'Iolani is lone seed to reach semifinals


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010

Halfway through a battle with Mililani, 'Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto had two requests for his team.

“;We're playing pretty good defense and getting good shots in the first half, but we needed stops and makes,”; he said.

The top-seeded Raiders obeyed their first-year head coach, turning a one-point halftime lead into a 72-53 win over unseeded Mililani last night in the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Boys Basketball Division I State Championships.

Kainoa Chu led 'Iolani (19-7) with 20 points and Trevyn Tulonghari added 13 points and five steals.

“;They play together and they play patient,”; Mililani coach Ed Gonzales said of the Raiders. “;It's a good lesson for my juniors.”;

Reginald Griffin led Mililani (19-8) with 18 points (8-for-13 shooting), and Hassan Richardson added 12 points and seven boards. Trent McKinney missed all of the second half after suffering an ankle injury.

'Iolani will meet Oahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Kahuku tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center. Kahuku defeated 'Iolani in last year's semifinal round, 56-53.

“;Their bigs are tall, agile, cover a lot of ground and run the floor,”; Shimamoto said. “;And they finish inside. We've got to do our best to contain (Nehoa) Akina.”;

The Raiders played solid defense last night, but didn't pull away until they hit a torrent of treys in the third quarter. A pro-'Iolani crowd at Jim Alegre Gymnasium roared its approval in the third quarter as the Raiders went on a pivotal 24-8 run.

“;We got some of the same looks in the second half, but we were able to knock them down,”; Shimamoto said.

Kainoa Scheer started the runaway with a layup off a feed from Andrew Skalman, giving the Raiders a 34-33 lead early in the third quarter. After a layup by John Foy and a trey by Tulonghari, 'Iolani had a six-point lead.

After a timeout by Mililani, Forrest Garcia hit a baseline jumper and Griffin drove for a twisting layup in traffic to bring the Trojans within 39-37. 'Iolani then took command, however.

It was a rough night for the OIA's third-place team, which lost McKinney to an ankle injury late in the first half and couldn't return.

“;That was major,”; Gonzales said. “;He gives us solid defense, takes the pressure off their defense, he rebounds and makes good passes.”;