Pauli comes through for Kapaa


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010

Making free throws in pressure situations brings happiness to the faces of your teammates.

Duke Pauli proved that last night after he calmly went to the free-throw line and sank two attempts with 48.9 seconds remaining to lift Kapaa to a 35-32 win over fourth-seeded University in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Boys Basketball Division II State Championships at Farrington.

Kapaa (12-2) advanced to a semifinal against Pahoa today at 7 p.m. at Farrington.

Pauli played big in the final quarter with five points and several defensive stops. He brought the energetic crowd to its feet when he knocked down the free throws to give Kapaa the lead for good.

“;The crowd was noisy, so I just blocked out everything. Kept my head up and it went in,”; Pauli said.

“;I knew that my team was depending on me. ... We started out slow, but I'm just glad I was able to contribute to our winning,”; the 6-foot-3 sophomore said.

Kapaa, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion, maintained a slight edge throughout the first half, but couldn't break away, as both teams kept excellent defensive pressure on each other.

Kapaa held a five-point lead for most of the second period before University battled back in the final minute of the first half to narrow the margin to 18-17.

The Jr. 'Bows (14-2) took their first lead of the game on a pair of free throws by Makena Rothenburg at the 2:03 mark of the third quarter, then push it to 26-22.

Kapaa refused to concede defeat, tying the game at 26-26 on buckets by Pauli and Sean Shigematsu.

University briefly regained the lead, but failed to slow the momentum of Kapaa.

Warriors coach Philip Baclayon said he hopes this victory will serve as a confidence builder.

“;This win was awesome,”; Baclayon said. “;Our guys struggled a little bit early, but then at the end we came on strong. I'm hoping this win will give (us) the drive to continue winning.”;

Pahoa 56, Roosevelt 48

Isaiah Ekau poured in 31 points to lead the Dagers (7-9) to a stunning upset of the top-seeded Rough Riders (19-7).

Pahoa was led by Ekau, whose last-second bucket beat three-time defending BIIF D-II champ Kohala in the league D-II semifinals on Feb. 20.

Agaese Tago had 12 points to lead Roosevelt.