BIIF basketball: Wildcats tame Kamehameha, remain top dog in D-I
Austin Aukai’s shooting from everywhere, and Konawaena’s work on the offensive glass tipped the scales against Kamehameha, which staged an entertaining comeback attempt.
The Wildcats defeated Kamehameha 54-48 in a BIIF game on Wednesday night at Koaia Gym, remaining unbeaten the Division I standings and taking care of another contender.
Aukai scored 21 points, Kamakana Ching 10 while Hauoli Akau had nine points for the Wildcats (4-0), who converted 37 percent (17 of 46) from the field and made 12 of 17 free throws.
Solomon Escalante scored 14 points, Isaiah Ignacio 12, and Nalu Kahapea had nine points for the Warriors (3-2), who shot 35 percent (16 of 46) from the floor and sank 13 of 15 free throws.
Konawaena had a bit of a ball-handling issue with 16 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter. Kamehameha had 12 giveaways. But both neutralized each other in transition and scored eight points off free gifts.
In the end, the Wildcats outworked the Warriors on the glass, grabbing a critical rebound in the fourth period with Kona ahead 51-48.
After Aukai missed a free throw with 21.2 seconds left, Ching hauled in an offensive board. Aukai was quickly fouled and buried both free throws for a 53-48 advantage with 15.3 seconds remaining.
Earlier, Payton Grahovac swished a 3-pointer to cut Kona’s lead to 39-38 with under six minutes to go, but the Warriors didn’t hustle back on defense. Kaanoi Rivera-Kelekolio rocked in for a layup in transition for a 41-38 lead.
Then after a Warrior miss, Akau scored on a putback, followed by Austin Ewing’s off-balanced jump shot that banked in off the glass for a 45-38 lead.
The Wildcats ran into halftime with a 29-23 lead, behind a hot one-two punch from Aukai and Ching, who had 13 and eight points, respectively.
Konawaena also did a better job on the offensive glass. Right before the break, the visitors grabbed two offensive rebounds, and Jayden Kuoha-Basque put in the basket on the third attempt at the buzzer.
In the first quarter, the Warriors telegraphed or misfired entry passes to Nalu Kahapea. Kona took those turnovers and held a 6-2 scoring edge off free gifts.
Kamehameha just didn’t seem to be on the same page early. In the second quarter, Isaiah Nakoa-Oness had a breakaway and Kastle Quiocho was ahead of him. Nakoa-Oness passed to Quiocho, who cut in toward the basket and the ball went behind him for a turnover.
Aukai sank three 3-pointers, got a layup off a turnover and hit a pull-up jumper to account for his first-half shooting show.
Then in the second half, Kamehameha just stopped feeding the ball to Kahapea in the paint, but had a boost from Escalante and Ignacio, who scored 10 and eight points, respectively.
But down the stretch, Aukai’s aim from the free throw line stiff-armed Kamehameha’s comeback attempt. He went 8 of 10 from the line, all in the second half.
In the JV, it was Konawaena 49, Kamehameha 48.
Konawaena 17 12 7 18 — 54
Kamehameha 10 13 6 19 — 48
Kealakehe 73, Kohala 63
Anthony Trevino and Bryton Lewi scored in double figures as the Waveriders (2-2) won in Kapaau.
John Nicolas and Mark Francisco reached double figures for the Cowboys (1-2)
Hawaii Prep 63, Ka’u 47
Matija Vitorovic scored 24 points and Jonah Hurney added 16 to lead host Ka Makani (2-1).
The Trojans were led by Joven Padrigo (17 points) and Janslae Badua (14).
HPA won the JV game 57-20.
Ka’u 6 15 14 12 – 47
HPA 15 21 1 9 8 – 63
Waiakea 79, St. Joseph 50
Calvin Mattos scored 27 points to lead three Warriors in double figures in an easy home win.
Wes Amuimuia chipped in with 15 points and Shaun Kojima added 13 for Waiakea (3-0).
Keegan Scanlan led the Cardinals (1-3) with 16 points and Manato Fukuda had 13.
In JV, Waiakea won 42-25
St. Joe 9 19 15 7 – 50
Waiakea 18 13 25 23 – 79
Hilo 73, Pahoa 17
Kekaukahi Alameda, Cresen Nobriga and Jojo Balagot each scored 10 points as the Vikings (3-2) rolled at the Daggers’gym.
Jaymin Santiago-Burns scored nine for Pahoa (1-4).
Hilo 19 28 16 10– 73
Pahoa 4 3 4 - 6 –17
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