No. 5 Moanalua soars past Kalaheo


POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

The road has been kind to Moanalua's boys basketball team.

Since a tough home loss to Kahuku a week ago, Na Menehune have posted two key wins away, including a 57-49 win at Kalaheo last night.

Fifth-ranked Moanalua improved to 7-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East. Ninth-ranked Kalaheo fell to 4-4 in league play.

“;At times, it felt like we're up by 30, but it was only nine or 12,”; Moanalua coach Greg Tacon said. “;We played so hard, but Kalaheo matched our intensity.”;

Kalaheo is in position to seize third place in the Red East. Kaimuki lost to Kaiser in the first game of last night's doubleheader.

“;We're OK, just trying to battle for the third spot,”; Mustangs coach Chico Furtado said. “;We've made some strides since the last time.”;

Moanalua made up for mediocre perimeter shooting (3-for-17 from beyond the 3-point arc) with a great transition offense and smart halfcourt execution. Inside the 3-point line, Moanalua shot 17-for-21.

Two of those buckets came on electrifying dunks by senior Marcus Monroe, who threw down an alley-oop toss from Josiah Kauhola in the first half. Monroe, a 6-foot-4 swingman, roared downcourt for a one-handed jam in the second half over a Kalaheo defender.

Pretty good for someone battling the flu.

“;It was tough 'cause they came back,”; Monroe said of the Mustangs. “;We fought and still got the win.”;

Monroe, who didn't start because he missed practices due to the illness, finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals for Moanalua (15-5). Freshman guard Marcus Keene led Na Menehune with 15 points, and Kevin Amaral added 11 points.

Aaron Fernandez led Kalaheo (12-7) with 22 points, including 19 in the second half. He was 1-for-7 from the field in the first half.

“;Our defense knows how to stop Aaron,”; Monroe said.

Moanalua had a 39-26 lead early in the fourth before Kalaheo mounted a final rally. With Moanalua over the foul limit, Kevin Leong hit four foul shots in a row to bring Kalaheo within 47-42 with 4:01 remaining.

Moanalua shot 11-for-24 from the foul line in the fourth to keep Kalaheo's hopes alive. Fernandez hit a free throw with 1:35 and Kalaheo was within 50-45. However, Amaral scored on a conventional three-point play on a fast-break feed from Monroe to give Moanalua an eight-point lead, and Kalaheo never got closer.

Despite the loss, Kalaheo showed quite an improvement since losing at Moanalua on Jan. 2. The Mustangs trailed by 26 points in the second half before falling 59-47.

Kalaheo was stronger this time defensively, but fell behind by the second quarter.

Keene hit consecutive 3-pointers and added a fast-break layup to cap a 14-4 run by the visitors midway through the first half. Moanalua closed out the half with Monroe's alley-oop dunk, followed by his layup with 9 seconds left. Na Menehune led 27-14 at intermission.

Fernandez, thwarted by Monroe, Amaral and reserve Dexter Williams, rarely ventured into the post. However, the 6-foot-3 senior got hot with several short jumpers in transition, scoring 10 points in the third quarter.


At Kalaheo gym

Moanalua (7-1) 1215111957
Kalaheo (4-4)86142149

MOANALUA—Reece Racoma 4, Kevin Amaral 11, Josiah Kauhola 9, Wesley Armbrust 3, Marcus Monroe 13, Dexter Williams 2, Marcus Keene 15, Richard Villasenor 0.
KALAHEO —Quincy Mason 2, Kevin Leong 7, Shane Hipa 5, Derick Morgan 0, Zach Lovelace 0, Edward Atanoa 0, Kona Makaula 5, Wilson Macleod 6, Aaron Fernandez 22, Jordan Reindollar 2.
3-point goals—Moanalua 3 (Keene 2, Monroe), Kalaheo 1 (Fernandez).