HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Punahou tops New York team
The state's No. 1-ranked Punahou boys basketball team had all the answers last night as it countered every run the visiting St. Mary's team put together and held off the Gaels 81-75 to advance to the finals of the Punahou Basketball Tournament.
The Buffanblu never trailed in the game and led by as many as 18 points, but the New York team refused to quit.
"We were up by as much as 18 points and they cut the lead to seven points, but we never panicked and we stayed calm," said Punahou's Miah Ostrowski, who poured in a game-high 30 points.
The host team closed the first quarter with an 11-2 run and carried the advantage into the locker room, but the New York team struck back in the opening minutes of the second half with a 9-2 run to close the gap to 40-37. The Buffanblu struck back with a 6-0 run of their own to regain a nine-point advantage that they carried into the quarter break.
St. Mary's started the final quarter with a rare pick on Ostrowski that led the Gaels to convert one of two free throws off the break. Punahou regained the momentum with an 8-0 run that gave the Buffanblu their biggest lead of the game at 64-46. The Gaels countered with their own run, but ran out of time as they were forced to foul to stop the clock as time ran down.
"We did a good job playing our game tonight: rebounding, outleting, pushing the ball and attacking the basket," Punahou head coach Dan Hale said.
The Buffanblu's Spencer McLachlin and Dalton Hilliard finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
The Gaels' Byron Freeman tallied a team-high 27 points and teammate Edson Maitland added 21 points.
"They underestimated us tonight and we proved that we can play with the best of them," Ostrowski said.
Thompson 66, Word of Life 47
In a Division II matchup, the Sharks' Tristian Sealy and Kyle Kilborn led their team to a victory over the Firebands with 23 and 18 points, respectively.
Word of Life's Kamalu Kealoha drilled three treys en route to scoring his team-high 17 points and Aaron Tipoti added 12 points after attempting 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Punahou II 59, Mid-Pacific 44
The host school's Jeremy Kaimikaua scored 13 points as his team downed the Owls to advance to the tournament's consolation championship today.
Ryan Kurihara tallied 11 points for Mid-Pacific.
Villa Park 55, Benson 49
The two mainland teams put on a free-throw shooting clinic by each sinking at least 80 percent of their combined 47 attempts before the Spartans from California edged the Techmen from Oregon.
Villa Park's Drew Viney led the way scoring 33 points on 13-for-16 shooting from behind the charity stripe while opponent Jamar Johnson sank 13 of his 15 free-throw attempts en route to tallying his team-high 25 points.