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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveNovember 26, 2017, 12:41am
Sat, Nov 25, 2017 @ McKinley
Isiah Gelacio and Makoto Kamata each scored 10 points and Maryknoll used a 20-8 first quarter to knock off McKinley, 53-35, Saturday night in the second day of McKinley's Hawaii Self Storage Black and Gold Classic boys' basketball tournament at the Tigers' Student Council Gymnasium.
Frank Camacho and Kyle Moraga paced the Tigers with a combined 25 points. Camacho, a transfer from the Philippines, led with 13 followed with 12 by Moraga, who had three 3-pointers.
The Spartans (4-0) opened the first period with three of their five 3-pointers of the game to take a commanding 20-8 lead. Gelacio had two of his three treys in the first. After that, though, Maryknoll outscored McKinley only by a 31-27 margin.
"I was watching Maryknoll yesterday and they were having trouble getting some things generated out there with their three-point shooting," McKinley coach Duane Omori said. "They're such a great three-point shooting team. They're tall, they have length. They can move the ball, skip passes. I was telling my coaches tonight, ‘You watch, they're going to start hitting their 3-pointers.' Unfortunately, they drained their first three or four. That kind of set us back."
That comfortable margin masked Maryknoll's defensive issues. Maryknoll coach Kelly Grant is trying to implement some zone defenses to complement its man-to-man.
"Last year, we played 95 percent of the time man-to-man," Grant said. "I drill it into them every day about our man principles. Playing in ILH, if you're predictable, you're going to get eaten up, so we're trying to do different things. We're trying to add in a zone press, we're trying to add a zone defense in. The kids are having some difficulties figuring out where they're supposed to be on the floor.
"I felt McKinley would've been a good opportunity for us to work our zone because they have a lot of shooters so we need to be able to run out to guys."
Although the Tigers kept the second through fourth quarters close, the damage was done in the first as Maryknoll rolled to its fourth consecutive double-digit victory.
But Grant was not pleased with his experienced team's effort.
"McKinley out-hustled us," Grant said. "We're six inches taller at every position and when a shot was taken, it was like 50-50 with those guys To me it's heart, determination to get the ball. When the ball gets to the ground, I saw three McKinley guys on the ground and our guys kind of grab the ball like this (motioning with dangling arms), not getting to the floor. We need to fix that. When I watched the warmups, they looked a little lethargic. Can't take anybody lightly; I don't care who you're playing. We have a huge game with Kapolei. If we play like this, we're going to get our okole kicked."
Maryknoll will play Kapolei at 6:45 p.m. Monday to conclude the tournament.
On the other side, the shorter Tigers tried to claw their way back from the big first-quarter deficit.
"Overall, we're proud of our boys," Omori said. "They played tough, with energy. We're one of the smaller teams, so they fought for every ball. They tried their best blocking out."
McKinley's inexperience showed in that returning starter Moraga and newcomer Camacho accounted for 25 of the team's 35 points. Omori is depending on Moraga's and Camacho's leadership.
"They have to create for others in addition to finding their open shots," Omori said. "Kyle relieves pressure off other players In additiion to him running the offense, he has to score and get other people involved."
Omori said the experienced Maryknoll team was the kind of test his team needed.
"We have a lot of inexperience," Omori said. "A lot of them never played varsity basketball. Even those who played last year didn't play a lot of minutes. For us to play against quality teams like Maryknoll is a good experience for us."
The Tigers close the tournament Monday against Hawaii Baptist at 8:15 p.m.
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