Kamehameha earns
state tourney berth

By Dave Reardon

Kamehameha's blahs from the football season are officially over. The Warriors beat visiting Punahou 41-22 last night to capture the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's third spot in next week's state tournament.

The Warriors had early command of the ILH football battles -- and were considered by many the best team in the state. But in the end they fell short and didn't make the state tournament in that sport.

"Some of the guys who played football didn't feel too good about how things went in the fall and it took some time to get out of that," Kamehameha basketball coach Darryl Gabriel said. "But these guys held together and became a good team. It's a compliment to our seniors how they got over the disappointment of the football season."

Senior Caleb Spencer, the "heart and soul" of the basketball team, according to Gabriel, kept the Warriors together despite early-season injuries and a tough ILH schedule.

The slate got even harder when Kamehameha had to fight its way through the ILH postseason tournament to join league champion Iolani and Saint Louis in the state tourney.

"It would have been nice to have the time off," said Gabriel, whose team beat his alma mater for the third time this season last night.

Spencer, who led the Warriors with 12 points, disagreed.

"We like adversity. I think we play best that way," Spencer said. "Like in practice, Coach puts us under extra pressure, like not calling fouls (on the scout team), giving them seven guys, or giving us scenarios like one minute left and we're down by eight."

There wasn't much adversity last night for the Warriors, who improved to 12-4 in the regular season and postseason. They led 12-4 after a first half in which neither team looked worthy of playing among the state's best next week.

But Kamehameha's offense matched its defense at the outset of the second half, and the Warriors hit six of their first seven shots from the floor in the third quarter. Kamehameha led 29-8 after the third quarter.

Aaron Kahaloa scored all nine of his points after halftime, and Eric Shaver finished with seven in addition to five steals.

Gabriel said Kahaloa, who was banged up from football, and Shaver, who had a sprained ankle, have come on of late and could make the Warriors a force next week.

"If we can get some offense to go with our defense, maybe we can get some separation," he said. "That's what happened tonight."

Punahou (8-8) coach Greg Tacon said the Warriors defense -- which allowed just one basket, by Reid Flower, in the first half -- was the key.

"Their length brings dividends to them through their matchup zone. They put you in uncomfortable positions if you don't do something quickly. But we didn't help ourselves because we missed so many open shots," Tacon said. "When you don't make shots, such is life."

Andrew Amigleo led Punahou with nine points, all after halftime.

At Kekuhaupio Gym
Punahou (8-8) 2 2 4 14 -- 38
Kamehameha (12-4) 8 4 17 12 -- 41

PUNAHOU -- Reid Fowler 4, Michael Lam 0, Jason Sakata 2, Stanley Fisher 2, Drew Monahan 0, Andrew Amigleo 9, Scott Otake 0, Daniel Bertao 0, Chris Friedemann 3, Brian Zane 1, Brenton Lee 1, Kasey Ko 0.
KAMEHAMEHA -- Parker Bode 2, Jacob Bode 1, Eric Shaver 7, Galen Santana 0, Jarrett Day 0, Caleb Spencer 12, Aaron Kahaloa 9, Kawika Hepa 4, Waika Spencer 6, Aaron Aiu 0, Willy Melemai 0.
3-point goals -- Punahou 1 (Amigleo). Kamehameha 0.

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