The semifinal showdown between Kamehameha-Hawaii and Kahuku had enough built-in drama as it is.
The teams split two games in December tournaments, each rallying in the final minutes for victories. But as of 1:15 p.m. Friday, the KS-Hawaii Warriors are reeling from an apparent case of food poisoning.
Five players were at the Kamehameha-Kapalama campus clinic receiving treatment after falling ill overnight. Among the five are starters Kekoa Turner and Kaeo Alapai.
Several other players felt ill, but didn’t get the full brunt of the bug. Starting guards Lanaki Apele and Shaun Kagawa were part of the group that recovered quickly after "feeling woozy," coach Dominic Pacheco said.
"I think it’s something we ate, possibly. … I got it, too, around midnight or 1 o’clock (a.m.)," he said.
Pacheco said he’s taken the team to the same restaurant in other years with no problem. The team didn’t eat anywhere else, which leaves only a few other possibilities for the mass illness, such as tainted water bottles. That is a very low possibility, Pacheco said, since they’ve never had a problem with water bottles before.
For now, the coach, who didn’t go to the on-campus clinic, is handling it in an "old school" way. He’s getting better after consuming a large quantity of water, Gatorade and Petalite.
Earlier yesterday, the team ate lunch on campus at Kamehameha Schools, where it stays during trips to Oahu. Nobody got sick until after the post-game meal, Pacheco said, which probably rules out any pre-game consumption.
Dealing with the illnesses, and having nearly half the team go this far in the day without eating any food is not ideal, but Pacheco is optimistic.
"The kids are getting around and feeling better. Some of them went to the store to get Advil for the headaches. I told them it should pass by 3 o’clock," he said.
The Warriors edged AOP 39-37 in overtime last night. The Kahuku/Kamehameha-Hawaii game tips off a 7 p.m. in Blaisdell Arena.