Honoka`a Survives Second Half Drought to Defeat Kealakehe
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by Josh Pacheco
The Honoka`a High School boys basketball team got a hot start from Isaiah Meyer in his first breakout performance of the regular season. Fortunately for the Dragons, his 5-for-5 shooting start gave them enough of a cushion to survive a freezing cold second half shooting effort to defeat the Kealakehe Waveriders 35-31 at Waverider Gymnasium.
Meyer opened the game by hitting his first four shots. After hitting a two-point field goal, Meyer drained an open three from the left corner, followed by a contested three above the left wing over 6’5″ Malu Akiona, and then nailed another one from the opposite corner. That gave him 11 points in the first quarter. It was more than enough to push the Dragons out to a 16-4 lead after the opening period.
Kealakehe’s offense sputtered mightily in the opening half. Besides 15 first half turnovers, the Waveriders played a lot of the half without their best offensive threat, point guard Deion Utrera. The senior ball-handler picked up two early fouls in the first quarter and obtained his third foul later in the second quarter. The limited playing time held him to no points on 0-of-3 shooting in the first half. Honoka`a took a 29-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Kealakehe opened the second half on a 7-0 run, bolstered by Utrera’s first points of the game on a made three pointer, to get within ten at 29-19. The Dragons would not make a field goal in the third quarter, shooting 0-for-7 and turning the ball over five times. Even with the slow-moving rally the Waveriders put together, they still trailed 31-20 at the end of the third quarter.
Kealakehe (8-13, 1-3 BIIF) trailed by six points with under a minute left when Utrera was fouled by Meyer on a three-point attempt. Utrera made two of the three free throws, keeping his team down by two scores. Despite the Dragons’ struggle to hit free throws late, missing each front end of a one-and-one, the Waveriders would not be able to get any closer.
Meyer’s 13 points all came in the first half. Keanu Freitas followed with seven points for the Dragons. They host Kohala on Tuesday night at Honoka`a High School.
Utrera scored nine second half points to lead the Waveriders in scoring. Manase Hungalu added eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. Kealakehe will travel to HPA to fave Ka Makani at Castle Gymnasium.
Honoka`a 16 13 2 4 – 35
Kealakehe 4 8 8 11 – 31
BIIF Basketball Scoreboard
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 44, Kea`au 42 (OT)
Hilo 68, Ka`u 42
Waiakea 55, Pahoa 41