the 3-point arc, against Farrington.
Dalton Hilliard, Punahou: scored 16 points as the Buffanblu defeated Kalaheo in the Alegre Invitational final.
Matthew Hoover, Radford: pumped in 21 points, including 4-for-9 shooting from 3-point range, against Punahou.
Arnold Kidder, Nanakuli: scored 18 points against Damien.
Nainoa Lessary, McKinley: tallied 19 points against University.
Kai Lima, Damien: scored 16 points against Nanakuli.
Spencer McLachlin, Punahou: amassed 26 points on 12-for-17 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds against Radford.
Kameron Steinhoff, Punahou: had 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and just one turnover against Radford and scored 16 against Kalaheo.
Chyanne Alejado, Kapolei:
scored three goals against Waianae.
Isaac Grotenuis, Christian Liberty: scored three goals against Keaau.
Keoki Haole, Kapolei: tallied three goals against Waialua.
Colin Lund, Mililani: scored three goals against Waianae.
Kanani Adams, Kamehameha:
hit a game-winning, two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh as the Warriors edged Punahou.
Tierra Cuba, Mililani: went 4-for-4 against Campbell.
Kiane Dalit, Sacred Hearts: went 3-for-5 in a win over Kamehameha.
Makani Duhaylonsod, Mililani: went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs against Campbell.
Joslyn Eugenio, Sacred Hearts: went 3-for-5 against Kamehameha.
Moki Kaiahua, Kahuku: went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs against Anuenue.
Kaohi Kalili, Kahuku: went 3-for-4 against Anuenue.
Chelsea Kamai, Sacred Hearts: went 3-for-4 with a home run and triple vs. Kamehameha.
Raecha Kaukuahikaua, Sacred Hearts: went 3-for-5 against Kamehameha.
Jenna Kon, Castle: belted a three-run homer and was the winning pitcher against Kalani. She struck out six.
Rayna Okimoto, Aiea: went 3-for-4 with two doubles against Kapolei.
Miya Quinn, Mid-Pacific: socked a two-run homer and drove in four runs vs. Maryknoll.
Courtney Senas, Mililani: went 3-for-4 against Campbell.
Brittany Tokunaga, Kailua: went 3-for-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs against Roosevelt.
Tatiana Vaimoui, Kahuku: went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs against Anuenue.
Amanda Vegas, Kailua: went 3-for-3 against Roosevelt.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: