The defending champs are back in the final.
‘Iolani took a 16-point lead and fought off a Kahuku rally to pull out a 45-38 win last night in the semifinal round of the Hawaiian Airlines/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Championships at Stan Sheriff Center.
The top-seeded Raiders (23-4 overall) will meet arch rival Kamehameha tonight. Trevyn Tulonghari scored 12 points and Josiah Sukumaran had 11 points and seven rebounds for ‘Iolani.
"It was an ugly game, but we’re kind of used to our ugliness," ‘Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto said. "Our defense was good, especially in the first half. We were just good enough.
"All wins are pretty."
Kahuku’s Shairone Thompson, facing double teams all night in the post, finished with 10 points, six boards and four assists. He also had three steals and two blocks.
Kawehena Johnson also scored 10 points, but spent time on the bench with foul trouble. In all, the running Red Raiders shot just 2-for-8 from the 3-point arc in a slowdown tempo enforced by ‘Iolani.
"That was an emotional one," Kahuku coach Darren Johnson said, his eyes red and teary after a postgame chat with his team. "Our team really wanted to bring something special home to Kahuku."
Many of the Red Raiders played on the football squad that was ranked No. 1 the entire fall, but was banned during the postseason by the Oahu Interscholastic Association due to the use of a player who was ruled ineligible.
‘Iolani’s methodical style kept the run-and-gun Red Raiders under wraps most of the night. ‘Iolani led 23-13 at the half and went on an 11-5 run to open the second half. Reid Saito’s turnaround jumper from the foul line gave his team a 34-18 lead midway through the third quarter.
Kahuku answered with a 14-4 blitz, using backdoor passes and an attack on the low post.
After K.J. Uluave’s foul shot with 6:18 to go, Kahuku trailed 38-32.
Samala Afalava then drove for a three-point play in the paint, shrinking the lead to 40-35 with 3:51 to go.
The Red Raiders’ momentum ended, though, with turnovers. Jourdan Simmonds found Trevyn Tulonghari with a backdoor bounce pass to stretch the lead back to seven with 2:21 remaining.
After Thompson missed two foul shots, Sukumaran took a feed from Saito and scored on a reverse layup for a 44-35 lead with 1:38 to go.
Kahuku battled, but got no closer than six the rest of the way.
"We tried to push it uptempo, but their coach does a good job of keeping his players disciplined. They played their type of basketball," Johnson said. "My kids played tough defense. We knew if we kept them under 50 (points), we had a chance."
The Raiders shot 49 percent from the field, but had to work hard to get good looks.
"They’re big, they challenge shots and they step in to take charges," Shimamoto said of Kahuku.
Thompson faced a forest of trees in the key from start to finish.
"I thought we did good. Shots weren’t falling in," the 6-5 senior said. "Deep down, I’m mad. I’m irritated, but I feel humble knowing we left everything on the court. There’s no reason to be mad."
Now ‘Iolani, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, can give its full attention to ILH runner-up Kamehameha. The teams met twice during the regular season, splitting the series.
"They look really good as you can see by their scores," Shimamoto said of the high-scoring Warriors, who have averaged 78 points per game in the tournament.
"We’ve been working on some new stuff," Shimamoto said. "I’m sure they have, too. We had to come up with something. Last time, they beat us by 12 or 15 points."
KAHUKU–Kawehena Johnson 10, Samala Afalava 3, Galeai Malufau 3, KJ Uluave 6, Shairone Thompson 10, Evan Ramirez 2, Ronson Beatty 0, Mekeli Fiso 4.
‘IOLANI–Jourdan Simmonds 3, Reid Saito 7, Kainoa Scheer 4, Josiah Sukumaran 11, Trevyn Tulonghari 12, Tracy Young 0, Gabriel Vega 6, Adam Ching 0, Keahi Hogan 0, Pauli Duke 2.
3-point goals–Kahuku 2 (Johnson). ‘Iolani 3 (Tulonghari 2, Simmonds)
Moanalua 62, Kamehameha-Hawaii 56
Wesley Armburst scored 18 points and Dexter Williams added 10 as Na Menehune defeated the Warriors.
Jayce Carvalho and Lanaki Apele scored 14 points each for Kamehameha-Hawaii.
At Stan Sheriff Center
KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAII–Shaun Kagawa 9, Lanaki Apele 14, Jacob Kackley 5, Jayce Carvalho 14, Kaeo Alapai 5, Keoni Wong 0, Kekoa Turner 7, Leo Kozlowski 0, Jordan Victorine 0, Jalen Carvalho 0, Blane-All Manliguis 0, Keoni Kua 0, Colby Boyce-Cabatu 2.
MOANALUA–Kevin Amaral 8, Dexter Williams 10, Wesley Armburst 18, Dillon Turk 9, Richard Villasenor 3, Bronson Kepa 5, Aaron Davis 3, Brandon Guerrero 2, Kreig Kepa 2, Carl Ko 2.
3-point goals–Kamehameha-Hawaii 2 (Kagawa, Kackley). Moanalua 4 (Armburst 2, Amaral, Davis).
Radford 63, Lahainaluna 47
The Rams had a huge second quarter, outscoring the Lunas 21-6 in their win in the consolation round.
Nahshon George had a double double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead Radford.
Todd Rickard Jr. scored 11 points for Lahainluna in the loss.
At Stan Sheriff Center
LAHAINALUNA–Todd Rickard Jr. 11, Luke Williams 9, Ralph Salmasan 0, John Mishima 2, Amanaki Vakalahi 4, Emil John Cariaga 4, Michael Huliganga 2, Micah Arcangel 3, Leroy Rickard 7, Folau Tauese 3, Feleti Taufa 0, Gavin Kahaialii 0, Mitchell Loewen 2.
RADFORD–Tony Reid 13, Wayne Keys Jr. 4, Nahshon George 24, Zachary Pelzl 12, Dorsey Norris 2, Glenn Castil 0, Charles Wong 0, Dominique Huggins 2, Steven Watkins 0, Nicholas Lenover 2, Jeromy Castro 1, Roscoe Kalilikane 3, Tevita Baravilala 0, Maika Ulufale 0.
3-point goals–Lahainaluna 1 (Rickard, T.). Radford 3 (George 2, Kalilikane).
Mililani 64, Roosevelt 60
Hassan Richardson scored a game-high 26 points as the Trojans edged the Rough Riders.
Kaipo Pale scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds for Roosevelt in a losing effort.
At Stan Sheriff Center
ROOSEVELT–Ese Tago 4, Cozia Chapman Jr. 6, Brendan Nakatani 0, Kaipo Pale 25, Asten Koki 4, Isaiah Visoria 0, Micah Ikari 2, J.J. Mariano 11, Johnson Acopan Jr. 0, Johnson Delos Santos 2, Pono Patoc 2, Troy Nakasuji 0, Nicholas Samifua 4, Rahni Fisher 0.
MILILANI–Ryan Jacobs 2, Brady Spiridigliozzi 11, Joshua Lenchanko 2, Hassan Richardson 26, Christian Baltazar 0, Damon Shimabukuro 0, Peter Bueno 0, Chedan Pascual 0, Kaimihoku Wilson 8, Robert Griffin 2, Alex Bumgarner 13, Riley Borges 0, Zachary McCoy 0, Sylvester Panoncillo 0.
3-point goals–Roosevelt 3 (Mariano 3). Mililani 5 (Bumgarner 3, Richardson 2).