OIA RED PLAYOFFS
Kalaheo gets rematch with Kaimuki for title
The third-ranked Kalaheo boy's basketball team has failed to win the Oahu Interscholastic Association Championship in each of the past two seasons.
But after a convincing 69-56 victory last night over No. 9 Campbell in the second semifinal of the OIA Red Division tournament at McKinley's Student Council Gym, the Mustangs are just a win away from adding yet another blue and orange title banner to their already-crowded gymnasium wall.
With the win, Kalaheo advances to tomorrow night's championship game against Kaimuki -- the defending OIA champion -- at 7 p.m. at McKinley.
"It was a battle," said Kalaheo head coach Chico Furtado. "We had things going our way early and they battled back. You play good teams once you make it into the semifinals. You have to give it to them, they never gave up and kept battling."
Cheynne Lishman and Chase Moses each scored 15 points to lead the Mustangs. Lishman was on an early roll until he was hit in the forehead while driving toward the hoop, and played the remainder of the game with a large gash between his eyes.
"In the first quarter I kind of went off, but then I had that injury," Lishman said. "That kind of slowed me down, and I knew I wasn't going to score (much) more, so I figured I'd try to get my teammates involved. With me on the floor, they had confidence they could (manage), and we got a victory under our belt."
The Mustangs (12-2) sprinted to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but Campbell cut the deficit to 14-12, and ended the first period trailing 18-14.
The Sabers (10-4) hung in there and pulled to within one point of the lead, 22-21. But the Mustangs collaborated on a dominating 14-2 run that led to a commanding 36-23 halftime lead.
"Just before the half we were up 13 and when we started the third quarter they battled back," Furtado said. "Nothing's easy. We had to do some simple things like get the ball inside, not settle for 3s, and make layups. Then it got to a point where we just had to make some free throws (and executed.)"
The Sabers labored through the third period and worked the deficit down to 51-48 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Mustangs did not fold, and went on a 9-1 run to extend the lead to 60-50, and force Campbell to start fouling in desperation.
Jayden Delizo led the Sabers' charge on offense, keeping his squad in the contest with a game-high 25 points.
"Sometimes I harp on what we don't do well, but our guys played solid. I thought we played (guard Mike) Makinano pretty well and we handled all the pressure enough to win."
The Mustangs limited Makinano to 15 points, a far cry from the 27 he put up in last Saturday's quarterfinal win over Moanalua.
Kalaheo has just one day of practice to prepare for the defending champion Bulldogs. One additional motivating factor in the back of Kalaheo's collective mind will be the memory of legendary Mustangs coach Pete Smith, who passed away last year.
"Coach Smith is obviously a guy who has mentored me and a guy that I look up to a lot," Furtado said. "But this team, with three seniors, just wants to go out and win it for Kalaheo. Coach Pete was never about winning it for him. He was about winning it for the kids and for the school. I'm sure that's what he would want.
"Kaimuki's tough; we beat 'em twice (in the regular season), but any time you play a team three or four times, it's difficult. It's going to be a battle, and we'll have to be up to the test."
At McKinley H.S. gym
CAMPBELL--Mike Makinano 12, Michael McDonald 0, Jayden Delizo 25, Patrick Ward 10, Walter Daniels 4, Joseph Atimua 3, Terence Tafai 0, Rashaad Battle 2.
KALAHEO--Alika Kaanapu 0, Cody vonAppen 8, Koa Siliga 1, Taylor Jay 3, Larry Soto 0, Keano Bruhn 1, Bruce Andrews 2, Tyler Caswell 11, Cheynne Lishman 15, Chase Moses 15, Cliffton Pires 8, Aaron Fernandez 0, D.J. Chung 0, Deaux Burns 5.
3-point goals -- Campbell 4 (Delizo 2, Makinano, Atimua), Kalaheo 4 (Lishman 3, Jay).