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Punahou drains 12 3-pointers in win over Wilson

By Jerry Campany


The Punahou boys basketball team found its range on Saturday night, and Wilson (Ore.) paid for it.

The Buffanblu beat the Trojans 83-49 for third place in the Punahou Basketball Invitational on Saturday night. They lost to another school from Portland, Ore., the previous night to get kicked into the third-place game. But Wilson encountered a completely different team than Benson Tech saw Friday.

After hitting 11 3-pointers in the first round against Hawaii Prep and having it decrease as the tournament went on — seven against Baldwin and five in a loss to Benson — the Buffanblu found their range again with a tournament-high 12.

"When we shoot well, we tend to do well," Punahou coach Darren Matsuda said. "It is a big part of what we do and it was nice to see the ball falling again. It was a good win."

Nick Velasquez led the way with five 3-pointers, but Wilson coach Scott Aker kind of expected that. What he didn't expect hurt his team much more.

"They have got two or three guys who can shoot lights out," Aker said. "Especially that Velasquez, he's one of the best high school shooters I've ever seen and we kind of anticipated that he couldn't do much off the dribble but tonight he did."

Velasquez, who won the tournament's 3-point contest on Thursday, was just one of many from behind the line for Punahou. Jordan Tanuvasa hit three of them, Justin Kam two, and Micah Ma‘a and Dayson Watanabe one each.

The Buffanblu kept pushing the pace after halftime, running its usual platoon system to overwhelm the Trojans.

After coming out of the break up by 11, Punahou pushed it to 26 thanks to a 15-2 run. Velasquez hit two long balls in the stretch and added another two points on a nifty drive through the lane. Velasquez led the Buffanblu with 22 points. Tanuvasa added 15 points, Watanabe scored 11 and Kam had 10.

Ben Lensch hit five of Wilson's six 3-pointers and led the team with 15 points.

"We thought we might be a little deeper than them," Matsuda said. "They have so many good shooters. We wanted to try to take their legs away a little bit."

Carver 61, Benson Tech 41

No basketball team that visited Hawaii this week had more fun than Carver (Ala.) did on Saturday.

Carver took the Punahou Invitational title with a 61-41 win over Benson Tech (Ore.).

Carver, which came to the islands with just one game under its belt, turned the game into a personal "and-1" tape, driving to the basket at will to beat the Techmen.

"We needed to play basketball," Carver coach James Jackson said. "We needed some games, I don't care if its against the YMCA, we needed to play some basketball. I think this is one great tournament and it is going to be a great tournament as more teams find out about it.""

Jeremy Johnson led the Wolverines with 24 points. Demetrius Houston added 14.

Cameron Retherford led Benson Tech with nine.

Other Punahou Invitational scores

Mililani 47, Farrington 38

Kailua 39, Hawaii Prep 36

Campbell 44, Punahou II 39

Konawaena 58, St. Francis 41

Melbourne 41, King Kekaulike 31

Maryknoll 35, Baldwin 32

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