Kahuku forces another game


POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2009

Famed Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray used to say “;Let's play two!”; with glee during the team's doubleheader baseball games.

Well, if the first four contests between Kaimuki and Kahuku are any indication, area basketball fans should be downright giddy for tomorrow's rematch. After dramatically splitting the last two games—both in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs—the two teams will face off for a fifth time tomorrow to decide OIA supremacy. Tip-off is 6:30 p.m. at Radford.

In front of a raucous crowd in the McKinley High School gym, Kahuku forced tomorrow's winner-take-all game by staging an entertaining, come-from-behind, 45-41 win over Kaimuki yesterday. Despite trailing by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders avenged their only OIA loss of the season by topping Kaimuki.

In a contest in which no team led by more than seven points and that featured four lead changes, three ties and great basketball, Kahuku pulled ahead by closing the game with a 13-2 run over the final 4 minutes.

“;Our guys came back, fought back,”; said an emotional Kahuku coach Hiram Akina after the game. “;They got down a little bit, but they just fought back. I was really proud of our guys.”;

Kaimuki's Gabriel Stietzel made four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 16 points. Kahuku had just one player score in double figures (Kona Schwenke's 10 points), but the Red Raiders showed their balance by putting eight players in the scoring column.

Yesterday's game was the fourth matchup between the two schools since Jan. 2. Kahuku won both regular-season meetings, but Kaimuki handed Kahuku its first OIA loss of the season when the Bulldogs bested the top-ranked Red Raiders in the OIA Division I playoffs last Saturday.

That loss forced Kahuku to come back up through the losers' bracket in the new double-elimination playoff format. With a 56-43 win over Kalaheo on Wednesday, the Red Raiders earned another shot at Kaimuki.

And they didn't waste their opportunity.

With emotional, boisterous fans for each team book-ending the furious action, the two teams battled like juggernauts that are familiar with one another. Each team gave the other its best punch, and each team responded in kind.

Kaimuki took a six-point lead early in the second quarter, but Kahuku quickly erased that deficit by hitting back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers for its first lead of the game. As Kaimuki floundered late in the second quarter—the Bulldogs blew two wide-open, uncontested layups—the Red Raiders extended their lead to seven, 19-12, just before the halftime buzzer.

In the second half, Kaimuki countered with a 14-4 run early into the fourth quarter that gave the Bulldogs a seven-point lead.

But sloppy ballhandling and seven turnovers in the final 11 possessions cost Kaimuki as Kahuku's Schwenke, Christian Feagai and Jray Galeai awakened just in time for the thrilling finale. The three scored 11 of Kahuku's final 13 points.

“;We've just got to follow through,”; said Kaimuki senior guard David Taulung, who finished with 10 points but seven turnovers.


Kahuku (15-1)613111545
Kaimuki (12-4)10321741

KAHUKU—Mikeli Damuni 4, Jray Galeai 9, Irwin Ah-Hoy 8, Aulola Tonga 3, Mua Malufau 0, Sage Kaka 0, Kohl Nauahi 0, Nehoa Akina 5, Shairone Thompson 4, Kona Schwenke 10, Christian Feagai 2.

KAIMUKI—Tevin Nishiyama 0, Rafael Vares 0, David Taulung 10, Gabriel Stietzel 16, Jason Nutter 0, Ryan Kakitani 5, Clay Montiho 2, Elijah Morita 0, Chad Kaaihue 0, Desmond Tautofi 7, Kelly Tobin 1.

3-point goals—Kahuku 4 (Ah-Hoy 2, Akina, Tonga), Kaimuki 5 (Stietzel 4, Taulung).


OIA Boys White championship

Kailua 65, Castle 54
The Surfriders fed off of an impressive first half to overtake the Knights and claim the OIA White title.

Dylan Farias scored a game-high 20 points for Kailua, followed by Kenny Ellis' 15 points.

Kailua (13-2)1717151665
Castle (12-3)1013141754

KAILUA—Chevy Mikaele 0, Calen Friel 1, Rhys Nakakura 0, Kauila Miller 7, Dylan Farias 20, Kenny Ellis 15, Corey Lau 10, Ali'i Kaiama 12, Tesi Fisilau 0, Jordan Decorte 0.

CASTLE—Michael Santos 8, Russell Ige 2, Nick Tuamoheloa 11, Isaiah Tilton 17, Brent Roberts 0, K.J. Aipia 8, Jordan Aleki 8.

3-point goals—Kailua 2 (Farias, Lau), Castle 5 (Tilton 4, Tuamoheloa).