GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kamehameha-Hawaii's Hogan Rosehill tried to gather a pass while being guarded by Moanalua's Stevie Austin last night.
BOYS DIVISION I SEMIFINALS
KS-Hawaii, Punahou in championship game
Steady contributions from up and down its roster carried Kamehameha-Hawaii into some uncharted territory.
The Warriors of the Big Island earned entry into their first boys Division I basketball title game behind early hot shooting, and withstood a second-half push by Moanalua to claim a 51-45 semifinal win and an 8 p.m. matchup with Punahou in the Hawaiian Airlines/ HHSAA title contest tonight at the Blaisdell Arena.
The Buffanblu pulled away for a 61-35 win over Konawaena in the earlier semifinal.
Kealoha Kramer scored 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and Colton Collins added 12 to highlight the Warriors' 50-percent shooting night. Guard Isaiah Kekaualua assisted on five baskets and set the tone for Kamehameha-Hawaii's 11 assists on 19 field goals.
Kamehameha-Hawaii's leading scorer and rebounder, Hogan Rosehill, was hampered with foul trouble and scored just two points in the first half. Still the Warriors jumped out to a 10-2 lead and secured a 32-22 halftime margin with the help of two 3-pointers by reserve Cody Waltjen.
The lead was cut to four at the end of the third quarter when Na Menehune guard Stevie Austin was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted all three free throws. Kamehameha-Hawaii then went on a 9-4 run to open the final period and held on against a fervent Na Menehune press.
"It's the heart of a warrior, man, heart of a warrior," Kamehameha-Hawaii coach Nelson Wong said. "I'm privileged not so much to take a team that far, but to work with the guys I work with."
It was a tough end to a championship run for a Moanalua team that upset then-No. 1 Kalaheo in the Oahu Interscholastic Association tournament, and topped tournament seed Iolani in the state quarterfinals Thursday.
In stark contrast to the elation from its win over the Raiders, some foul news greeted Moanalua just 6 minutes before tip-off.
Coach Greg Tacon got a phone call that 6-foot-3 forward Marcus Monroe, the team's second-leading scorer, was academically ineligible for the game.
"It put us in an emotional quandary," Tacon said. "Then we dug a hole for ourselves, they were hitting some shots.
"And obviously we weren't knocking our shots down," he added, referring to Moanalua's 32.7 percent shooting.
Austin overcame foul trouble to score 18 points and dish out eight assists, but Moanalua was held to two points outside of its starting five in its shortened rotation.
"It feels good (getting this far), but we didn't get to our final destination," Austin said. "It's bittersweet."
Ryan Hua stole a Kamehameha-Hawaii inbounds pass and drove the length of the court to cut the deficit to 47-43 with 1 minute, 44 seconds left.
But Rosehill responded by beating the Na Menehune press downcourt and putting home a layup, and followed by grabbing two huge rebounds to help squash the Moanalua comeback hopes before he fouled out with 42 seconds left.
"It was tough (to be limited), but I just had to depend on my teammates, and they came out and we won," Rosehill said. "We have until 12:00 tonight, then forget about it. Come out tomorrow, lace up our shoes, and hopefully get the win."
Austin put in 10 points before halftime, but picked up his third personal foul on a charge with 1 minute left in the second quarter.
At Neal Blaisdell Arena
KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAII -- Russell Kackley 4, Isaiah Kekaualua 9, Kealoha Kramer 14, Colton Collins 12, Hogan Rosehill 4, Kulani Soares 1, Cody Waltjen 7, Kawika Cazimero 0.
MOANALUA -- Josiah Kauhola 6, Randy Starks 2, Shane Aquino 0, Stevie Austin 18, Josh Kure 6, Ryan Hua 11, Shawn Richey 2, A.J. Kirkman 0, Maurice Allen 0.
3-point goals -- Kamehameha-Hawaii 4 (Waltjen 2, Kramer, Kekaualua), Moanalua 3 (Austin 2, Hua).
Punahou 61, Konawaena 35
Manti Te'o scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Kameron Steinhoff added 11 points and eight boards to lead Punahou back to the title game.
Punahou (13-3), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up, dominated the Big Island Interscolastic Federation champion Wildcats (15-2) in all phases in the first half and jumped out to a commanding 32-7 lead in the second quarter. Konawaena was held to 20.8 percent shooting in the half and 30 for the game.
Konawaena kept the deficit at around 20 for most of the second half, which essentially served as a warmup for the Buffanblu in their showdown with BIIF runner-up Kamehameha-Hawaii tonight.
Dalton Hilliard hit a 3-pointer and Te'o's putback pushed Punahou out to a 15-5 lead, and the rout was on.
Punahou lost to Kaimuki in the state title game last year.
At Neal Blaisdell Arena
PUNAHOU -- Dalton Hilliard 9, Robert Toma 12, Manti Teo 16, Kameron Steinhoff 11, Trevor Crabb 4, Matthew Feldman 0, Shane Yoshiyama 2, Henry Cassiday 4, Kimo Makaula 0, Dane Okamura 1, Kai Gaddis 2, Casey Shibuya 0.
KONAWAENA -- Hookela Liftee 4, Kalli Kunitomo 3, Kekoa Carvalho 10, Darryl Milana 10, Austonn Lazoff 0, Marcel Awa-Williams 0, Frank Ah Tou 0, Sam Unger 3, Thomas Deniz 0, Daniel Royce 2, Tim Johnson 0, Tovega Uulopa 0, Dakota Smith 0, Joshua Kalili0, Dane DeMello 3.
3-point goals -- Punahou 3 (Toma 2, Hilliard), Konawaena 1 (Unger).
Iolani 81, Kamehameha-Maui 60
Kamehameha 46, Mililani 32
Kahuku 65, Campbell 62