Hot Shooting Leads Kalaheo to Kea`au / Waiakea Tourney Title
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by Josh Pacheco
Konawaena struck first, but Kalaheo connected from long distance often, shooting 10-for-18 from beyond the arc in a 62-45 victory Saturday night in the championship game of the Kea`au / Waiakea Boys Basketball Tournament.
Konawaena’s Kenan Gaspar opened the game with a three pointer to give Konawaena the only lead they would have in the game. Kalaheo’s Derick Morgan followed with a three of his own to spark an 11-0 run that pushed Kalaheo to a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Morgan hit a pair of treys while Kalei Zuttermeister and Josh Ko added one each, leading the Mustangs to a 4-for-6 three point shooting quarter.
Kalaheo drained at least a pair of shots from beyond the arc in each quarter. Ko led the Mustangs with 18 points and three of the team’s 10 treys, while Zuttermeister finished with 14 points and four threes.
While Kalaheo shot 54 percent from the field, Konawaena was ice cold almost all night. The Wildcats were only able to get six shots off in the first quarter, making two of them. They would make only two field goals combined in the next two quarters. Kona shot 4-for-27 in the first three quarters in the game, just under 15 percent. A constant complaint for head coach Donny Awa was his team’s inability to not only shoot from outside, but follow their misses after the shot. The Wildcats were 3-for-16 from beyond the arc, a 19 percent clip.
One lone bright spot for the Wildcats was the gritty play of Gaspar, who took the game over in the fourth quarter. While the Mustangs had a lead of as high as 29 points, Gaspar helped to lessen the hurt with an 18 point fourth quarter. He shot 7-of-9 from the field in the final frame, including 1-of-2 three pointers and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe. Gaspar closed the game with a game-high 21 points.
Kalaheo improved to 6-1 in the preseason with their four-game tournament sweep. They are not done playing on the Big Island, however. Honoka`a High School is hosting Kalaheo Sunday for a junior varsity and varsity doubleheader beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Konawaena falls to 4-1 in the preseason after starting the year with wins against Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, Pahoa, Kohala, and Kamehameha-Hawai`i. They will host a tournament this week at Onizuka Gymnasium in Kealakekua.
Kalaheo 14 14 16 18 – 62
Konawaena 6 8 6 25 – 45
Other tournament scores
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 57, Hawai`i Prep 49
Honoka`a 45, Ka`u 39
Kealakehe 47, Kohala 43
Kea`au 48, Pahoa 46 (OT)
Hilo 72, Kalani 47
Waiakea II 34, St. Joseph 30