A little extra work made all the difference for Punahou.
Using early shooting workouts every day to its advantage, No. 4 Punahou sank six 3-pointers in a key 54-46 win over No. 3 Academy of the Pacific last night before a vocal crowd of about 250 at Le Jardin’s Charles B. Wang Gymnasium.
Sophomore guard Nicholas Velasquez scored 15 points and reserve guard Bryan Matsukawa added eight for Punahou. The two combined for five 3-pointers to help the Buffanblu rally and forge ahead in a physical battle that required clutch shooting from both teams.
"It’s been getting better. We’ve been coming early to practice to work on our shooting and ballhandling," Velasquez said. "We’re closer to our goal. We want to go 5-0 to finish our (regular) season."
Punahou committed just eight turnovers against the quick Dolphins.
"They did a really good job taking away our bigs, so we worked it inside out," Punahou coach Darren Matsuda said. "And we took care of the ball."
Punahou took command with a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, getting 3-point bombs from Velasquez and Lowell Tong. After Patrick O’Neill drove the baseline for a bucket, the Buffanblu led 47-39 with 4 minutes to play.
AOP, which shot 1-for-6 from the foul line in the final quarter, got no closer than six the rest of the way.
"We had a good first half. Kona (Makaula) shot the ball very well," AOP coach Walter Marciel said. "But they hit two big shots, two 3s when it was 39-39. We kept leaving our man, but our goal tonight was don’t help (inside). We know what Velasquez can do. I’m happy with our performance, though. We played hard."
Punahou (21-5) improved to 8-2 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and avoided falling into fourth place. AOP (15-5) dropped to 5-2 and trails ‘Iolani in the standings. Defending state champion Kamehameha is also in the thick of the race with two losses.
"We had ’em, but it’s hard to match up with their big guys, and they have good shooters," Makaula said.
Punahou did it despite all of AOP’s efforts to curtail the inside presence of 6-foot-8 DeForest Buckner and 6-6 Malik Johnson. Buckner finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Johnson had seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds along with two blocks.
Johnson was a decisive factor defensively, locking down on AOP’s Micah Dunhour from start to finish. Dunhour scored 13 points, but shot 5-for-15 from the field.
Makaula scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half, shooting 7-for-8 before the break on a menu of midrange jumpers. However, Matsuda switched O’Neill to cover the 6-foot-2 gunner, and Makaula had just three field-goal attempts in the second half. No other Dolphin scored in double figures, though Moritz Krume finished with six points, eight boards and two blocks.
The Dolphins’ success in the paint defensively — Buckner had 19 points and 23 boards in Punahou’s 53-40 win two weeks ago — led to better results on the glass. Punahou had a 27-20 edge, a smaller margin than the 37-20 advantage in the earlier game.
However, that left sharpshooters like Velasquez and Matsukawa open. AOP was on a roll with a 17-11 lead in the second quarter when Matsukawa entered and hit a jumper and couple of 3-pointers to rally the Buffanblu.
AOP tried to pull away late in the half, but Velasquez swished a trey and Johnson hit a turnaround jumper in the paint with 2 seconds to go, bringing Punahou back to tie the game at 26-all.
Another 3-pointer by Velasquez helped Punahou seize a 34-29 lead, but AOP rallied. Dunhour hit one of his three treys and drove for a tough layup to give the Dolphins a 39-37 lead with 5:58 remaining.
AOP committed just five turnovers, but shot 39 percent from the field (19-for-48) and didn’t attempt a foul shot until the second half. Punahou shot 45 percent from the field (20-for-44), including 6-for-14 from beyond the arc.
Punahou will visit Mid-Pacific on Saturday. AOP will face Maryknoll tomorrow at McCabe Gym.
PUNAHOU–Patrick O’Neill 5, Bryan Matsukawa 8, Sean Gruebner 2, Steven Lakalaka 0, Lowell Tong 7, Caden McAfee-Torco 0, Nicholas Velasquez 15, Malik Johnson 7, Christopher McLaren 0, Kupono Fey 0, DeForest Buckner 10, Luke Kaumatule 0.
ACADEMY OF THE PACIFIC–Michael Urcia 5, Moritz Krume 6, Micah Dunhour 13, Wilson Macleod 0, Drew Vienna 2, David Daniel 1, Kona Makaula 17, Marshall Gourley 2.
3-point goals–Punahou 6 (Velasquez 3, Matsukawa 2, Tong), Academy of the Pacific 4 (Dunhour 3, Makaula).
No. 1 ‘Iolani 50, Maryknoll 36
Josiah Sukumaran scored 12 points, Trevyn Tulonghari added 11 and the Raiders jumped out to a 26-10 halftime lead in a victory over the Spartans.
Maryknoll’s Austin Gaskins scored seven points.
At Maryknoll gym
‘IOLANI–Jourdan Simmonds 2, Drew Uchiyama 0, Reid Saito 4, Kainoa Scheer 6, Josiah Sukumaran 12 , Austin O’Leary 0, Trevyn Tulonghari 11, Gabriel Vega 8, Andrew Okimura 0, Adam Ching 5, Keahi Hogan 0, Duke Pauli 2.
MARYKNOLL–Andrew Wu 5, Kekoa Welsh 0, Brandon Floyd 2, Tobias Powell 3, Jason Calabrese 5, Johnny Mayer 0, Kekiai Cashman-Fernandez 4, Austin Gaskins 7, Wyatt Pedro 6, Kailua Chock 4.
3-point goals — ‘Iolani 1 (Ching). Maryknoll 1 (Wu).
No. 2 Kamehameha 69, Saint Louis 47
Dyrbe Enos and Micah Christenson both scored 14 points and the Warriors hit nine 3-pointers in a victory over the Crusaders.
Enos hit four 3-pointers for Kamehameha, which led 62-33 after three periods.
Saint Louis’ Max Botticelli scored 13 points.
At Kamehameha gym
|Saint Louis (2-5)||14||14||5||14||—||47|
SAINT LOUIS–Jared Tomaszek 0, Eli Teo 0, Quinn Arakawa 5, Acen Cabral 5, Nate Mantanona 3, Jaron Hall-Moniz 2, JV Caires 7, Max Botticelli 13, Iolana Akau 6, Kamalei Correa 2, Kurt Vegas 2, Reeves Koehler 2.
KAMEHAMEHA–Dyrbe Enos 14, Shane Matayoshi 3, Frank Ho 3, Micah Christenson 14, Davis Achong 10, Makoa Camanse-Stevens 5, Trent Park 3, J.T. Campbell 5, Charlton Tang 8, Gavin Lagrange 2, Shane Yoshida 0, Zerin Parker 2.
3-point goals–Saint Louis 4 (Akau 2, Botticelli, Arakawa). Kamehameha 9 (Enos 4, Matayoshi, Ho, Christenson, Park, Campbell).
Mid-Pacific 49, Damien 45
Patrick Matthews scored 20 points and Shaun Dobovan added 12 as the Owls held off the Monarchs.
Lonn Iwashita scored 21 points for Damien, which trailed 30-21 at halftime.
At Damien gym
MID-PACIFIC–Jordan Doi 2, Terrence Tenjoma 9, Trey Kubota 0, Shaun Dobovan 12, Patrick Matthews 20, Marcus Doi 2, Brent Yee 2, Ryan Swanson 0, Matthew Carland 2, Titus Failauga 0.
DAMIEN–AJ Lee 0, Dylan Yonamine-Baysa 6, Oliver Shaw 0, Benjamin Gochenouer 7, Nate Ariola 4, Mikaele Nakamura 0, Jed Lim 7, Lonn Iwashita 21.
3-point goals — Mid-Pacific 1 (Tenjoma). Damien none).
ILH Division II
Punahou 76, Maryknoll 51
Matt Taniguchi scored 13 points and 12 other Buffanblu scored in a victory over the Spartans.
Kaelen Hirashiki scored 14 points for Maryknoll, which trailed 25-8 after the first period.
At Maryknoll gym
PUNAHOU II–Alvin Kwock 3, Ben Ota 6, Chase Tamashiro 6, Matt Taniguchi 13, Jeremy Lee 3, Aaron Dung 5, Daley King 4, John Kan 3, Lokahi Matsuo 8, Travis Matsuzaki 7, Creighton Woo 6, Jeff Yamashiro 0, Alex Chang 3, Tim Moody 9.
MARYKNOLL II–Travis Patoc 4, Kaelen Hirashiki 14, Ian Morocco 4, Bradford Lum 0, Kevin McLain 6, Matthew Mun 0, Mitchell Mizuguchi 0, Neil Nolan Santos 4, Jeremy Talbo 3, Brandon Hinck 4, Conrad Chong 0, Jordan Tomas 12.
3-point goals — Punahou 2 (Lee, Kam). Maryknoll 4 (McLain 2, Hirashiki, Tomas).
OIA Red Playoffs
No. 8 Kapolei 62, No. 9 Kaiser 56
Kaity Wills scored 16 points and Diamond Carter added 10 as the Hurricanes beat the Cougars.
Kaiser’s Meleana Adams scored 18 points and Darcey Goulsby added 16.
At Kaiser gym
KAPOLEI–Krystal Jacobs 3, Toe Motu 12, Kaity Wills 16, Noelle Garland 0, Paige Kaea 2, Carly Gaea 0, Diamond Carter 10, Kawehi Hagi 8, Anna Jean Souza 0, Kaitlynn Lanier 0, Tamar Rodrigues 3, Kayla Fuatago 4, Malia Folaumahina 4.
KAISER–Micaela Bitanga 5, Kristi Arellano 0, Ona Simeona 0, Alissa Soong 0, Kiani Kaahaaina 3, Kiana Nakai 2, Celeste Tsutahara 0, Meleana Adams 18, Daryn Vorderbruegge 3, Shelby Pa 2, Ashley Soong 0, Makana Borden 5, Darcey Goulsby 16, Courtney Phillips 2, Kayla Soong 0.
3-point goals — Kapolei 1 (Wills). Kaiser 4 (Adams 2, Kaahaaina, Vorderbruegge).
Kaimuki 43, Pearl City 33
Alison Pologa scored eight of her 21 points in the fourth period and the Bulldogs rallied past the Chargers with a 19-8 fourth period.
Kaimuki will play at Kapolei tomorrow.
Sabrina Angle scored eight points for Pearl City, which will play for fifth place tomorrow against Kaiser.
At Kaimuki gym
PEARL CITY–Sabrina Angle 8, Adrienne Jean Sylva 5, Shay Alterado 2, Dani Magana 6, Tiari Walker 5, Robi Kami 0, Sierra Mendiola 0, Paulina Langi 0, Shawni Cayetano-Ramos 0, Tedi Espina 0, Shawna Angle 7.
KAIMUKI–Nikki Vongprachanh 1, Connie Aikau 5, Luisa Moala 0, Alison Pologa 21, Krysta Yasui 2, Julia Soares 0, Keana Paez 4, Letisha Fa’asoa 4, Dejah Fa’asoa 4, Valarie Wilson 2.
3-point goals — Pearl City 2 (Sylva, Sh. Angle). Kaimuki 2 (Aikau, Pologa).
OIA White Playoffs
No. 10 Radford 58, Kalani 53
Jemory Castro scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half and Imani Wimbush also had 15 as the Rams held off the Falcons.
Kelsey Bash added 13 points and Korie Johnson had 11 for Radford, which led 33-16 halftime.
Radford will play for the OIA White title next Thurday.
Corie Kuia scored 20 points for Kalani, which will host Waianae on Saturday.
At Kalani gym
RADFORD–Imani Wimbush 15, E’Lexeus Evans 1, Rachell Kapesi 3, Kelsey Bash 13, Jemory Castro 15, Tyler Whitener 0, Korie Johnson 11.
KALANI–Carly Kakuda 6, Corie Kuia 20, Rose Alama 2, Haley Omiya 4, Taylor Murai 0, Alex Rogers 3, Kristi Belshe 13, Kaiana Iaea 2, Marissa Sumida 3, Tiani Maafala 0.
3-point goals — Radford 3 (Bash 3). Kalani 4 (Kuia, Rogers, Belshe, Sumida).
Waianae 41, McKinley 39
Emily Simons scored 12 points and the Seariders rallied past the Tigers with an 11-5 fourth period.
Waianae will play at Kalani on Saturday.
Tiare Sugui and Jordan Mills both scored 12 points for McKinley, which missed a potential game-tying shot in the paint as time expired.
At McKinley gym
WAIANAE–Maccyn Samisoni 6, Lacy Manuel 6, Emily Simons 12, Kaitlyn Kaahaaina 0, Brittany Perry 6, Leilani Atuatasi 8, Tiana Johnson 3.
MCKINLEY–Miranda Schmillen 2, Tiare Sugui 12, Yoon Ryu 0, Jordan Mills 12, Micahn Luecke 3, Sybil Coryell 0, Hannah Yoo 10, Danielle Le Vuong 0.
3-point goals — Waianae 2 (Manuel, Johnson. McKinley 2 (Sugui 2).