Boys Basketball
McKinley pulls away late from Campbell


Mon, Dec 2, 2019 @ McKinley

Final 1 2 3 4  
Campbell 10 8131041
McKinley (12-14, 10-10) 8 16 6 1848

KAKAAKO—Host McKinley pulled away from Campbell, 48-41,m on the final day of the Black and Gold Classic at their Student Council Gymnasium Monday night.

Frank Camacho and Noah Omori scored 10 points apiece to help the Tigers snap a three-game losing streak.

"He's our main scorer and we rely on him a lot. Anywhere around the basket, he's almost automatic. We're going to depend on him a lot and he's a three-year starter and he's been there two years ago when we did well so he's been in these kind of games where it means more," McKinley coach Duane Omori said of Camacho.

Goddhey Jacalne led all scorers with 14 points and Kaimana Preza added eight for the Sabers in the loss. The team is still a work in progress as it tries to find its identity.

The Sabers went winless in the Classic and lost by an average of six points per game.

"We're still trying to find an identity. This is not summer league, you can't do what you like. Now it's different. It's more ball control, possessions are valuable. Guys are still trying to find where they belong. I know where they belong, but they have to figure it out. I feel we will be fine, the kids are good, hard workers. It's tough to lose the way we lose because I will keep rotating kids and I'm trying to find who's our five that we're looking. Right now we're just looking for our go-to guys. We have to keep working," Campbell coach Wyatt Tau said. 

Campbell led 8-2 early on and took a 10-8 lead going into the second quarter.

Christian Ababa tied up the game at 12 with a layup and McKinley jumped out ahead with a 7-2 run. Elmo Sema, who hit two 3-pointers in the quarter, got his second to fall from the right corner for a 22-16 lead.

Like the Sabers, the Tigers are using the preseason to gel and find consistency on the court.

"We're a team that hasn't played much together. This preseason helps us with our chemistry. It gets our JV players get acclimated to the varsity level. We want to identify the players who are going to be important to us," coach Omori said.

The Sabers cut it to three twice before Roman Serrano's left handed layup dropped as the buzzer sounded to give the home team a 24-18 advantage at halftime.

The Sabers got to the foul line to start the third quarter, but the Tigers went up seven after AJ Ababa's 3-pointer. Campbell scored the final five points of the quarter after Colbie Arcalas buried a 3 from the left corner and Josiah Batala converted an assist from Preza in the paint as Campbell led, 31-30 going into the fourth.

"It seems we get stronger when we go down and play harder. But these guys have to understand we have to play hard whether we're up or down. This is our eighth game and at least six of them were like that. If we control the game and protect the ball, we win those games, but it comes down to turnovers," Tau said.

Camacho erupted for six points off jumpers to start the fourth and Omori added a pair of 3's, both in the same area near the top of the arc for a 42-33 lead.

"As I tell all the kids, it's time to shoot the ball. You miss, you miss. It's a time to build their confidence and we want them to feel comfortable and we don't want to be negative. He's been coming around a couple games ago so I think he's built his confidence up," coach Omori said of his son, Noah.

Campbell battled back and Jacalne's pair of free throws erased the deficit down to three, 42-39. The Tigers closed out the game with a 6-2 run including Aaron Kwon's wide-open lay up in transition.

"This is something we have to work on. We wanted to take time off and make Campbell put us in the bonus. But in the end, we were trying to prepare how to finish games. For us, we have to learn how to take care of the ball and possessions," coach Omori said.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].




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