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Game of the Week
Brandon Ching | ScoringLiveFebruary 7, 2018, 8:26pm
Wed, Feb 7, 2018 @ McKinley
Twice is nice.
Tenth-ranked Kalani capitalized on Roosevelt turnovers and thwarted a late Rough Rider comeback to win, 61-52, at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium on Wednesday.
The Falcons (10-2 OIA) claim their second-consecutive Oahu Interscholastic Association title and clinch a seeded berth in next week's state tournament starting on Feb. 14.
"Each year is a different group and I'm happy for them that they won," said Kalani coach Everett Frye.
Kapaa Nishimura led the Falcons with 16 points, Brandon Chung and Isaiah Lee each contributed 13 points.
"He matured over the years, a four year starter and it's good having him," said Frye, on Nishimura. "Brandon has also been our rock and our team is built on effort."
The Rough Riders fell to 8-5 to end league play, but punched their ticket into the state tournament.
Kalani won 41-39 back on Jan. 20, but unlike the first meeting, it wasn't very close as the Rough Riders turned it over early and often in the first quarter.
"We didn't do much well. We threw the damn ball all over the place. We didn't play our best game against them. Those were unforced errors," said Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway.
"We were lucky they had that. We had some (turnovers) of our own, but we kept our composure," said Nishimura.
The Rough Riders committed seven turnovers by throwing errant passes that led to Falcon baskets. Kalani held a 16-10 lead after the first quarter.
"We try to patent our team off of that," Frye said on players committing to defense. "We try to press and get up into people and make it a hectic game."
Kalani went up by as much as eight, but Juan Alvarez paced the Rough Riders with eight points off the bench as Roosevelt trailed by five, 29-24. Logan Matsuoka splashed a 3-pointer in the waning seconds to give the Falcons a 32-24 lead at halftime.
The Falcons broke open the second half on an 8-0 run and led by as much as 17.
"Our spacing is key. If we have spacing, we can do anything as a team," said Nishimura.
Kapono Campos and Alvarez each converted 3-point plays to bring the Rough Riders within 11, 46-35 to start the fourth quarter. Kalani didn't get their first basket of the quarter until the 3:54 mark on Chung's attempt. Roosevelt got the game within single digits with 34.7 seconds left following Chris Lee's drive and later Jared Elwin's 3-pointer, but could get no closer.
"We needed to win the third quarter and we can stretch out the fourth quarter," said Frye.
"At that point you're in panic mode, going for everything you can," said Hathaway, on the fourth quarter rally. "We turned the ball over way too much and Kalani did what they had to do to win."
Kalani shot 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, 13 of 20 (65 percent) overall. Roosevelt finished the game shooting 5 of 8 (62.5 percent).
Campos led the Rough Riders with 15 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter off putbacks and Alvarez finished with 13 points, and Micah Visoria added 11 points.
A pair of Golden Hawks salvage their season to help Team Rogue win the classic title.
Team Leaf prevailed over Team Titan, 4-2, in the 13th New City Nissan Softball Classic.
Chevan Cordeiro and Cherilyn Molina named Male and Female Distinguished Athletes of Year.
Nine girls and three boys from all five leagues make up the 36th induction class.
The Punahou senior and KS-Hawaii sophomore each collected multiple gold medals last week.
The Mules beat Punahou last weekend in mercy rule fashion to win first state crown.