HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Talented Buffanblu beat all comers in their own tournament
They played not with anger, even as the visitors again goofed around in warm-ups.
Punahou, riding an early hot start, captured the Punahou Tournament last night with a 61-58 win over a talented Villa Park (Calif.) squad at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
Spencer McLachlin, a 6-foot-7 senior, amassed 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and led the Buffanblu on the glass. The returning Star-Bulletin All-State selection pulled down 15 rebounds as Punahou countered the bigger team.
"They're pretty tall," Punahou coach Dan Hale said. "There were no size mismatches for us, and Spencer was huge tonight. The middle was his."
Miah Ostrowski, another returning all-state player, added 14 points for Punahou.
"It feels good to accomplish this for our team, and also for the state. All the teams took us lightly," he said, referring to both St. Mary's (N.Y.) and Villa Park. "We could tell by their warm-ups, dunking off passes off the wall."
The Buffanblu (8-1), ranked No. 1 in last week's Star-Bulletin Top 10, got a huge boost from the bench. After the first quarter, Punahou's reserves outscored Villa Park's subs 18-1.
Henry Cassiday chipped in with nine points, and Kyle Whitford scored five big points in a key third-quarter run by the Buffanblu.
"Punahou is just very solid. They don't make many mistakes," Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said. "When you play well but lose, it makes you better. We'll work on gaining more composure. It was us against the world here. We need to execute better against the zone, and our (man-to-man) defense broke down a few times."
Drew Viney, a smooth 6-7 forward, scored 13 points for Villa Park (10-3). He sat out the first quarter as a disciplinary measure by Reynolds and shot 6-for-21. He grabbed eight rebounds and had four turnovers.
Guard Kertd Elisaldes, a slick ballhandler and streaky shooter, finished with 22 points. He drained four treys in the second half and teamed with Brian Law to keep the visitors on pace with the host Buffanblu.
Law, a 6-1 off-guard, finished with 16 points, nearly all from the perimeter.
The Buffanblu roared to a 10-0 lead against cold-shooting Villa Park, but the visitors attacked Punahou's 1-3-1 trap and pulled even before the half was over.
Punahou extended its lead in the third quarter on a pair of jumpers by Whitford, and pushed it to 54-47 after Dalton Hilliard hit a bank shot with 3:25 remaining in the game.
Villa Park chipped away and pulled within 56-55 on a trey and a layup by Law.
Punahou went up 59-55 after free throws by McLachlin and Whitford with 22 seconds left, but Elisaldes was fouled on a 3-point try with 11 seconds left. He sank all three shots to bring Villa Park within 59-58.
Ostrowski was fouled with 9.9 seconds left and hit his two free throws for a 61-58 lead. After a timeout, Viney heaved up a 22-foot try over two defenders at the right wing, but missed and time expired.
"Because of a small mistake I made, it kind of cost us the game," Viney said of his benching in the first quarter. He has signed to play at Oregon next season.
Benson Tech (Portland, Ore.) 70, St. Mary's (Manhasset, N.Y.) 62
Ameer Shamsud Din's 3-pointer capped a 22-5 run to give Benson Tech its first lead of the second half for a resounding comeback win.
Tech trailed 48-32 before rallying against the tired squad from New York. Shamsud Din finished with 13 points and Jamar Johnson pumped in 27 for Tech (3-5).
Marcos Tamares led St. Mary's (3-5) with 24 points. Byron Freeman added 19.
Punahou II 65, Thompson 57
Riley McKibbin poured in 23 points to lead the D-II Buffanblu over the Sharks. McKibbin missed his first seven free-throw attempts, but sank all six of them in the crucial final quarter as Punahou rallied from a 48-44 deficit. Marc Dacanay added 12 points for the Buffanblu (4-2).
Tristian Sealy, a transfer from Campbell, led Thompson (1-4) with 19 points. Kyle Kilborn added 12 and Taylor Bramwell had 10 for the OIA D-II team.
Mid-Pacific 65, Word of Life 46
Kellar Ellsworth led a balanced scoring attack as the young Owls claimed seventh place. Ellsworth scored 16 points, including 7-for-8 shooting from the foul line. Marcus Holyfield, a sophomore, added 13 points for MPI (8-3).
Aaron Tipoti led Word of Life with 15 points.