Pahoa, Saint Louis to Meet for Cardinal Classic Title
Someone will lose for the first time Saturday night in the championship game of the Cliff and Kathi Dias St. Joseph School Cardinal Classic when Pahoa and Saint Louis meet.
Pahoa improved to 6-0 on the season by holding off Waiakea 42-36 in Friday’s nightcap. Keinan Agonias scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds while Tolby Saito added 12 points and three assists.
The Daggers led by as much as eight points in the second half when the Warriors turned the dial up on its defensive pressure, forcing five fourth quarter turnovers. One of those, a steal by junior Noah Ferreira, turned into a transition layup that leveled the game at 36-36 with 1:49 remaining.
Saito, an intensely calm senior guard, knocked down six free throws in a row in the final 98 seconds of the game to seal the deal.
Pahoa coach Marc Saito credited the resiliency of his squad to the amount of work put in during the offseason. “My five returnees work year-round. During the blackout periods, they work on their own.”
Pahoa was without injured forward Kili Oliveira, but fellow post players Torrell Thomas and Ernest Stinnett held a size advantage of a Waiakea lineup that played seven players, mostly guards. The Daggers outrebounded Waiakea 23-17 with Thomas bringing down nine boards.
Wes Amuimuia scored 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting to lead Waiakea.
In the earlier semifinal, Saint Louis sped past Kamehameha-Hawai’i 63-45 to improve to 5-0 and claim a spot in the 9:30 p.m. championship game.
If you looked down or took a sip of a drink while game play was going on, you probably missed a Saint Louis basket or two. The Crusaders, under head coach Keith Spencer, ran up and down the floor at a breakneck pace.
Saint Louis got out to a 17-3 advantage after the first quarter and never let the game slip out of its grasp. Ihaka Johnson, a confident senior guard, scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting to lead the Crusaders. Ten of those points came in the second quarter. Jimmy Nunuha III added 10 points and five rebounds.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i fell to 5-3 on its early season schedule. Bayley-Allen Manliguis took a while to heat up, but found his rhythm in the second half. He scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with a team-high 16 points and six rebounds. He shot 6-for-16 from the field.
Saturday’s games will follow early college basketball action at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The University of Hawai’i at Hilo will host Hawai’i Pacific for a noon doubleheader, meaning the Cardinal Classic slate of games won’t begin until 5 p.m.
Cliff and Kathi Dias St. Joseph School Cardinal Classic
Pahoa 45, Hilo 38
Waiakaea 60, Ka’u 42
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 59, Honoka’a 46
Saint Louis 58, St. Joseph 30
Honoka’a 72, St. Joseph 67
Hilo 56, Ka’u 33
Saint Louis 63, Kamehameha-Hawai’i 45
Pahoa 42, Waiakea 36
Ka’u vs. St. Joseph (seventh place) – 5 p.m.
Hilo vs. Honoka’a (fifth place) – 6:30 p.m.
Waiakea vs. Kamehameha-Hawai’i (third place) – 8 p.m.
Pahoa vs. Saint Louis (championship) – 9:30 p.m.