OIA WHITE SEMIFINALS
McKinley gets a late basket from Diguc to beat Kaiser 57-56
Oliver Diguc just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The McKinley senior scored off a beautiful pass from Rey Vincent Enanoria with 22 seconds left and Jake Esteban missed a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining as the Tigers knocked off Kaiser 57-56 last night in an OIA White semifinal playoff game at Kaiser.
The Tigers advanced to tomorrow's championship game against Aiea at 5:30 p.m. at McKinley. The game will be televised on OC 16.
Diguc finished with 14 points and Nainoa Lessary led McKinley (8-5) with 16 points as the Tigers outscored the Cougars 33-23 in the second half to come from behind for the win.
"We just hung on for dear life," McKinley coach Bob Morikuni said. "We match up well with them and all three games we have played (against the Cougars) this season have been awesome."
McKinley trailed most of the game, but took its first lead since early in the second quarter with 5 minutes, 49 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Enanoria that made the score 50-49. The lead changed hands five more times as Kaiser's Andrew Wingert eventually converted two free throws with 50 seconds left to give Kaiser a 56-55 lead. The Tigers milked the clock before Enanoria drove into the lane and made a nice dish to Diguc, who converted the layup with 22 seconds left for the final score of the game.
"Anybody could have made that shot, but I was just lucky to be there," Diguc said. "I was just focused on the backboard and made sure it went in."
Kaiser had one last shot for the win, but Esteban, who led all scorers with 20 points, was just long on his 3-point attempt.
"We all just stuck together and believed in each other," said McKinley's Earvin Sione, who added eight points and 12 rebounds. "It came down to our defense and we just had to play tough."
Both of Kaiser's losses this season have come to McKinley. The Cougars (11-2) will play Farrington today in the Governors' gym at 5 p.m. for the White Division's third and final berth in the upcoming Division II state tournament that begins next Tuesday.
Last night's contest at times looked like a football game. Kaiser starter Kalua Noa was ejected midway through the first quarter after leaving the bench during a jump-ball tussle underneath the basket. Esteban and McKinley's Tilton Kaluna received double technical fouls for arguing with each other early in the second quarter as it was evident both teams were fired up for the game.
"It's sad that both teams got caught up in the heat of the moment and lost control at times," Morikuni said.
McKinley took a 15-12 lead after the first quarter, but the double technical at the start of the second quarter seemed to give new life to the Cougars. Esteban drilled a 3-pointer on the very next play and scored eight points during a 17-7 Kaiser run to end the half that gave the Cougars a 33-24 halftime lead.
Wingert finished with 17 points and six rebounds for the Cougars, who were outrebounded 36-22.
At Kaiser H.S. gym
MCKINLEY--Oliver Diguc 14, Tilton Kaluna 0, Earvin Sione 8, Jonathan Lee 8, Nainoa Lessary 16, Isaac Iuta 2, Bryce Ishikawa 1, Rey Vincent Enanoria 8.
KAISER--Jake Esteban 20, Kalani Calizar 0, TR Phillips 2, Kalua Noa 0, Andrew Wingert 17, Tyler Norden 7, Brannon Wong 0, Salele Aliifua 0, Patrick Towhy 3, Rayce Chun-Ming 7.
3-point goals -- McKinley 5 (Enanoria 2, Lessary 2, Diguc), Kaiser 6 (Esteban 3, Wingert 2, Twohy).
Aiea 67, Farrington 62
Josh Chung scored 15 points and James Buchanan added 12 as Na Alii overcame a late Governors rally to reach the OIA White championship.
Aiea took a 10-point lead into the final quarter and led by 12 with 2 minutes left when Farrington made it close.
Steven Kamano nailed two 3-pointers and Christian Hernandez added another as the Governors pulled to within three points with 21 seconds left.
Kamano was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 12 seconds left and made two of the three free throws to make it a one-point game, but Aiea's Jarred McKee answered with two of his own to push the lead back to three. Ryan Mora then nailed two more in the final second to seal the victory.
Kamano finished with 14 points and Hernandez 13 for the Governors, who outscored Aiea 38-28 in the second half to make it close.
At Kaiser H.S. gym
FARRINGTON--Jordan Ibana 0, Christian Hernandez 13, Dio Labayog 0, Oscar Carter 7, Steven Kamano 15, Bryson Tatupu-Leopoldo 4, Elijah Lesu 8, Joshua Wallace 0, Rey Bartian 9, Glenn Ernest 6, Cody Hua 0.
AIEA--Lofa Liilii 5, Ryan Mora 2, Jarred McKee 10, Alan Fonoti 0, Josh Chung 16, Eric James 5, James Buchanan 11, Aldodius Colquitt 2, Obie Woods 10, Miah Tausaga 2, Zack Hannemann 2, Kory Naeole 2, Spencer Rogers 0, Latupou Faumuina 0, Jordan Sakamoto 0.
3-point goals -- Farrington 4 (Hernandez 2, Kamano 2), Aiea 6 (Chung 2, McKee2 , Woods, James).