Turnovers Plague Kealakehe in Hilo Tourney
It is hard to make a dent in the scoreboard when you give the ball away to the other team. Kealakehe High School’s boys basketball team dealt with that first hand in Thursday’s 53-27 loss against Baldwin in the opening round of the Hilo High School Holiday Prep Basketball Classic, held at Hilo High School’s gymnasium.
In Kealakehe’s case, a total of 31 turnovers, including 11 in each of the second and third periods, kept it from getting shot opportunities. The Waveriders struggled from the field, too, shooting 31.2 percent (10-for-32) from the floor, 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, and 43.7 percent (7-for-16) from the foul line.
Taje Akana got Baldwin off to a good start, scoring in the paint at ease against Kealakehe’s smaller lineup. Akana scored all of his 12 points in the first half, shooting 5-for-7 from the floor and grabbing a team-high five rebounds.
Most of Baldwin’s points came near the rim, thanks to post-to-post passing and fast breaks off of turnovers. The Bears took 30 shots in the first half, double what Kealakehe did, and hit 16 of them.
In the second half, first-year head coach Daniel Kamakau of Kealakehe changed his lineup completely, bringing in his taller unit, led by senior Blaine Broberg and football standouts Abraham Kalavi, Kobe Antolin, and Jonah Kaulia. Down 37-13 at halftime, the change seemed to bring instant success, as Broberg connected on a pair of field goals in the third quarter, while the entire team chipped in to make a dent in the rebounding number, which Baldwin won 31-29.
Broberg’s four third quarter points were all Kealakehe got in the quarter, thanks to turnovers, and Baldwin was able to maintain separation over its neighbor island opponent.
Kealakehe (0-4) was led by sophomore guard Makana Kaiawe-Kalua’u, who started the first half and played intermittently in the final sixteen minutes. He shot 4-for-8 from the floor and scored 11 points.
Baldwin (2-3) will face Hilo on Friday night in one semifinal matchup. The Vikings defeated cross-town foe St. Joseph 39-26 at the tournament’s other venue, the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
The other semifinal will feature Big Island Interscholastic Federation squads from Kea’au and Waiakea. The Cougars used a strong second half to defeat Honoka’a 62-43, while Waiakea knocked off Kohala 67-35.
Saturday night’s championship game in the boys bracket will be played at 7:30 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. It will be broadcast on AM 850 Hilo, AM 790 Kona, ESPNHawaii.com, and the ESPN Radio app.
Hilo High School Holiday Prep Basketball Classic
Kea’au 62, Honoka’a 43
Waiakea 67, Kohala 35
Baldwin 53, Kealakehe 27
Hilo 39, St. Joseph 26
3 p.m. – Honoka’a vs. Kohala (at the Afook-Chinen Civic)
4:30 p.m. – Kealakehe vs. St. Joseph (at Hilo HS)
6 p.m. – Kea’au vs. Waiakea (at the Afook-Chinen Civic)
7:30 p.m. – Baldwin vs. Hilo (at Hilo HS)