HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Punahou's Kameron Steinhoff eluded Jordan Clarke on his way to the basket last night.
Punahou’s winning streak ends
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For more than a half, the Punahou Buffanblu seemed to be the best team in the St. Francis Merv Lopes Classic.
In the end, it was Maryland's No. 3-ranked team, Our Lady of Good Counsel, that ended Punahou's 10-game win streak. The visitors got 24 points from smooth-shooting Jordan Clarke to rally past Hawaii's No. 1 team 66-60.
Punahou forward Kameron Steinhoff was impeccable in defeat with 27 points on 12-for-14 shooting, including a pair of NBA-range 3-pointers.
"We did our best, but it didn't come out the way we want it to," said Steinhoff, who has made an amazing recovery since surgery to remove a ruptured spleen three months ago. "Even though it's early and (ILH) season hasn't started yet, we found our identity."
One of Punahou's three wins at the tourney included an upset of Nevada's No. 1 team, Bishop Gorman.
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The difference between good and great sometimes comes down to basketball IQ.
That's why Our Lady of Good Counsel got plenty of good advice in a 66-60 comeback win over Punahou last night in the final of the St. Francis Merv Lopes Classic. A crowd in excess of 1,000 saw the Falcons rally from a nine-point deficit by upping the intensity on defense, but more importantly, they solved the riddle of Punahou's 1-3-1 zone.
OLGC did what Bishop Gorman, Nevada's top-ranked team, failed to do in a semifinal loss to Punahou on Friday. Jordan Clarke was a major beneficiary of that solution. The 6-foot-7 swingman scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half for the Falcons (9-1). Clarke also pulled down 12 rebounds.
Falcons coach Mike Hibbs counseled his team to use penetration and backdoor cuts to catch Punahou's rotating defenders out of position. The Falcons didn't execute, however, until the second half.
"Coach told us the same thing in the beginning. You gotta attack from the corners and attack diagonally," said Clarke, who said he turned down more than 50 scholarship offers and committed to Vermont recently. "But our defense is where it turned around."
The momentum changed in the third quarter as OLGC extended its man-to-man defense to fullcourt and forced six Punahou turnovers. "We want to get up and go," Clarke said. "Punahou, that's a real good team. It wasn't about talent. It was about heart."
Our Lady, ranked No. 3 in Maryland, improved to 12-1. Punahou, the No. 1 team in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, lost its first game of the season after 10 wins.
"Punahou's extremely well coached," Hibbs said. "They're fundamentally sound and they don't beat themselves."
Kameron Steinhoff scored 27 points on 12-for-14 shooting. Manti Te'o added 13 points off the bench.
The first half was a battle won by Punahou's fleet of reserves, who outscored OLGC's bench 11-6. The Buffanblu took a 9-7 lead on Steinhoff's first 3-pointer, a 24-footer. Te'o scored six points off the bench in the first quarter, taking the ball to the rack against OLGC's 7-foot center, Julius Omoniuhie.
Early in the second quarter, OLGC switched out of a man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone. Steinhoff's second trey gave Punahou a 22-13 lead, but the Falcons went on a 12-4 run. Reserve forward Sean Wright hit a pair of treys to help OLGC pull within 26-25 with 2:57 left in the second quarter. However, Punahou finished the half with an 8-1 blitz.
Steinhoff's reverse layup gave the Buffanblu a 34-26 lead going into the break. The senior forward scored 18 in the first half.
OLGC continued to extend its defense fullcourt and gave Punahou some trouble. Falcon guards broke down the Punahou zone and got easy layups for Clarke, who also nailed a 3-pointer as OLGC opened the lead. After Clarke hit a layup and Rodney Glasgow turned a steal into a bucket, the visitors had a 60-53 lead with 3:21 to play.
The Buffanblu got a 3-pointer from Dalton Hilliard and a free throw by Te'o to get within 61-59 with 2:01 remaining, but got no closer. Punahou was within 63-60 when Sean McFadden hustled for an offensive rebound off a missed foul shot by Te'o with 36 seconds left, but the Buffanblu threw away the ensuing inbound pass.
OLGC put the game away with three free throws by Glasgow in the final 23 seconds.
Waiakea 50, Leilehua 38
Collin Cabatbat and Mitchel Shintani scored 11 points each to lead the Warriors (9-5). T.J. Yasuhara added 10 points. Kolwin Dixon led the Mules with 15 points.
Thousand Oaks (Calif.) 59, No. 3 Kamehameha-Hawaii 57
Ian Douglas scored 18 points and Cyrus Kiani added 11 and seven boards for the Lancers. Hogan Rosehill led the Warriors (9-2) with 16 points and six caroms.
Otay Ranch (Calif.) 75, Mililani 74, OT
Anthony Cosentino scored 20 points, while Marvin Wright amassed 18 points and 12 rebounds to power the Mustangs. Alex Perez added 16 points. Jon Keen led Mililani with 19 points and 11 boards. Scott Burns tallied 17 points, Nick DeMusis had 14 and Aaron Lehanko scored 12.
Hanford (Calif.) 60, Hilo 58
D.J. Jackson had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Eric Mechtly added 10 points for the Bullpups. Chan Spikes led Hilo with 14 points. Jose Lizardi added 12.
Kahuku 70, Kamehameha II 51
Jack Damuni scored 15 points and Jray Galeai tallied 12 for the Red Raiders. Kai Rilliet led the Warriors with 20 points on 5-for-22 shooting.
Dorsey (Calif.) 59, Iolani 54
Iolani completed its fourth and final day at the Arby's Classic in Bristol, Tenn., with a loss to Dorsey (Calif.).