Honoka’a Blows Past St. Joseph in DII Play-In
The Honoka’a Dragons have been plagued by bad starts for much of the season, but found a way to to avoid it with the season on the line.
Honoka’a defeated St. Joseph Wednesday night at the Honoka’a Armory to claim the fourth and final berth into the KTA Super Stores/Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II Boys Basketball Championships, held Friday at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
The early plan was simple for Honoka’a: dominate the interior. Honoka’a worked the ball in to post player Jonathan Charbonneau early, drawing early foul trouble on the Cardinals. The Dragons also carved out a large advantage on the glass, outrebounding St. Joseph 10-1 in the opening period.
St. Joseph (8-22 overall, 4-9 BIIF) hung around, thanks to the lightning-quick play of sophomore Manato Fukuda, who scored nine of his 15 points in the first half. He almost single-handedly beat Honoka’a’s full court zone press, dribbling past two to three defenders to set up layups or shots for his teammates.
Honoka’a (10-19, 5-8) kept drawing on its size and depth to keep the Cardinals at a distance. Six different players found the basket in the second quarter, led by sophomore Kelvin Falk’s five points, and the Dragons held on to a 33-22 halftime lead.
Falk finished with 11 points and shot 3-for-4 from the floor.
Charbonneau, a versatile six-foot junior, took the game over in the second half. He scored 12 of his game high 20 points in the final 16 minutes, all coming in the paint. He took the most advantage of a mismatch in the perimeter against St. Joseph forward Ka’ena Naho’opi’i, who was saddled with foul trouble. Charbonneau drove to the rim several times with no help defense to keep him from scoring.
Shyrome Batin, Honoka’a’s leading scorer, didn’t have much of an impact in the game until the final frame, draining a pair of step-back treys and hitting six of his eight free throw attempts in a 14-point quarter. He finished with 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting.
All 15 players got into the game for Honoka’a, including six junior varsity kids who were called up after the departure of three seniors. Five of the six JV players scored in the game’s final minute.
Fukuda finished with 15 points while Cole DeSilva added 14 points, 10 in the final period. Jakob Au added 10 points for the Cardinals, whose season ended with the loss.
With the win, Honoka’a gets a rematch with Division II regular season champion Kohala on Friday at 2:30 p.m. On Monday, the Cowboys raced past the Dragons to an 86-45 blowout win at Hisaoka Gymnasium. The Dragons’ loss forced Wednesday’s play-in game for the final tournament berth.
St. Joseph 7 15 10 25 – 57
Honoka’a 15 18 14 37 – 84
KTA Super Stores/BIIF Boys Basketball Tournament
(all games at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium)
#4 Honoka’a vs. #1 Kohala – 2:30 p.m.
#3 Hawai’i Prep vs. #2 Pahoa – 4 p.m.
Division I (both games broadcast on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com)
#4 Kealakehe vs. #1 Kamehameha-Hawai’i – 5:30 p.m.
#3 Konawaena vs. #2 Waiakea – 7 p.m.
Saturday (both games broadcast on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com)
Division II championship – 6 p.m.
Division I championship – 7:30 p.m.