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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveJanuary 3, 2019, 11:45pm
Thu, Jan 3, 2019 @ Saint Francis
MANOA — Despite an inauspicious start, No. 3 Damien proved to be too much for University Lab School in a 60-47 win in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II boys' basketball game at Saint Francis.
With the win, the Monarchs (2-0) took sole possession of first place in handing the Jr. ‘Bows (3-1) their first setback of the young season.
Hayden Bayudan led the Monarchs with 21 points. Jake Holtz followed with 17 — 13 coming in the second half — and Bryce Forbes added 11.
Leif Fautanu pulled a double-double for ULS with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Colby Chun added 12 points.
Before the game even started, Damien found itself trailing, 1-0, when it was called for a technical foul for turning in its lineup late. Ryder Rebiibis made one of two tech shots before the game started and ULS took first possession.
But it did not really matter. Damien managed 28 points off ULS turnovers to dominate much of the game.
Still, Damien coach Alvin Stephenson was not pleased with the performance of his team, which improved to 15-2 overall that includes wins against ILH Division I teams Punahou, Maryknoll, Kamehameha and old nemesis Saint Francis (Damien's losses were to Punahou and Saint Francis).
"I felt we played horrible tonight," Stephenson said. "We'll figure it out. We'll be better. I don't know if it was the layoff or what it is, so we'll be better. It was bad."
It was Damien's first game since Dec. 22, a loss to Punahou.
"It was good to back in the system, especially with the long break we had," Bayudan said. "It's always good to have games to feel each other out and today was a great test for us to see our opponents, if we will play down to their level."
The game was close for most of the first period when leads changed five times. But after ULS tied the game at 9, Damien scored the last two baskets to take a 13-9 lead into the second quarter. Damien opened the second period with an 11-2 run and never looked back en route to a 31-19 lead at the half.
The Jr. ‘Bows tried to slow the game down to start the second half, but it backfired, as the Monarchs opened with a 9-0 run, scoring eight off of turnovers.
Holtz turned up the heat for the Monarchs in the second half, accounting for 13 points off layups, jumpers and a putback.
"Jake, he's a player," Stephenson said. "I know the points will come. Even with our guards — Hayden Bayudan and Jydon Hall — they're all our gamers. We're looking for is Lindon Sevilleja to really shoot it, which we know he can. Once we start clicking, we'll be a lot better."
Ranked third in the ScoringLive Power Rankings, is Damien this season's Saint Francis of the recent past seasons? The Saints moved up to Division I this season.
"It's hard to say, honestly," Stephenson said. "We get to league anything happens. Teams we play normally give us their best game, so we just have to be prepared to take everybody's best punch and be poised. We're still pretty young, as you can see tonight, so it's just getting these guys ready to play."
Damien continues play Friday night at Le Jardin, while ULS plays Kamehameha II Saturday at Klum Gym.
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