HHSAA Boys Basketball
Maui Prep upends defending champ Kohala to reach D2 title game


Fri, Feb 25, 2022 @ Kalani

Final 1 2 3 4  
Maui Prep (9-0, 17-0) 21 11141965
Kohala (9-0, 11-1) 10 8 11 1746
O. Cazimero 26 pts  1 3pm  3/3 FTs
D. Triplett 24 pts  4/4 FTs
K. Agbayani 4 tot  1 off  3 def
J. Falk 8 tot  8 def

Maui Prep dismantled defending champion Kohala, 65-46, reaching the title game of the Heide & Cook Division II Boys Basketball championship, with a chance for the school's first ever state title.

"Every one might not know about us, but we know what we have, we know that we're disciplined and play the game the right way," said Drew Triplett. "Its not just for us, we want to get it for our school, our community and Maui as a whole."

The crowd on hand at Kalani High School gymnasium was treated to a duel between Triplett and reigning All-Hawaii Division II Player of the Year O'Shen Cazimero.

Cazimero ended with 26 points and five steals, both game highs, but Triplett was right behind with 24 of his own, while adding seven rebounds, five assists and two steals, as well as the unenviable task of trying to slow down Cazimero.

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

"Ever since they (Kohala) won the championship, I've just had it in my mind that I want to play them and guard O'Shen and wanted to go against him and prove ourselves because they were the number one seed and we were five," said Triplett.

A ten point lead built in the first quarter set the tone for the game, as the Cowboys were forced to play catch up essentially the entire game and never could build any kind of lasting momentum.

Kohala scrapped its way back to within single digits on back-to-back buckets by Cazimero to pull within 55-46 at the 3:28 mark of the fourth, but Maui Prep closed out the final minutes of the contest on a 10-0 spurt to put the game well out of reach.

Na Pueo's supporting cast was a model of efficiency, as Dylan Falk, Jimmy Falk and Levi Basurto combined to score 35 points on just 22 field goal attempts.

"Throughout the season we've been working more cohesively," said Triplett. "They trust me to put them in good positions, to the team in good positions."

Cazimero, Laakea Kauka (12 points) and Koby Agbayani (seven points) attempted all but two of the Cowboys' 49 field goal attempts.

Maui Prep parlayed its size difference to the tune of a plus-12 margin, and 28 total boards. Jimmy Falk had a game-high 8 rebounds.

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

Kaimuki reaches D2 state final with 72-59 win over Hawaii Baptist

Led by a near triple-double performance by Malu Cleveland, Kaimuki advanced to the title game of the Division II tournament.

Cleveland did a little bit of everything in the win, hitting for 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. He also dished out eight assists and added five steals and two blocks.

Nearly all five Bulldogs' starters reached double-figures, with KC Renton (16 points), Jeremiah White (12 points, six rebounds, six assists) Daysen Lupica (12 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Rashawn Fritz-Betiru (eight points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals) combining for 48 points in all.

A first quarter margin proved a bit too much to overcome, as the Eagles fell into a 23-9 hole and much like Kohala, managed to claw its way back to single digits, but not any closer. Gabe McTee's basket at the 6:15 mark got Hawaii Baptist as close as 57-48, but Kaimuki outscored the ILH champs 15-2 down the stretch.

The two teams were even in steals (10) and coughed up nearly the same number of turnovers (21 for HBA, 20 for Kaimuki).

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