Iolani boys go into the zone to throw off ILH opponents early in the season
There's always a little something special about an Iolani-Punahou competition.
The Raiders and Buffanblu are battling for first place in Interscholastic League of Honolulu basketball.
What made Iolani's 43-41 win over Punahou on Friday more intriguing than usual was the way Raiders coach Mark Mugiishi employed a 1-3-1 defense. Punahou used the same look, but Iolani's had a lot of tactical differences.
"We rotate differently. We don't have as much size (as Punahou), so we have to do that," Mugiishi said. "We mix up our defense. We switch off a lot more at times, use more trapping and different pick-up points."
Mugiishi's postgame point about his team's increasing ability to follow directions wasn't lost on Taylor Mounts, who won the game with a putback at the buzzer.
"He's right," the 6-foot-5 senior said. "Mostly every game, we were up, but in the second half, we lost in the end 'cause we didn't listen to everything he says."
Iolani, now 2-0 in league play, is listening quite well now. The Raiders moved up to No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10 this week.
Free throws are fundamental
While a growing number of young players spend more time practicing their dunks than their fundamentals, at least two teams are proving that concentration on the basics still matters.
In a key Big Island game on Saturday, Kamehameha-Hawaii made 22 of its 24 free-throw tries in a 61-58 overtime win over Konawaena. The Wildcats shot below 60 percent from the line.
Not far away, Kealakehe played at Waiakea and missed 21 free-throw attempts in a 24-point loss. The visiting Waveriders shot 2-for-23 from the foul line. Is it just a matter of concentration?
KS-Hawaii's accuracy at home wasn't entirely surprising, but when the Warriors traveled across the island to play Kohala earlier in the week, they shot just 7-for-19 from the line. Are long distances killing free-throw accuracy?
Maybe. Kealakehe is almost 100 miles from Waiakea, a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
The longest distance between schools on Oahu? Kahuku to Waianae, a distance of 52.7 miles without the rise and descent in elevation that a trip across the Big Island entails.
Waimea, which sits roughly in the middle of the voyage, is 2,669 feet above sea level.
Because of the damage to Hisaoka Gym from last year's earthquake, the Kohala boys basketball team has continued to host games at Hawaii Prep. The team travels 28 miles to HPA for each home game.
On the air
KUMU-AM 1500 will broadcast boys basketball games tomorrow and Friday. Tomorrow, the Kamehameha-Punahou game will air at 7 p.m. On Friday, the Kamehameha-Saint Louis game will be broadcast at 8 p.m.