HPA, Pahoa Clinch Spots in Division II Championship
Hawai`i Preparatory Academy survived a late surge from Honoka`a High School to punch two tickets Friday night.
Despite a 19-1 Dragon run that lasted the first 6:23 of regulation, Ka Makani held on win 50-45 in the Division II semifinals of the KTA Super Stores / Big Island Interscholastic Federation Basketball Tournament. The win not only clinched HPA’s spot in the league championship game, but also punched their ticket to the Hawaiian Airlines / Hawaii High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Championships next Wednesday in Honolulu.
HPA took a 45-26 lead into the final period before the Dragons made their last push. Honoka`a got within one point with under two minutes remaining when Alika Alip scored on a layup and was fouled to get within one at 46-45. But, Alip, who was 6-for-6 from the free throw line until this point, missed the free throw to keep his team behind.
Hawai`i Prep (10-10, 7-4 BIIF) pulled back up by three with 1:37 remaining when Kalan Camero streaked down the middle of the floor and hit a layup to make the score 48-45. Hide Akai’s layup with under 30 ticks remaining extended the lead to five and put the game out of reach for the gutsy Dragons.
Honoka`a (9-13, 5-6) opened the game with a 12-9 first quarter lead before Ka Makani’s Buck Thomas found his rhythm from the perimeter. The junior guard lit up the nets with a pair of three pointers in the second quarter, helping HPA take a 28-15 lead at halftime. Thomas shot 3-for-3 in the third quarter to help open up his squad’s 19 point third quarter advantage.
Thomas’ 13 points complimented another 13 point effort from guard Jovan Crnic and 11 from Camero. Hawai`i Prep, the West’s top seed in the tournament, won despite 18 turnovers and 7-of-14 shooting from the charity stripe.
Keanu Freitas lead Honoka`a with 17 points, including a pair of treys in the fourth quarter rally. Alip added 14 points.
Honoka`a 12 3 13 19 – 45
Hawai`i Prep 9 19 17 5 – 50
Pahoa 67, Kohala 65
Nick Fisher led three Pahoa High School players in double figures with 22 points as the Daggers held off Kohala High School 67-65 in the second semifinal contest of the KTA Super Stores / BIIF Boys Basketball Tournament.
Fisher scored 15 of his points in the second half, including the game tying layup with 1:00 remaining in the game to even the score at 62. However, the senior playmaker left the game with a few seconds remaining with cramps in his left leg. After the game, the cramps did not leave, and Fisher was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He injured his ankle last Saturday in the regular season finale against St. Joseph, and according to head coach Marc Saito, did not practice leading up to Friday’s semifinal.
Kohala (12-11, 6-5) trailed 14-6 at the end of the first quarter, but followed with a 9-0 run over the first 2:26 of the next period to take the lead. Sophomore Mikala Jordan hit a trey and another field goal in the first 31 seconds of the quarter to start the run, and scored seven points overall in the frame. He got help from senior Makani Kualii, who scored 10 of his team best 20 points in the second, going 4-of-6 from the field.
Pahoa (14-8, 8-5) held Kohala off for much of the game thanks to solid contributing efforts from senior Randin Napeahi, who scored 16 points, most on hard drives to the rim. He scored six points in each of the two middle quarters. Sophomore Tolby Saito, son of the head coach, added 16 points on a pair of shots from beyond the arc. Saito also shot 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
Kohala led the game with as little as 1:16 left in the game when Kualii hit a basket to give Kohala a 62-60 lead. He later hit a three to cut his team’s deficit with seconds remaining on the clock. But, Pahoa, thanks to free throws from Jarrett Kamaka and Saito had enough to hang on to the victory.
The BIIF Division II championship game between Pahoa and Hawai`i Prep will tip at 6:00 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com
Kohala 6 24 15 20 – 65
Pahoa 14 17 18 18 – 67