Kahuku takes Red title


POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

The intensity continued to climb even as points came at a trickle.

In the end, Kahuku was able to wring just enough points out of the rims at Jim Alegre Gymnasium to outlast Kaimuki 39-36 and capture the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference championship last night.

The teams treated the packed house to a seesaw battle in their fifth meeting of the season, with the Red Raiders coming through in the final minutes to defeat the Bulldogs for the second time in a three-day span.

“;All five times it was a dogfight,”; Kahuku coach Hiram Akina said. “;We really work hard to finish games. We were prepared for this. I think the people had more fun watching us play. I enjoyed it from the sideline. It was awesome.”;

The win gave Akina his second OIA Red title in as many seasons, though with two different teams. He led Mililani to the championship a year ago, and the Red Raiders secured the OIA's seeded berth in this week's state tournament with last night's win.

This time Akina found the Red Raiders trailing 33-30 with less than 4 minutes left. Nehoa Akina, the coach's son, then drained a tough fall-away 3-pointer from the right side to tie the game and a midrange jumper by Irwin Ah-Hoy then gave Kahuku the lead for good with 1:04 left.

A controversial intentional foul call on Kaimuki with 33.4 seconds remaining contributed to four Kahuku free throws that extended the lead to six.

But Kaimuki refused to relent, as David Taulung hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to go. And after two missed free throws by Kahuku, Kaimuki guard Jason Nutter had an open look at the tying 3-pointer. But his shot banged off the rim, igniting a Red Raider celebration.

“;This was our second goal, to win the OIA championship,”; said Kahuku senior Jray Galeai, who tied for the team lead with nine points. “;It feels great that all the hard work has paid off, but we still have one more goal, so we have to hit the gym and get back to practice.”;

Kaimuki beat Kahuku 39-34 a week earlier to move into the championship game.

But Kahuku battled back through the double-elimination bracket and forced a decisive final with a 45-41 win on Thursday.

“;I was expecting it to be this kind of game,”; Kaimuki coach Kelly Grant said. “;I knew it was going to come down to the wire.”;


At Radford

Kaimuki (12-5)10127736
Kahuku (16-1)12612939

KAIMUKI—Ekolu Vares 0, Tevin Nishiyama 0, David Taulung 9, Elijah Morita 0, Jason Nutter 12, Ryan Kakitani 7, Clay Montiho 0, Gabriel Stietzel 1, Kelly Tobin 0, Desmond Tautofi 7.
KAHUKU—Mikeli Damuni 0, Jray Galeai 9, Irwin Ah-Hoy 4, Mua Malufau 0, Sage Kaka 0, Kohl Nauahi 0, Nehoa Akina 9, Jackson Kaka 0, Shairone Thompson 4, Kona Schwenke 7, Christian Feagai 6.
3-point goals—Kaimuki 5 (Taulung 2, Nutter 2, Kakitani), Kahuku 1 (Akina).

Punahou 52, Kamehameha-Hawaii 36