Iolani's Derrick Low dunked over Kamehameha's Walter Spencer last night in the Raiders' 53-48 semifinal win.

Saint Louis to face
Iolani for state title

The Crusaders pull away from Maui
and will meet the defending champion Raiders

Adachi key in Crusaders' quest for rare feat

By Nick Abramo

This is the one that counts the most.

Iolani may have knocked off Saint Louis twice during the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season, but that won't really matter in tonight's final of the Hawaiian Airlines Boys State Basketball Championships.

State semis

Yesterday's results,
at Blaisdell Arena

Saint Louis 59, Maui 49
Iolani 53, Kamehameha 48

The Raiders will try to become the first team since Moanalua in 1996-97 to win back-to-back titles. The Crusaders are attempting to become the first school to win championships in football and basketball in the same school year since Kamehameha turned the trick in 1975-76.

Saint Louis secured its berth first with a hard-fought 59-49 win over Maui last night at Blaisdell Arena. It was Iolani's turn in the second semifinal. The defending state champion Raiders took care of rival Kamehameha 53-48 to set up tonight's game at 8.

For a while, it appeared the Crusaders might not live up to their end of the bargain. A 15-6 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth opened up a close game with the neighbor island school.

"We had a small lead at the half, so I said to the boys, 'Let's come out and be aggressive on offense and defense and try to go up by eight or 10 and gain control of it,' " Crusaders coach Delbert Tengan said. "We knew we had to take them inside and bear down on them with guys like Desmond (Hanohano), Wilson (Afoa), Timo (Paepule) and Tavita (Thompson)."

Saint Louis (14-3) led 30-28 with 3:20 left in the third quarter, and that's when both teams decided to start kicking their running games into high gear and go all out. Undeniably, the Crusaders had more left in their tank during crunch time.

Keao Monteilh drilled a 22-foot trey and B.J. Batts grabbed a loose ball and dropped in a layup to start the pivotal scoring spree. Paepule let loose with a clutch 12-foot baseline jumper and Hanohano and Afoa began to take control underneath the basket as Saint Louis built its largest lead of the game to that point, 39-32, at the end of three periods.

Saint Louis' Jonah Lakatani picked up a loose ball after Maui's Maafu Finau fell down in the Crusaders' 59-49 win last night.

Hanohano, Afoa and Jason Rivers also began to neutralize Maui's front three of Maafu Finau, Tevita Finau and Gene Rivera, while Jonah Lakatani and Monteilh did their part to slow down Maui's smooth and quick guard tandem of Efren Oasay and Robinson Agdinoay.

"We tried to get the ball inside," Maui coach Bill Naylor said. "Maybe we tried to force it a little. But they extended their defense out and no matter where we were, they had somebody in our face. It's a case of woulda, coulda, shoulda. But we just didn't get the ball in the hole."

Some of the Maui players were visibly shaken after the loss, most noticeably junior forward Tevita Finau, who was down on his arms and knees in the locker room, writhing around with a towel over his head, crying and moaning. Oasay still had a towel pulled over his head and his head in his hands long after the game ended.

Hanohano pulled down 14 rebounds, while Paepule led all Crusaders scorers with 12 points. Maafu Finau led the Sabers (15-1) in scoring with 18 and rebounding with nine.

"Coming in, our main goal was to contain their big guys and we did a good job," Hanohano said. "At the half, we were up and happy, but Coach Tengan brought us back down to Earth and mentioned some things that we needed to do. And we came out working harder in the second half."

The Crusaders' 43-21 edge off the glass is an even more telling statistic.

The biggest lead of the first half was five points, when Saint Louis went up 12-7 on Douglas Adachi's 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter and again when the Crusaders grabbed a 17-12 advantage on Lakatani's 3-point swish early in the second.

Neither team gave an inch throughout the rest of the second quarter as the lead changed hands three times before Adachi broke a 20-20 tie by sailing in a 3-point bomb with two ticks left in the half.

"We'll be facing a familiar foe (tonight)," said Tengan, who has brought Saint Louis to the state semifinals three out of his four years as coach. "There won't be any secrets and it will all be decided on who comes to play."

Saint Louis (14-3) 12 11 16 20 -- 59
Maui (15-1) 10 10 12 17 -- 49

Saint Louis -- B.J. Batts 2, Keao Monteilh 4, Douglas Adachi 8, Ryan Brilhante 0, Tavita Thompson 0, Jonah Lakatani 10, Desmond Hanohano 11, Jason Rivers 8, Timo Paepule 12, Wilson Afoa 4.

Maui -- Robinson Agdinoay 5, Van Komatsu 0, Efren Oasay 12, Kynan Metoyer 4, Maafu Finau 18, Gene Rivera 5, Tevita Finau 5.

3-point goals: Saint Louis 5 (Lakatani 2, Adachi 2, Monteilh), Maui 5 (M. Finau 2, Oasay 2, Agdinoay).

Boys state basketball

All games at Blaisdell Arena

1. Iolani (15-0)
2. Maui (15-1)
3. Keaau (13-2)
4. Kalaheo (12-4)

Game 1: Leilehua 52, Waimea 45
Game 2: Kamehameha 64, Waiakea 52
Game 3: Baldwin 59, Mililani 43
Game 4: Saint Louis 47, Kaimuki 45

Game 5: Waiakea 86, Mililani 80, 2OT (consolation)
Game 6: Saint Louis 73, Keaau 36
Game 7: Maui 68, Leilehua 49
Game 8: Iolani 78, Baldwin 50
Game 9: Kamehameha 60, Kalaheo 55, OT

Game 10: Waimea 54, Kaimuki 53
Game 11: Kalaheo 62, Baldwin 42
Game 12: Leilehua 44, Keaau 41
Game 13: Saint Louis 59, Maui 49
Game 14: Iolani 53, Kamehameha 48

Consolation championship
Game 15: Waiakea vs. Waimea, 3 p.m.
Fifth-place game
Game 16: Kalaheo vs. Leilehua, 4:30 p.m.
Third-place game
Game 17: Maui vs. Kamehameha, 6 p.m.
Championship game
Game 18: Saint Louis vs. Iolani, 8 p.m.

Hawaii School Web Sites


Adachi key in Crusaders’
quest for rare feat

By Dave Reardon

Douglas Adachi spent most of last night's game scrunched between beefy Brandon Va'a and Tavita Thompson. His furrowed brow gave him the look of a nervous ballboy who had snuck into the middle of the Saint Louis bench.

Adachi finally let himself smile with five seconds left when sophomore Ryan Brilhante checked into the game after star Jason Rivers fouled out, with the Crusaders finishing their 59-49 state championship semifinal victory over Maui at Blaisdell Arena.

But Adachi was no ballboy. He was a 3-ball man.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior guard played only nine minutes, but scored eight precious first-half points. His second 3-pointer, with three seconds left before the break, gave the Crusaders the lead they would keep.

It would have been easy to miss Adachi's contributions amid the athleticism and crashing bodies of his more famous teammates, like Rivers and football defensive player of the year Wilson Afoa, and Maui's strong and gifted Finau brothers. But Adachi's used to the shadows.

Almost every Saint Louis player -- as well as coach Delbert Tengan -- is shooting for his second state championship of the school year tonight; they were all on the Crusaders football team that won the state title last fall.

If Saint Louis can upset Iolani, it will accomplish a football-basketball double achieved only once before in Hawaii, by Kamehameha in 1975-76. Even that gets an asterisk, since the Prep Bowl was not a true state championship. And Tengan would accomplish a feat unprecedented locally and rare nationally, since he was also Saint Louis' head football coach.

But Adachi? This is his only shot at the gold. While his teammates -- all except for Brilhante were playing football, he was honing his jumper.

"I just never played football," he said. "Some of my teammates asked me to try out, but I just figured I'm a better basketball player so I'll stick with that."

He was also a big factor in Thursday's 73-36 quarterfinal victory over Keeau, scoring seven points in 10 minutes, making all three of his shots.

"We always talk about guys filling their roles, and he filled his role perfectly," Tengan said. "(Thursday) he hit some clutch shots and he just continued at it today."

Adachi started the season slowly and shared time as a backup guard with Matt Sonoda. Last night was his career-high in points and minutes, partly because Sonoda is ineligible for the state tournament because he is a fifth-year senior. Adachi said he wants to win the title for him, too.

He said he doesn't feel strange or isolated because he did not play football. But Adachi does admit to maybe being a little hungrier than his fellow Crusaders.

"It has its ups and downs," the unassuming Adachi said. "The up is that our school got a state championship (in football). The down is I wasn't part of it. But hopefully we can win and change that."

Tengan said the team's focus is on winning Saint Louis' first state basketball championship since 1986. Nothing more, nothing less.

And Adachi's teammates fully expect the sharpshooter to step up again tonight. All his basketball practice while they were playing football is paying off now, and this game isn't played with helmets and shoulder pads.

"He stands his ground," Rivers said. "He's one of us."

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