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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Brandon Ching | ScoringLiveJanuary 5, 2019, 11:30pm
Sat, Jan 5, 2019 @ Iolani
ALA WAI —No. 4 Maryknoll's free throws and defensive adjustments countered No. 2 Iolani's hot 3-point shooting as the visiting Spartans held off the Raiders, 62-54 in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I contest at Iolani's Lower Gymnasium Saturday.
The defending ILH champions improve to 2-0 in the ILH aided by defensive adjustments and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
The Spartans put a big emphasis on free throw shooting as Maryknoll was a perfect 17 of 17 from the charity stripe in the first half and finished 31 of 34 (91.2 percent) for the game.
"What we've been doing the past two weeks is practicing free throws. I put a lot of pressure on the kids. We do a free throw shooting contest and the five guys who come in last, have to do a long run through McCully after practice," Maryknoll coach Kelly Grant said on how he emphasized the importance of free throws.
Makoto Kamata led Maryknoll with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Tobin added 12 points, eight boards and Kalai Akaka and Niko Robben each chipped in eight and seven points respectively.
Iolani's Frank Felix finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the 3-point line. He went off in the first quarter scoring 12 points off four 3's and had 18 points by halftime. Wesley Yamada came off the bench to add three 3's for nine points as Iolani made 10 of their 16 3-point attempts to lead, 34-31 at halftime.
"We kind of know what they're going to do. Trying to emulate it with the second unit in practice is not the same as when you see it on the floor. The first half was an adjustment and now that we saw the first half, the second half they were able to see and make adjustments," Grant said.
Maryknoll opened the second half on a 7-0 run to lead, 38-34 after Payton Grant found Robben for a 3-pointer. Felix and Noah Furtado traded 3's, but Sam Wheeler got hot from beyond the arc as one of his 3's cut the deficit to one, 44-43, but Maryknoll led, 49-44 going into the fourth.
Iolani shot 4 of 13 from the perimeter in the second half and finished 14 of 29 (48.3 percent) for the game.
After Felix shredded Maryknoll's zone, the Spartans went man-to-man to change it up. Grant shifted his son Payton, a good perimeter defender, onto Felix and Maryknoll's lengthy players were able to contest and close out on Iolani shooters.
"We needed them to put the ball on the floor. We were standing and giving them space. Frank (Felix) can shoot three or four feet behind the line. We told the kids, you have to make them put the ball on the floor. If they put the ball on the floor and shoot a 3-pointer, usually the percentage goes down," Grant said.
The Spartans led by as much as nine, 53-44 after Kamata's drive, but the Raiders pulled within five, 53-48, after Kawika Lee and Felix went a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
Maryknoll went back up by eight after Robben's free throws, but Lee hit a 3-pointer and Noah Bumanglag was fouled on a 3-point play, but could not get his free throw to drop as the Raiders trailed, 56-53 with 56.8 seconds left. However, Kamata, Akaka, and Tobin combined to make 6 for 6 from the charity stripe in the final 42.5 seconds to ice the game.
Iolani looks to rebound on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at Mid-Pacific (1-1).
Maryknoll plays their next two games on the road as it faces Saint Louis (1-0) on Jan. 8 and Kamehameha (0-1) on Jan. 10 before having four-straight home games.
The pair were honored last month as ScoringLive's Distinguished Athlete Award winners.
OIA coaches, athletic trainers, officials and athletic directors were honored last Friday.
It did not take long for baseball to find its way back into the life of Tommy Perkins.
The Iolani catcher, Baldwin pitcher was tops on the diamond in Division I.