HHSAA Boys Basketball
Kaimuki wins battle of the Bulldogs to reach Division II semis


Thu, Feb 24, 2022 @ Kaimuki

Final 1 2 3 4  
Le Jardin (10-3, 13-6) 10 18181561
Kaimuki (9-4, 13-5) 20 16 17 2174
J. White 26 pts  4 3pm  8/11 FTs
K. Kimhan 17 pts  3 3pm  2/2 FTs
M. Cleveland 6 tot  2 off  4 def
S. Thomas 16 tot  6 off  10 def
S. Thomas 6 ast

Kaimuki's smothering defense and a season-high 26 point performance by Jeremiah White lifted the Bulldogs over the Le Jardin, 74-61 in the quarterfinals of the Heide & Cook/HHSAA Division II Boys Basketball championships.

"It means a lot, we haven't been to states in like 13 years and its just good to put on for the community they showed us support ever since first regular season game," said White. "I just want to thank the fans but the job's not finished yet."

The win was the first in state tournament play since 2009, when Kaimuki entered as an unseeded team and took down Keeau, 76-60, and fourth seed Baldwin, 64-51, before falling to eventual state champion Kamehameha in the semis, 63-57. In fact, Kaimuki has not made a state tourney since 2009.

White came out firing in the first half, hitting for 12 points in the opening quarter alone, marking the fifth straight game the sophomore hit double digits, as Kaimuki built a 20-10 lead heading into the second.

"Its taken a lot off of Malu, Rashawn, the whole team," said White of his scoring contributions during the recent stretch. "Its just been a big help."

Le Jardin made its move in the third quarter, closing the gap to just a single point on a Austin Kaiko Alana three pointer at the 1:42 mark. But that was as close as Le Jardin would get, as Kaimuki closed the quarter on a 7-1 spurt capped off by a length of the court run by White with a pull up jumper at the buzzer to lead 53-46.

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

In scramble mode in the fourth, Le Jardin found the margin expand steadily, with an exclamation point in the form of a steal and breakaway dunk by Malu Cleveland that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. Cleveland finished with 17 points, six assists, six rebounds and five steals.

Four of the five Kaimuki starters reached double digits, with Rashawn Fritz-Betiru and Kesykil Renton notching 12 and 11 points respecively.

Le Jardin played just seven players in the contest, led by Kimhan's 17. Duke Thomas (11 points and 16 boards) and Alana (10 points and 10 boards) had big games hustling down in the post. Thomas also had three blocks and three steals in the loss.

The win over Le Jardin was the first of two ILH hurdles between Kaimuki and a state title game appearance. Next up, league champ Hawaii Baptist, a 54-39 winner over Seabury Hall and a team that deploys similar concepts gameplan-wise.

Tip off between the Eagles and Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. at Kalani High School gymnasium.

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

Hawaii Baptist wears down Seabury Hall, 54-39

The Eagles' smothering full court press wore down the Spartans in the first quarterfinal of the day at Kaimuki, as Hawaii Baptist pulled away for a 54-39 win over Seabury Hall.

A 30-25 contest at the half saw the margin grow to nearly double digits after the third, and while the stat differential in turnovers actually favored the Spartans (20 to 23), the Eagles found a way to grind out the win.

The two teams combined for 46 fouls, exactly 23 a piece.

Austin Fujikawa scored 12 points, pulled down eight boards and added three blocks, two steals and an assist for good measure in the win, overcoming a 16 point, 14 rebound game for Seabury's James Judge.

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