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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveFebruary 20, 2020, 11:32pm
Thu, Feb 20, 2020 @ Kaimuki
The training wheels are off and the finish line is in sight.
Roosevelt will be making its first-ever appearance in a state championship game after beating top-seeded Hawaii Prep, 41-37, at Kaimuki's gymnasium Thursday night in the semifinals of the Snapple Division II Boys Basketball Championships.
The Rough Riders, the fourth-seeded team in the eight-team tournament, will play unseeded Kohala in a 5 p.m. championship game at Stan Sheriff Center Friday. The Cowboys defeated McKinley, 45-27, in the second semifinal.
"These kids have worked hard," said Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway. "HPA is tough, my goodness, that game could have gone either way. I'm just glad it came out our way."
Sophomore Drake Watanabe recorded a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Roosevelt in what turned out to be a back-and-forth affair.
The Rough Riders jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter, then went down 26-20 in the third quarter. They also took and lost the lead in the final period of play before junior Logan Quinlan gave Roosevelt the lead for good off a pass from freshman Kayman Lewis with under two minutes remaining in the game.
"For us to keep our composure was big I think," said Hathaway, who has two sophomores and one freshman in the starting lineup. "We've grown up a lot this tournament, which is what I was looking for. I've been waiting for these guys...I told them we got to take the the training wheels off. We can't keep saying we're young anymore, and I think they finally grew up."
When Roosevelt trailed by six in the second half, Hathaway implored his players to keep being aggressive, especially with Ka Makani posts Michael Hughes and Umikoa Kealoha dealing with foul trouble.
While HPA worked to generate multiple 3-point shot attempts, the Rough Riders got three points the old fashion way with an and-1.
Watanabe's three-point play tied the game at 26 after the third quarter and Lewis' had another one of his own to tie the game at 36 with 2:11 remaining in regulation.
"I think we started to attack and that was huge," said Hathaway. "Sometimes we rely on the jump shot way too much, but tonight we did a great job of attacking."
HPA had a chance to tie the game after Quinlan's go-ahead basket, but Kelsen-Jaye Walker split a pair of free throw attempts with 1:15 on the clock to leave Roosevelt with a 38-37 lead. Walker also missed the front end of a 1-and-1 scenario with 42.5 ticks remaining which allowed Roosevelt to extend its lead on freshman Kamu Kaaihue's basket with under 20 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Javan Perez's 3-point shot came up short and Walker missed on the putback opportunity as Roosevelt held on for the victory.
Walker led Ka Makani in the loss with 13 points and seven boards.
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