HHSAA Boys Basketball
No. 4 Leilehua gets No. 2 Punahou in D1 state semifinal matchup Friday


Thu, Feb 22, 2024 @ Saint Louis

Final 1 2 3 4  
Kahuku (11-2, 23-6) 12 1918857
Leilehua (12-1, 22-5) 15 16 11 1658
T. Wilson 32 pts  5 3pm  3/5 FTs
K. Kaio 18 pts  2/2 FTs
T. Wilson 5 tot  5 def
Team 7 tot  2 off  5 def
T. Wilson 4 ast

The nightcap of Friday night's Division I semifinal at Christopher B. Hemmeter Fieldhouse will feature No. 4 Leilehua taking on No. 2 Punahou with a spot in the state final at stake. 

Both squads took care of business in Thursday's quarterfinal round at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Center to punch their ticket to the final four of the Heidi & Cook/HHSAA State Championships. 

Leilehua, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, survived a scare from No. 10 Kahuku, the fifth-place team out of the Oahu Interscholastic Association to come away with a 58-57 win. 

The OIA champion Mules (13-1) were led by standout guard Twain Wilson, who tallied a career-high 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the field. 

Leilehua trailed, 49-42, after three quarters, but outscored Kahuku, 16-8, in the final quarter. 

"I'm so proud of them because being down by seven (points), Kahuku playing very, very fired-up ball and I'm just so proud that they went through the adversity and they fought back in the fourth quarter," Mules coach Chad Townsend said. "That was what I'm proud about, (that) we fought back."

Kahuku held possession with seconds remaining, but its inbounds pass was deflected by Leilehua's Ui Muti as the clock expired. 

Kache Kaio scored 18 points and Kash Daley added 11 for the Red Raiders (12-3). 

Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

Punahou, the runner-up out of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, erased a nine-point deficit after the first quarter to pull away from third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii, 69-57. 

James Taras powered the Buffanblu (11-2) with a game-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds. Ayndra Uperesa-Thomas recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds, as well as four assists. 

Three players scored in double figures for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Warriors (13-2). Kawohi Huihui posted 17 points, Kaleb Guerrero had 16 and Kiai Yasso added 13 in the loss. 

Punahou out-rebounded KS-Hawaii, 40-27. It also held the edge in points in the paint (46-26), second-chance points (20-5) and bench points (20-3). 

The Buffanblu and Mules will square off at approximately 7 p.m. Their matchup will follow the first semifinal between unseeded Kalaheo and No. 1 seed and two-time defending state champion Saint Louis at 5 p.m. 

The semifinal winners will advance to Saturday's state championship game, 7 p.m. at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena. 

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