Kahuku, Kala­heo Battle-tested For State Hoops Tour­ney

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Windward Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

As Kahuku and Kala­heo pre­pared for this week’s boys bas­ket­ball state cham­pi­onships, two things were cer­tain: Both al­ready are well-sea­soned from the ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive OIA tour­na­ment last week, and both ad­vanced to the post­sea­son semi­fi­nals.

The Red Raiders moved on to last Thurs­day night’s cham­pi­onship game, while the Mus­tangs bat­tled for third place fol­low­ing their semi­fi­nal loss to Far­ring­ton.

This week’s state tour­na­ment runs Wed­nes­daySatur­day, of­fer­ing a fresh slate for both schools. Wed­nes­day’s first rounds and Thurs­day’s quar­ter­fi­nal round will be played at ei­ther McKin­ley or Moanalua. The tour­na­ment shifts to UH’s Stan Sher­iff Cen­ter for Fri­day’s semi­fi­nals and Satur­day’s cham­pi­onship.

A look at the state prospects for Kahuku and Kala­heo is be­low. Kahuku Red Raiders Record: 16-3 over­all, in­clud­ing pre­sea­son games, head­ing into last Thurs­day’s OIA Red ti­tle game against Far­ring­ton, which was 10-1 in the sea­son and sec­ond place in the East.

Key wins: over Far­ring­ton 55-39 at home Jan. 3, over Moanalua 56-44 away Jan. 21, over Kaiser 6145 at home Feb. 4, over Leile­hua 48-30 Feb. 17.

How they got here (OIA Red tour­na­ment re­cap): De­feated McKin­ley 7829 in the quar­ter­fi­nals, de­feated Leile­hua in the semi­fi­nals.

Track­ing the 2014-15 Red Raiders: Kahuku’s win streak reached 11 last week when it beat Leile­hua in the OIA semi­fi­nals, thus earn­ing a spot in last Thurs­day’s cham­pi­onship game against Far­ring­ton. (The Red Raiders’ lone loss was Jan. 7 to East sea­son cham­pion Kala­heo 62-56 on the road.)

Of­fen­sive bal­ance has been a Kahuku strength, as four play­ers are av­er­ag­ing in dou­ble fig­ures: Den­hym Brooke ( 13.6 points per game), Hyrum Har­ris (12.4 ppg), Keanu Ak­ina (11.4) and Sa­muta Avea (10.8).

On de­fense, it’s play­ing per­haps its best bas­ket­ball all sea­son, hold­ing its last four op­po­nents to an av­er­age of 35 points per out­ing. The team limited Leile­hua to just nine to­tal points af­ter in­ter­mis­sion in their semi­fi­nal game, break­ing what had been a tight game wide open.

State tour­na­ment his­tory: The Red Raiders have three Di­vi­sion “A” state ti­tles to their credit (1971, 1973 and 1974) and also have been a state runnerup in 2005, 2009 and 2012. Kala­heo Mus­tangs State tour­na­ment his­tory: Kala­heo has won five state ti­tles (1985, 1995, 2001, 2013 and 2014). It also has been a state runnerup six times (1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2004).

2014-15 Record: 26-3 over­all, in­clud­ing pre­sea­son games, head­ing into last Thurs­day’s OIA third­place game against Leile­hua (11-0 in the sea­son, first place in East)

Key wins: over Kahuku 62-56 at home Jan. 7, over Far­ring­ton 52-38 on the road Jan. 21, over Moanalua 67-52 at home Feb. 6.

How they got here (OIA Red tour­na­ment re­cap): De­feated Mililani 60-32 in the quar­ter­fi­nals Feb. 14, lost to Far­ring­ton 6058 in over­time in the semi­fi­nals.

Track­ing the 2014-15 Mus­tangs: Although Kala­heo saw its 16-game win streak (in­clud­ing pre­sea­son) ended by Far­ring­ton in last week’s OIA semi­fi­nals, it still has a larger prize to play for, as the team seeks its third state crown in four years.

Should it po­si­tion it­self to be in the mix for a ti­tle again, it will have to do it largely on the de­fen­sive end, which has been a strength in 2014- 15. Kala­heo is yield­ing 42.8 points per game over its last 13 con­tests. The 60 points given up to Far­ring­ton in last week’s OIA game was the high­est out­put reg­is­tered against Kala­heo this sea­son.

Much of the dam­age was done at the char­ity stripe, where Far­ring­ton at­tempted 29 free throws. With that in mind, the Mus­tangs will need to play cleaner this week and avoid ac­cu­mu­lat­ing fouls. Of­fen­sively, se­niors Kaleb Gil­more and Ku­paa Har­ri­son have been among the state’s most ca­pa­ble scor­ers, as they are av­er­ag­ing 18.2 and 14.2 points, re­spec­tively. Gil­more also has con­verted 35 three­p­oint­ers, dat­ing back to pre­sea­son. The ro­ta­tion also fea­tures Zach Mar­rotte, Alec MacLeod (9.1 ppg) and Jalen and Kekai Smith (7.0).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.