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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveFebruary 21, 2020, 8:32pm
Fri, Feb 21, 2020 @ Stan Sheriff
MANOA — Shut down the town.
Kohala owns the crown.
The Cowboys made history Friday night when they won their first-ever state title with a 51-48 win over Roosevelt in the Snapple Division II Boys Basketball Championship at Stan Sheriff Center.
Sophomore O'shen Cazimero scored a game-high 23 points with three triples in the win to lead Kohala, who was unseeded in the eight-team tournament as the BIIF runner-up.
"I'm speechless. I have no clue what I'm going to do when I get home. All I know is that I'm going to go home happy knowing that I'm a champ" said Cazimero, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
It was the Cowboys' first title game appearance since 2007. Fittingly enough, it was also the year that first-year coach Kihei Kapeliela joined the program as an assistant coach.
"Everybody just believed. They're like a family," said Kapeliela. "It's all about one goal at the end of the season; this right here."
Kohala led for majority of the night, but the game hung in the balance in a frantic finish in the fourth quarter.
After Roosevelt's Kody Seguancia tied the game at 48 with two free throws with 47.8 in the fourth quarter, Moses Emeliano split a pair at the line to give Kohala a one-point lead with 34 seconds remaining.
Roosevelt's Drake Watanabe was fouled a couple of seconds later after an offensive rebound, but he missed both free throws to keep the score at 49-48.
Kohala had a breakaway layup attempt on the ensuing inbounds play, but the Rough Riders survived the play and regained possession with a chance to take the lead.
Watanabe, who led Roosevelt with 13 points, dribbled around a screen to take a 3-point shot from the left wing, but his shot was off target and the Cowboys were able to secure the victory.
"We just didn't play our game, we gave that one away," said Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway. "It was just one of those nights. They beat us. We didn't play our best game. They did, they won."
Kohala sophomore O'shen Cazimero puts up a tough layup against Roosevelt in the first half.
One area where the Rough Riders were out of character in was attacking the basket. This led to poor shot selection in the third quarter (1-for-11 shooting in the period) that allowed Kohala to extend its 28-27 halftime lead to 38-30 heading into the fourth quarter.
"I didn't know why we don't go inside," said Hathaway. "We had a height advantage in there. It just wasn't our night. They were better than us tonight."
Cazimero got things going for Kohala to start the game with a 3-point shot from the left wing. Another triple from the same spot from Elijah Antonio pushed the Cowboys' lead to 6-1 and another bucket from Cazimero forced a Roosevelt timeout with the score 8-1 at the 4:52 mark of the opening quarter.
The Rough Riders pulled within two after Seguancia's trey, but a 7-0 run from Kohala pushed the score to 15-6. Roosevelt scored the final six points of the quarter to make it 15-12 at the end of the period.
Roosevelt took its first lead of the game in the second quarter when reserves Kamu Kaaihue and Jason Our scored on the Rough Riders' first two possessions of the period. However, Kohala quickly responded on Cazimero's dish to Molonai Emeliano in the paint.
Kohala would hold the lead for the remainder of the quarter up until Watanabe came off a pin down to sink a jumper to give Roosevelt a 27-26 lead with 1:06 remaining before halftime.
The Rough Riders' lead lasted a full minute, but Cazimero's acrobatic, circus shot at the buzzer swung momentum back in Kohala's favor heading into the break.
Snapple/HHSAA Division II All-Tournament Team as selected by the HHSAA and media
Frank Camacho, McKinley Molonai Emeliano, Kohala Logan Quilan, Roosevelt Drake Watanabe, Roosevelt Kelsen-Jaye Walker, Hawaii Prep
Most Outstanding Player: O'shen Cazimero, Kohala
Talking football and volleyball state titles (and kukis!) with former Punahou standout Larry Tuileta.
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