ILH DIVISION I BOYS
Raiders take down top-ranked Buffanblu
The best prime-time series this winter may actually be a live drama in a Honolulu neighborhood.
Taylor Mounts, for now, has the role of best lead. The 6-foot-5 senior hustled for a layup as time expired as second-ranked Iolani edged No. 1 Punahou 43-41 last night before a capacity crowd at the Raiders gym.
It was just another last-second finish in the arch rivalry between the two Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools. A month ago in Radford's James Alegre Invitational title game, Punahou won a thriller 53-52 on a game-ending layup by Dalton Hilliard.
This time, Mounts came up with the clutch play to end a game that seesawed back and forth with 11 lead changes. Punahou's Kameron Steinhoff tied the game at 41 after sinking a low-post bucket with 49 seconds left. Iolani burned three timeouts before setting up the final play with 18 seconds left.
As the clock ticked below 10 seconds, Kela Marciel dribbled to the right side and dished to Pablo Warner, who drove toward the paint. He collided with Steinhoff as his shot tumbled off the glass. Mounts' first putback try was way off, but he followed his own miss with the winning bucket and less than 1 second left.
Iolani coach Mark Mugiishi was more than pleased with his team's final-play execution.
"It didn't look pretty, but it's a defining moment for our team," he said. "I'm just happy that we followed directions. That's something that we hadn't been doing. We took a quantum leap today."
Punahou coach Dan Hale was stunned about the non-call.
"It was a charge. That was the play we had set up, to step in when they drive," he said.
Steinhoff was insistent that the collision with Warner should have drawn a whistle.
"I had perfect position. The refs didn't call it," the 6-foot-5 senior said. "The guy ran me over. I don't know what else to say."
Warner, who had eight points, thought the non-call was the right call.
"He wasn't there on time. It was pretty fast, but I didn't even go that hard. I got tripped," he said.
Steinhoff had 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting and five boards to lead Punahou (10-2 overall).
Mounts finished with 14 points on 7-for-13 shooting and added 10 rebounds to help the smaller Raiders battle almost evenly with the visitors on the boards. Punahou had a 22-21 edge in rebounding.
"Taylor played well," Hale added. "Against Iolani, you've gotta make free throws. You can't have turnovers against a very disciplined team. Iolani will find a way to win."
Freshman Trevyn Tulonghari added 14 points off the bench for Iolani (6-6 overall), which hadn't played since returning from the Arby's Classic in Tennessee. Tulonghari's 3-pointer at the end of the first half gave the Raiders a 21-19 lead.
Both teams employed 1-3-1 defenses, with a mix of zone and traps. Punahou's bugaboo, turnovers, were rampant in the first half with 10. However, the Buffanblu fared better after intermission and had no giveaways in the final quarter.
The problem in the fourth stanza, however, was free-throw shooting. Down 35-32, Steinhoff hit one of his two foul shots, and Henry Cassiday hustled after the miss for a quick putback to tie the game at 35 with 4:47 remaining.
Moments later, guard Robbie Toma made one of his two free-throw tries to give Punahou a 36-35 lead with 4:12 to go.
Buckets by Mounts and Tulonghari gave Iolani a 39-36 lead, but Steinhoff answered with a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game at 39 with 3:09 left.
The Raiders went up 41-39 on Warner's layup with 2:24 to go. After taking an elbow to the gut, Steinhoff then missed two free throws with 1:38 remaining.
One way or another, it just wasn't Punahou's night.
"I give 'em props. They finished the play," Steinhoff said of Iolani's game-winner.
"We gotta do a better job against pressure defense and identify mismatches better," Hale said. "We rebounded decently, but Iolani was up for it. We have to go out there and play hard. Next week's going to be tough and we gotta move on."
Iolani also got a nice boost off the bench from sophomore Jarrett Arakawa, who had four rebounds and two steals.
"I'm proud of our rebounding," Mugiishi said. "Jarrett had a huge game. He took three charges."
At Iolani H.S. gym
PUNAHOU--Dalton Hilliard 2, Robbie Toma 1, Matt Feldman 0, Sean McFadden 0, Shane Yoshiyama 0, Henry Cassiday 7, Kimo Makaula 2, Manti Te'o 2, Kameron Steinhoff 19, Trevor Crabb 8, Casey Shibuya 0.
IOLANI--Kela Marciel 3, Andrew Skalman 0, Nick Christman 0, Trevyn Tulonghari 14, Lionel Fujioka 4, Berton Wong 0, Bricen McCartney 0, Pablo Warner 8, Taylor Mounts 14, Jarrett Arakawa 0.
3-point goals--Punahou 3 (Steinhoff 2, Cassiday), Iolani 3 (Tulonghari 2, Marciel).