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Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveJanuary 10, 2018, 10:05pm
Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ Saint Francis
MANOA — No. 3 Saint Francis sprinted out of the gates then slowed down to beat visiting Damien, 69-54, in Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II boys basketball Wednesday night.
The Saints (3-0) remained the only undefeated team in the ILH D2 in handing the Monarchs (1-1) their first regular-season loss.
Kameron Ng led the Saints with a game-high 29 points; brother Kordel followed with 10.
Kolin Galdiano led Damien with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. The Monarchs' bench contributed 30 points, led by Richard Williams' 11.
Damien was doomed by Saint Francis' 25-6 first quarter. After that, the Monarchs outscored the Saints, 48-44.
"I think for our guys, the pressure of the moment got to us," Damien coach Alvin Stephenson said. "It's a learning experience for us. We'll go back to the drawing board. We'll fix it."
Meanwhile, the Saints thought they had an issue fixed with the fast start.
"We've challenged the kids to come out (hard) because we've been having slow starts," Saints coach Ron Durant said. "We told them, ‘Let's come out hard' and they performed in the first quarter."
Saint Francis opened the game with an 18-2 run — 16-0 in one stretch — with Kameron Ng accounting for 14 of the team's 25 first-quarter points. It was 39-17 by halftime.
But Damien outscored Saint Francis in the second half 37-30.
"We lost that effort in the second quarter and in the second half it was kind of like an even game," Durant said. "Now, we have to figure out how to have them finish the game."
The Saints, though, were without starter Bryce Nishida (illness), who had missed school the past three days.
"Must've been serious for him to miss the basketball game," Durant said.
"I liked our effort," Durant added. "We were missing Nishida, one of our 3-pointer shooters, and Bubba (Akana) was out sick this whole week. Being short-handed, we did pretty well. We played well defensively, but we gave up a little too many 3s in the second half."
Akana scored two points off the bench and managed to get six rebounds. Boris Vukovic led the Saints with eight rebounds.
As for Damien, despite the slow start, it showed promise with strong ending.
"They didn't give up," Stephenson said. "They played harder than they did in the first quarter."
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