Waiakea Holds Off #8 Hilo For Second Time in a Week
Waiakea followed last week’s script to near perfection Monday night: open up an early lead, hold off your opponent, and hit a lot of free throws late.
The only difference in the script was that Hilo High took a lead from Waiakea in the fourth quarter, but that wasn’t enough to change the ending. For the second time in seven days, the Warriors had Hilo’s number, beating the Vikings 55-45 at Waiakea High School’s gymnasium.
Hilo (16-5, 5-1 BIIF), ranked eighth in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 Boys Basketball Poll, opened up with a slower than normal pace on the offensive end. The ball stayed around the perimeter and allowed Waiakea’s defense to pack their defense in. The lone bright spot for the Vikings in the first quarter was point guard Austin Dante, who drained all three of his three-point attempts in the period. His 11 first quarter points kept Hilo within reach of the Warriors after the first quarter with Waiakea holding a 15-13 advantage.
Hilo’s offense continued to struggle in the second quarter. The Vikings shot 2-for-8 in the period and 1-for-4 from beyond the arc. Both field goals were made by Jalen Carvalho, who returned after missing six weeks with a fracture in his right foot. Carvalho scored five points, all in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Waiakea started to find their stroke from beyond the arc. Maika`i Gahan drilled a pair of treys and Dillon Rellez added another to help Waiakea extend their lead out to 28-22 at halftime. The Warriors shot 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the half and 10-for-17 from the field in the first 16 minutes.
Waiakea (10-6, 6-1 BIIF) saw their lead slimmed down in the third quarter thanks to six turnovers and 2-for-7 shooting from the field. Hilo didn’t shoot much better, making 3 of their 13 field goal opportunities. They did, however, go 3-of-6 from the charity stripe to close the gap to one point. Waiakea led 32-31 at the end of the third quarter.
Hilo took the lead as soon as the fourth quarter got underway. Austin Dante drilled his fourth three-pointer to start the quarter, giving the Vikings a 34-32 lead. Rellez hit two free throws off of a loose ball foul to tie the game at 34 with just under seven minutes to play. Gahan then gave the Warriors the lead again for good with a rainbow three from the left corner, giving the Warriors a 37-34 lead with 5:50 remaining.
From there, the game’s intensity and physicality increased. Four Hilo players fouled out in the final minutes of the game, including Dante, who led Hilo with 16 points. He was the first to foul out, with Drew Kell, Kamu Patnaude, and Jacob Genegabus following him to the bench later. Genegabus also received a technical foul in a run-in with Waiakea’s Owen Sandstrom, who received a technical foul for throwing an elbow.
With the amount of fouls in the quarter, Waiakea cashed in again from the free throw line. Last week, the Warriors shot 16-for-22 from the charity stripe in the final period. Monday night, the Warriors shot 18-for-23, with Rellez making 11 of his 13 attempts to lead the way, helping Waiakea close out the victory.
Rellez scored 19 points to lead Waiakea. Lucas St. George added 13 points and Gahan contributed 11 on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc. The Warriors shot 14-of-26 from the field, 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, and 22-for-30 from the three point line.
Besides Dante’s 16 points, no one contributed more than six points for Hilo. Patnaude played in the second half only and scored six points on 2-of-7 shooting. Genegabus, Kell, and Carvalho eached scored five points.
With the win, Waiakea has the inside shot at the top East Hawai`i seed in Division I. They still have difficult contests, however, with Kamehameha-Hawai`i and Kea`au before the season ends.
Hilo 13 9 9 14 – 45
Waiakea 15 13 4 23 – 55
BIIF Basketball Scoreboard
#9 Konawaena 63, Honoka`a 31
Pahoa 51, Ka`u 26
Hawai`i Prep 73, Laupahoehoe 31
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 67, St. Joseph 20