Micah Dunhour just wanted to make his friend happy.
The 6-foot-5 senior did just that, scoring 15 points in the final quarter and overtime as Academy of the Pacific rallied past Moanalua 51-50 in a quarterfinal thriller at Farrington’s Richard Kitamura Memorial Fieldhouse.
Dunhour’s 10-foot jumper in the lane with 37 seconds left in overtime gave AOP the lead for good, launching the Cinderella Dolphins into the semifinal round of the Hawaiian Airlines/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Division I State Championships.
A frenzied crowd of nearly 2,000 watched on a sweltering hot night. AOP will meet Kamehameha tonight at Stan Sheriff Center.
To get there, it took a Herculean effort by the Dolphins, and especially their leader, Dunhour. The Kawaihae native finished with 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. When it was finally over — a comeback after AOP trailed by 10 points late in the first half — all Dunhour could do was release all his emotions.
"We had to play as hard as we could," he said. "They kept coming at me, but my team kept giving me the ball. I trusted all my teammates."
Dunhour was resilient throughout the night, until he thought about his friend.
"This is for my brother. All of this is for him, Joel Botelho," Dunhour said of the former Castle quarterback who was slain last month in Kaneohe. Botelho was engaged to Dunhour’s sister; Dunhour and Botelho were close, almost like brothers.
It was another remarkable finish for the Dolphins (22-8 overall), who rallied from an 11-point deficit on Wednesday to edge Roosevelt in the opening round.
Dexter Williams led Moanalua (22-14 overall) with 17 points. Keven Amaral and Wesley Armbrust added nine apiece.
"We’re devastated. We had our chance to win, but we didn’t play well in that last minute and a half," Moanalua coach Greg Tacon said of the fourth quarter. "Micah took advantage. He was spectacular. He was doing it against five guys trying to defend against him. He was remarkable."
AOP coach Wally Marciel was hoarse after the game.
"We spread the floor and tried to get Micah more one-on-one against Moanalua’s players. Everybody fell into what Micah was trying to do, get some stops defensively and all of a sudden, we’re back in the game," he said.
Moanalua, champion of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, had lost to AOP three times in three December tournaments, but last night was different. Moanalua was precise and confident from the start against AOP’s man-to-man defense.
After Amaral hit a pull-up baseline jumper and a 3-pointer from the left wing, Moanalua had a 26-16 lead. Dunhour hit a 16-footer from the elbow just before the half, but AOP never got a run going until the fourth quarter.
Dunhour scored eight of his team’s 13 points in the fourth, including six in a row to bring the Dolphins within 42-39 with 3 minutes left.
AOP’s halfcourt traps wore down Moanalua, forcing three turnovers. Dunhour fed Kona Makaula for a fast-break layup, and David Daniel — a key part of AOP’s pestering defense — hit a free throw to make it 44-42 with 35 seconds left in regulation.
After AOP tied Williams up for a jump ball and gained possession, Dunhour drove through the middle and hit a 10-foot jumper in traffic to tie the game at 44-all with 5 seconds left. Williams’ halfcourt shot missed at the buzzer.
In overtime, Moanalua took a 48-44 lead on a free throw by Richard Villasenor and a 3-point bomb by Brandon Guerrero. However, Dunhour answered immediately with a 3-pointer from the corner, and after a steal by Michael Urcia, Dunhour drove for a reverse layup to give AOP a 49-48 lead with 1:22 to go in overtime.
Williams hit two foul shots for Moanalua’s final lead, 50-49, with 55 ticks left. Dunhour hit his clutch shot in the lane, averting a possible charge as defenders lined up in front of the bucket.
Moanalua’s final chance to win began with Williams, who was matched up against Dunhour. Williams was unable to penetrate and kicked the ball out. Villasenor found Guerrero, who launched a 25-footer from the right wing that missed. Villasenor hustled down the air ball in the far corner and missed a prayer shot at the buzzer.
ACADEMY OF THE PACIFIC–Michael Urcia 2, Moritz Krume 4, Micah Dunhour 29, Wilson Macleod 3, Drew Vienna 4, David Daniel 1, Kona Makaula 8.
MOANALUA–Bronson Kepa 0, Aaron Davis 3, Keven Amaral 9, Dexter Williams 17, Wesley Armbrust 9, Brandon Guerrero 3, Carl Ko 0, Dillon Turk 4, Richard Villasenor 5.
3-point goals–Academy of the Pacific 2 (Macleod, Dunhour). Moanalua 5 (Amaral, Williams, Armbrust, Davis, Guerrero).
Kamehameha 80, Kamehameha-Hawaii 51
The hottest team in the tournament might be the Kamehameha Warriors.
For a second night in a row, the Warriors shot lights out in Farrington’s Richard Kitamura Memorial Fieldhouse. This time, their unfortunate opponent was Kamehameha-Hawaii as Micah Christenson had 20 points and 11 boards in an easy win.
Christenson was a sophomore when Kamehameha won the state title in 2009, but that team never shot as well as this one has this week.
"We do a lot of shooting reps at practice and everybody competes hard for the common good," said Christenson, who will play volleyball at USC next season. "We have a lot of respect for our brothers from the Big Island. They’ve got great on-ball defense."
The problem for KS-Hawaii (25-4 overall) was simple. Kamehameha sees equally great defense every day at practice. Dyrbe Enos, Shane Matayoshi and Davis Achong were relentless defensively; KS-Hawaii finished with 21 turnovers. This was the same squad from the Big Island that edged Punahou in a December tourney on Oahu.
A crowd of about 1,500 saw the Kamehameha (22-7 overall), runner-up from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, hit the 80 mark for a second night in a row. They routed Baldwin 86-38 in the opening round on Wednesday.
They didn’t hit 12 3-pointers again, but thoroughly throttled their cousins from the Big Island with a smothering fullcourt press and unselfish ball movement offensively. Christenson, a 6-foot-6 senior, had 18 points and nine rebounds by the half and played just a couple of minutes in the second.
Kamehameha led 45-25 at intermission and maintained that lead through the third quarter. That gave coach Jesse Nakanishi the chance to rest Christenson and most of his starters for the last 12 minutes of the game.
"I’m excited," Nakanishi said. "We’re able to set tempo and get some easy baskets. We’re continuing to shoot the ball well, and we were able to do a lot in the fourth quarter without Mic."
At Farrington gym
KAMEHAMEHA–Dyrbe Enos 6, Shane Matayoshi 7, Frank Ho 16, Micah Christenson 20, Brandon Orpillia 0, Davis Achong 9, Makoa Camanse-Stevens 2, Trent Park 0, Kona Gaison 1, JT Campbell 2, Charlton Tang 4, Gavin Lagrange 4, Shane Yoshida 7, Zerin Parker 2.
KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAII–Keoni Wong 0, Shaun Kagawa 6, Kekoa Turner 9, Lanaki Apele 7, Leo Kozlowski 2, Jacob Kackley 6, Jordan Victorine 2, Jalen Carvalho 3, Blane-Allen Manliguis 0, Jayce Carvalho 13, Kaeo Alapai 2, Keoni Kua 0, Colby Boyce-Cabatu 1.
3-point goals–Kamehameha 6 (Ho 2, Enos, Christenson, Achong, Matayoshi). Kamehameha-Hawaii 4 (Apele, Kackley, Turner, Jalen Carvalho).
Roosevelt 39, Baldwin 36
Kaipo Pale scored 14 points to lead the Rough Riders over the Bears in a consolation bracket game. Timothy Pang had 17 points to lead Baldwin.
At Farrington gym
ROOSEVELT–Isaiah Visoria 0, Micah Ikari 3, Ese Tago 4, J.J. Mariano 3, Brendan Nakatani 6, Kaipo Pale 14, Asten Koki 9, Troy Nakasuji 0, Nicholas Samifua 0, Rahni Fisher 0.
BALDWIN–Kealii Pacheco 5, Gabriel Ross 11, Kyson Kaiama 0, Kama Anderson 0, Kona Sarmiento 1, Timothy Pang 17, Tyler Arbogast 0, Bradley Bowlin 0, Pasoni Tasini 2, Teva Eldredge 0, Adrian Garces 0, Sione Finau 0.