Buffanblu bounce back by toppling Crusaders
The merry-go-round atop the Interscholastic League of Honolulu continues.
Just four days after the then-undefeated Buffanblu were knocked off by current No. 1 Iolani, No. 3 Punahou bounced back to defeat No. 2 Saint Louis 67-53 last night at McCabe Gym.
Spencer McLachlin poured in a game-high 23 points and Miah Ostrowski overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points and six assists as the Buffanblu (6-1) moved a half-game in front of idle Iolani for first place in the ILH. Saint Louis (5-2) dropped a game back.
"This was a good win for us, especially against such a quality team," Punahou coach Dan Hale said. "These guys showed a lot of heart to bounce back as well as they did."
McLachlin finished 9-for-10 from the field and added eight rebounds and four steals as he got the best of Saint Louis big man Scott Smith. The 6-foot-7 Smith finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but spent much of the second half visibly frustrated, even getting whistled for a technical foul midway through the final quarter.
"It's fun to bump with (Smith) and play amongst the trees with a guy his size," McLachlin said. "He's more physical and I'm a little more finesse, but we played good defense on him, especially in the second half."
The Buffanblu started the game in a 1-2-2 full-court pressure defense that forced the Crusaders into eight first-quarter turnovers. McLachlin was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the opening 8 minutes as Punahou took a 17-12 lead.
After a minor adjustment, the Crusaders began to handle the Buffanblu pressure, and started pounding the ball down low. Smith made all three of his shots in the quarter, with the last one giving the Crusaders their first lead of the game with 3 minutes left. Saint Louis closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 32-26 halftime lead.
"We weren't really pushing the ball much in the first half, and I've got to do a better job of focusing from the start," said Ostrowski, who scored just five points in the first half on 2-for-9 shooting.
A basket by Lucas Gonsalves gave the Crusaders a nine-point lead, their largest of the game, with 3 minutes left in the third quarter before the Buffanblu caught fire. McLachlin and Dalton Hilliard buried back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ostrowski burned the defense for two fast-break layups, the second coming with just 1 second left in the period, as Punahou closed with a 10-0 run to take a 44-43 lead into the final quarter.
"Henry (Cassidy) and some of our younger guys got in there and really played well," Hale said. "Spencer then started sealing off the middle and Miah got going and we were fortunate to get hot when we needed to."
The teams traded baskets to start the fourth quarter before Ostrowski nailed two straight 3's to start a 12-0 run that put the game out of reach. Punahou outscored the Crusaders 33-10 in the final 11 minutes.
"It's too short of a season to go into a slump, so this was big for us not only momentum-wise, but confidence-wise as well," McLachlin said.
At McCabe Gym
|Saint Louis (5-2)
PUNAHOU--Miah Ostrowski 21, Dalton Hilliard 4, Henry Cassiday 9, Kameron Steinhoff 6, Spencer McLachlin 23, Dane Okamura 2, Kyle Whitford 2, Ted Hawkins 0, Casey Shibuya 0, Robert Toma 0, Sean McFadden 0, Trevor Crabb 0, Kimo Makaula 0.
SAINT LOUIS--Ricksson Pacarro 2, Kulia Aiona 6, Scott Smith 17, Cole Shidaki 8, Solomana Aigamaua 2, Micah McClinton 8, Lucas Gonsalves 2, Jamison Miller 4, Michael Tuiloma 2, John Quindara 2.
3-point goals -- Punahou 4 (Ostrowski 2, Hilliard, McLachlin), Saint Louis 2 (McClinton 2).