February 19, 2019, 8:23am
Punahou opened up title defense of its 2018 Division I state title with a bang.
Three players scored in double figures to power the Buffanblu over visiting Kahuku, 64-46, at Hemmeter Fieldhouse Monday night in the opening round of the Snapple Boys Basketball Championships.
Duke Clemens led all scorers with 15 points to lead Punahou in a rematch of the past two D1 state championship games. Tamatoa Falatea had 11 and Jakob Kimura added 10 more to round out the top scorers for the Buffanblu, who advances to face third-seeded Lahainaluna Thursday at Moanalua's gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.
The Red Raiders held a slim 12-11 lead after the opening period, but Punahou outscored the visitors by 15 in the second quarter to take a 34-20 lead at the break. The Buffanblu also added to their lead to start the second half by winning the third quarter, 20-10.
Ethan Erickson had 14 points and nine boards to lead Kahuku in its season-ending loss.