By J.R. De GROOTE
Stephens Media Hawaii
KAILUA-KONA — Kalani Lewi scored 17 points and Peni Kalavi and Blaine Broberg each added 10 to propel Kealakehe (1-0) past Honokaa 60-39 in the Waveriders’ Big Island Interscholastic Federation season debut Tuesday night at Kealakehe Gymnasium.
“It’s a great way to start,” said Kealakehe coach Sam Kekuaokalani. “Everything we were focusing on in the preseason is coming to fruition now. We have a few things we need to fix, but for the most part I believe the boys understand the goal and how we are going to get there.”
From the tip, the Waveriders applied constant pressure on the Dragons, often forcing an errant pass and making it hard for Honokaa to set up their half court offense.
“We wanted to make them work for whatever opportunities they would get,” Kekuaokalani said. “We were filling the lanes really good tonight.”
The Waveriders went into the break with a 31-25 lead, but came out running in the second half and quickly built a double-digit margin. Despite a couple of charging fouls, Kealakehe was able to get to the rim often, and as the second half progressed managed to slow it down and let Kalavi and the other bigs do their work in the paint.
“There were some out of control moments, but I’m trying to allow the boys to govern themselves a little bit more,” Kekuaokalani said. “Tonight, the kids played one of the better games both offensively and defensively.”
Cjay Carvalho led Honokaa (0-2) with 13 points — including three second half 3-pointers — and Shyrome Batin added 8.
The win is a good early-season confidence booster for the Waveriders, who host crosstown rival and perennial contender Konawaena on Friday.
“That will be a real test to see where we stand,” Kekuaokalani said. “I think this was a good game to have prior to playing Konawaena. As a coach, you hope we can take what we accomplished here and in the preseason and build on it. The boys know what they need to do, it’s just doing more of it.”
Waiakea 64, Kamehameha 58: Lucas St. George scored 28 points and Waiakea used a big third quarter to push past its Division I rival at home.
Trailing by four at the half, Waiakea (2-0) survived its first test of the season, getting Dillon Rellez’s 12 points.
Blaine-Allen Manliguis led Kamehameha (1-1) with 27 points, and Pukana Vincent added 12.
In JV, Kamehameha won 37-30.
Kam 10 21 12 15—58
Wai. 17 10 21 16—64
Hilo 67, Keaau 43: The visiting Vikings evened their mark at 1-1 behind Jalen Carvalho’s 21 points and 19 from Austin Dante.
Edgar Ventura paced the Cougars (0-2) with 15 points.
Hilo won a tight JV game 44-43.
Hilo 12 16 20 19—67
Keaau 6 12 8 17—43
Konawaena 62, Ka’u 38: Jonah Bredeson led the way with 17 points in Kealakekua, Cameron Howes added 14 and Zane Gray had 11 as the Wildcats eased to victory to improve to 2-0.
Larry-Dan Al-Navarro scored 13 points for the Trojans (0-2), and Brian Gascon had nine.
Konawaena won the JV game 54-33.
Ka’u 3 11 10 14 —38
Kona 24 5 21 12 —62
Kohala def. St. Joseph: The Cowboys (2-0) turned back the Cardinals (0-1) at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, but a score and high scorers were not available at press time.
Pahoa at Hawaii Prep: The score was not available at press time.