ILH Boys Basketball
Iolani outlasts Saint Louis for second ILH win


Thu, Jan 10, 2019 @ Saint Louis

Final 1 2 3 4  
Iolani (21-12, 21-12) 19 15202175
Saint Louis (10-10, 10-10) 19 12 13 2569
Pts: Sam Wheeler (IOL) 27 pts  Reb: Liloa Kapiko (STL) 8 reb  Ast: Noah Bumanglag (IOL) 7 ast

KALAEPOHAKU — Four Iolani starters accounted for all 75 points as the No. 3 Raiders escaped with a narrow 75-69 win over No. 6 Saint Louis in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I contest at McCabe Gymnasium Thursday.

"Any win is a good win in the ILH. It doesn't matter how you get it or who you get it against. Every win is a good win," Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto said.

"Every win counts. On a given day, anyone can win in this league. Just coming out and winning this game was extremely important especially after the opening season loss," Iolani guard Sam Wheeler said.

Wheeler scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, Kawika Lee added 21 points, Frank Felix with 18 and Noah Bumanglag rounded out the scoring with nine as the Raiders won their second game in a row to improve to 2-1 in the ILH.

"It felt like it was coming for him," Shimamoto said of Wheeler. "He had some great spots in the preseason and was in a lull but was hitting shots. It was nice to see him get off a little bit more today with some easy ones and some 3's."

"I hit the early on one and it gave me confidence to keep shooting. Once you start hitting a couple, the basket starts looking really big. Thanks to my teammates for finding me and getting looks," Wheeler said of his breakout shooting.

The Crusaders (1-2 ILH) trailed the Raiders by as much as 12 until Jayden de Laura erupted for 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as he hit four 3-pointers to spark Saint Louis' comeback.

"They have Division I type athletes on the floor. You see a guy like Jayden de Laura who spends his time playing football, putting them back in the game with those shots. It's always tough to play a team that's going to continue to fight, so that finish went like it did," Shimamoto said.

Isaac Silva, who finished with team-high 19 points, converted the three-point play as the Crusaders trimmed Iolani's lead all the way down to four, 73-69, with 21.6 seconds left.

Bumanglag came away empty-handed from the free throw line, but de Laura could not get his 3-pointers to connect as Lee was fouled with 8.9 seconds left and hit two free throws to put the game away.

The Crusaders trailed by as much as 12 until Jayden de Laura (right) erupted for 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter with four 3-pointers to spark a Saint Louis comeback attempt. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

Iolani led 17-9 in the first quarter until Saint Louis went on a 10-2 run to knot the game at 19 going into the second.

The second quarter was a game of runs as Silva opened the second quarter scoring six-straight points to give the Crusaders a 25-19 lead until Iolani went on a 15-0 run after Felix's 3-pointer put the Raiders up 34-25.

"Coach Dean always emphasizes spacing when we're running our motion. It allows gaps to open for the drives, we can drive and kick and it allows open shots for people on the perimeter," Wheeler said.

Silva continued to power Saint Louis on offense and the Crusaders closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run to trail 34-31 at halftime.

Lee and Wheeler powered Iolani in the third quarter, combining for 18 of the team's 20 quarter points. Wheeler drained his third 3-pointer and followed up with a steal and fast break layup to give the Raiders breathing room at 41-35 to force a timeout. Lee hit a 3-pointer off of Bumanglag's inbound pass for a 49-40 lead and Wheeler sank another 3-pointer to help give Iolani a double digit lead that carried into the fourth quarter.

"Once we kept it simple and made simple plays, then we were able to get nice looks. We practice shooting a lot and I'm glad they were able to knock it down," Shimamoto.

Felix scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and shot 5 of 7 from the free throw line. He got the drive plus the foul to give Iolani a 68-56 lead with 3:39 remaining on the clock.

Despite being undersized and overmatched athletically, Shimamoto liked how his team continued to battle.

"We kept fighting," Shimamoto said. "We are definitely the less athletic team. So to go against guys who will go against guys that will drive to the basket hard, get out in transition quick, we did an okay job, but it was good enough," Shimamoto said.

Liloa Kapiko powered his way to the basket to come away with 12 points and eight rebounds. Trey Taba, who leads the team in scoring, was held in check with seven points.

Both teams will meet again at Iolani on Jan. 22.

The Crusaders host Mid-Pacific next Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. while Iolani hosts Kamehameha, who upset No. 2 Maryknoll, 34-33 tonight, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].




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