POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 21, 2012
Punahou showed it is practically in midseason form after coasting to a 64-43 win over Baldwin on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Punahou Invitational.
Nick Velasquez scored 15 points, including three treys, and Kupono Fey added 11 points and three steals. Point guard Dayson Watanabe chipped in nine points and three steals, and reserve Justin Kam tallied eight points for the Buffanblu (3-1), ranked No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.
Sophomore Philip Thomas led the Bears with 10 points.
Punahou, the defending state champion, will meet Benson Tech (Ore.) in tonight’s 7:30 semifinal. Wilson (Ore.) and G.W. Carver (Ala.) will tip off in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.
“It’s our tournament, so we want to protect our home court,” said Velasquez, a 6-foot-2 senior. “Benson is athletic and disciplined. They run eight guys, so hopefully we can tire them out.”
Watanabe was a buzzkill for the visiting Bears at the start with six points and two steals in the opening quarter. Punahou’s fullcourt press led to seven steals for a 23-5 lead going into the second quarter. Fey, a 6-6 swingman, had all three of his steals, plus a block, in the opening stanza.
With coach Darren Matsuda rotating his second- and third-stringers, Velasquez returned to the floor and drilled two
3-point bombs from the corner.
The second trey, against Baldwin’s man defense, gave Punahou a 34-10 lead midway through the second quarter.
By halftime, Baldwin had 12 giveaways, while Punahou committed just five turnovers and shot 47 percent from the field, including 5-for-15 from the arc.
The Buffanblu slowed the pace in the second half, calling off the press and sticking with halfcourt man pressure. They also pulled back on the fastbreak, though Baldwin was fairly good in transition defense from the opening tip on.
“Baldwin is a good team. They’ll probably be one of the state-tournament teams from the MIL,” Matsuda said. “We tried to trap and cause havoc. Their halfcourt offense, they executive very well with that high post cut.”
The Buffanblu got a chance to work on their zone offense late in the game.
“They played some matchup zone, so that was good for us. There are a couple of teams in our league that will mix it up with zone,” Matsuda noted.
The Buffanblu finished with 12 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter. They shot 47 percent for the game (26-for-55) and were 5-for-10 from the foul line. They won the battle on the boards 27-25.
Baldwin shot 45 percent from the field (17-for-38) and 8-for-13 from the charity stripe.
The Bears finished with 16 turnovers.
Punahou Boys Invitational
Benson Tech (Ore.) 52, Melbourne
Campbell 55, Farrington 51
G.W. Carver (Ala.) 62, Maryknoll 32
Konawaena 48, Hawaii Prep 44
Punahou I 64, Baldwin 43
Punahou II 41, Mililani 37
St. Francis 58, Kailua 46
Wilson (Ore.) 41, King Kekaulike 39
Walter Wong Invitational
Damien 73, Castle 34
Pearl City 37, University 26
St. Francis 50, Leilehua 37
Saint Louis 58, Mililani 48
ILH Division Ii girls
Kamehameha II 29
Sarah Liva poured in a game-high 15 points as the Royals recorded their first win in league play over the Warriors.
Kylie Leong led Kamehameha with eight points.
Kamehameha (1-1) 10 6 3 10 — 29
Hanalani (1-0) 10 16 12 8 — 46
KAMEHAMEHA—Kylie Leong 8, Lilia Castillon 3, Precious Villarimo 3, Tayln Perreira 0, Andie Hoshijo 0, Jordikai Watanabe-Inouye 2, Raquel-Justice Simeona-Velez 2, Katherine Shun-Gilmour 2, Sanoe Kaohelaulii 3, Lindsey Mok 6.
HANALANI—Lyna Kehler 11, Catherine Armstrong 10, Brittany Williams 0, Shanel Taparra 0, Keani Sato 0, Dylan McCorquodale 8, Kara Tanaka 2, Sabrina Stratton 0, Sarah Liva 15.
3-point goals—Kamehameha 2 (Castillon, Villarimo). Hanalani 1 (Kehler).
Boys Junior varsity
Hawaiian Mission 58, Damien 35
St. Louis 57, St. Francis 30
Girls Junior varsity
Kamehameha 42, ‘Iolani 39