Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Kamehameha rebounds with rout of Kapolei


  



Sat, Dec 8, 2018 @ Moanalua


Final 1 2 3 4  
Kamehameha (14-14, 14-14) 14 14201563
Kapolei (26-12, 20-9) 9 8 8 429

SALT LAKE — The Kamehameha boys basketball team desperately needed a strong performance Saturday after letdowns in each of the previous two nights and it got just that.

Christmas Togiai scored nine of his game-high 13 points before halftime, Paliku Kamaka hit three second-half 3-pointers en route to 11 points and Lokahi Pauole added 10 as the Warriors cruised to a 63-29 rout of Kapolei on the final day of the OIA-ILH Challenge at Moanalua.

Kamehameha dominated just about every facet of the game. All 10 players that got into the game scored at least three points and the Warriors (6-2) made eight 3-pointers from five different players.

The Hurricanes (4-5), who were coming off a 42-41 win over two-time defending Division II state champion Saint Francis Friday, were led by Mateo Veazie's six points.

The Warriors set the tone early with their defense. Kapolei turned it over on six of its first seven possessions, which led to a quick 8-0 Kamehameha lead.

"We just talked about being more aggressive before the game and I thought our guys did a good job of kind of taking that to heart," Warriors first-year coach Larry Park said. "I think we forced 14 turnovers in the first half, but not only that, on the offensive side we had some of our other guys trying to go to the basket against the zone."

Kamehameha scored 17 points off of Kapolei's 24 total turnovers.

Kamehameha's Lokahi Pauole defends Kapolei's Andrew Jones in the first half. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

A Skyler Ramos 3-pointer from the left wing gave the Warriors a 14-9 lead after the opening quarter. Veazie drive and bucket early in the second pulled the Hurricanes to within 16-13. However, Kamehameha scored on its next six possessions — including four points apiece from Togiai and Pauole — to extend it to a 26-15 advantage with 3:41 left in the first half.

Togiai picked up a pair of quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game, but remained in the game. He did not commit his third foul until the 5:05 mark in the fourth quarter.

"He's such a smart basketball player," Park said of Togiai, a 6-foot-2 junior guard. "He picks up that second foul and both he and Bailey (Lee) are kind of waving to me on the bench saying, you know, they're OK, leave ‘em in, and so I did, but, he knows how to play. He's really smart so we trust him and he's learning to trust us, but he knows how to play."

The Warriors led 28-17 at halftime. They got back-to-back 3-pointers from Preston Ponteras and Kamaka to open the second half to double up their lead, 34-17. Onipaa Pung hit a 3-pointer from the left wing later in the period to make it a 48-25 lead after three quarters.

"Coming into the season we knew Paliku Kamaka could knock down the 3, (but) because a lot of the guys are a little bit young, it's something that we practice and work on every single day," Park said. "We try to get 20 minutes of shooting drills specifically — two 10-minute sessions — just to get confident in shooting rhythm and with today's game, it's something you gotta do. You gotta be able to hit that 3 ball. Punahou, Iolani they shoot it a ton."

Kamehameha opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run, capped by back-to-back buckets inside from Pauole, to stretch it to a 55-25 lead.

The Warriors led by as many as 36 points late in the game.

Park said it was pivotal that his team finish strong Saturday after mental lapses in losses to Kailua and Moanalua.

Against the Surfriders in Thursday, Kamehameha nearly overcame a 19-point halftime deficit but ultimately fell short, 68-63. Friday night, it squandered a four-point halftime advantage and was outscored 40-13 in the second half in a 71-48 loss to Na Menehune. They were shut out in the third quarter, 20-0.

"That's the other thing we talked about in the locker room, is we want to prove to ourselves that we're a four-quarter team after the last two nights," Park said. "(Against) Kailua it was the second quarter, Moanalua it was that third quarter, so again it's a matter of focus, it's intensity and more than anything else, proving to us as a team that we can do it for four quarters, so it was a real good game for us, it was super important (to bounce back)."

Kapolei played without a number of players, most notably guard Ja'Shon Carter, who scored 16 points against the Warriors when the teams met 12 days ago in the McKinley Black and Gold Classic. Kamehameha won that game by a score of 57-50.



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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