Castle upends
No. 7 Kahuku

Far from flawless, the Castle Knights found a way to win last night.

Overcoming 24 turnovers and misfires from the free-throw line, Castle outlasted previously unbeaten Kahuku 69-63 in overtime. Louis Mansanas Jr. led the way with 25 points as the Knights improved to 6-2 in Oahu Interscholastic Association East play and all but sealed a playoff berth.

Antone Watanabe added 15 points for Castle, which made just 12 of 27 attempts from the line.

Gimpy foul shooting hurt the seventh-ranked Red Raiders, as well, as they hit 20 of 35 foul shots (57 percent). Kahuku slipped to 7-1 and shares the East lead with Kalaheo.

Clinton Parks scored 18 points, and Tevita Finau and Shosei Yamauchi each tallied 14 for the Red Raiders.

"Coming off the loss to Kalaheo, it's sweet to win this one," said Mansanas, a 5-foot-6 point guard.

The top two finishers in the East will earn a first-round bye in the playoffs, and Castle is in position now to possibly sneak into one of those spots.

"Either way is fine. Just making the playoffs would be sweet," he said.

Kahuku, which committed a whopping 27 turnovers, led by as many as 10 points in the first half. Castle regrouped and took the lead 32-31 with a 9-0 run to start the second half.

Blaze Soares' bucket in the paint tied the game at 53 with 1:10 remaining in regulation. Kahuku chose to attack the basket instead of holding for the final shot, but Yamauchi traveled near the baseline.

A turnover by Watanabe on a fast break gave the visiting Red Raiders one more chance to seal a win in regulation. However, Kahuku again did not hold the ball for a final shot. Finau lost control of his dribble on a one-on-one fast-break situation, and Castle got the ball back on a jump ball with 9.9 seconds left.

Watanabe's 16-footer from the baseline missed with four seconds to play, and time expired as the ball escaped the clutches of both teams.

By that point, the Knights had plenty of confidence.

"We relied on our conditioning and speed," said Mansanas, an integral part of Castle's well-honed football squad.

Said Castle head coach Rocky Fraticelli: "I told the guys, with about three minutes left (in regulation), 'Look at them. They're tired.' "

The overtime period proved him correct. After Bryce Kalauoka'aea sank a free throw, Finau missed two consecutive shots from point-blank range.

That led to a quick transition. Mansanas delivered a perfect left-handed bounce pass to Watanabe, who scored on a layup. He hit a free throw to complete the three-point play.

After Clinton Parks missed a 3-point try from the top, Kalauoka'aea raced down court and hit a wide-open trey from the left corner. That gave Castle a 60-53 lead with 2:55 remaining.

Mansanas stole the ball from Parks a moment later and scored on a layup to extend the lead to nine. Finau scored on consecutive baskets to cut the lead to 62-57 with 2:14 left.

Parks sank three foul shots and drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull the Red Raiders within 66-63 with 51 seconds remaining.

After Jonathan Horner missed on a tough layup, Kahuku's faithful following of 200 fans roared. Parks, however, missed from 24 feet out, and Mansanas hit a free throw with 26 seconds left to give Castle a four-point lead. Kahuku got no closer the rest of the way.

The Knights proved to be a team of good listeners. By halftime, they had fallen into Kahuku's up-tempo style of play. Kahuku led 31-23 despite 16 turnovers.

"We were rushing stuff," Mansanas said. "Coach said we needed to settle down and run our stuff."

Castle mixed up defenses, from a half-court man to a 2-3 zone, and full-court man to a half-court trap.

At Castle H.S. gym
Kahuku (6-1) 5 26 8 14 10 -- 63
Castle (6-2) 7 16 19 11 16 -- 69

KAHUKU--Hapaki Kaululaau 0, Jordan Casey 4, Al Afalava 2, Clinton Parks 18, Walker Vave 2, Shosei Yamauchi 14, Tevita Finau 14, Jeremy Perry 0, Okesene Ale 9, Spencer Hafoka 0.
CASTLE--Bryan Telangka 3, Jonathan Horner 4, Junior Mansanas 25, Scott Keiter-Charles 0, Bryce Kalauokaaea 9, Jordan Bruhn 0, Antone Watanabe 17, Victor Clore 2, Blaze Soares 9, Scott Argue 0, Herbert Lee 0.
3-point goals -- Kahuku 3 (Parks 3), Castle 4(Kalauokaaea 2, Mansanas 2).
Junior varsity --Kahuku 62, Castle 41


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