HHSAA Boys Basketball
Seabury edges University Lab, will face off against defending champ Kohala for D2 title


Fri, Feb 23, 2024 @ Kaimuki

Final 1 2 3 4  
Seabury Hall (12-0, 25-3) 11 15121553
University Lab (12-1, 24-5) 14 9 16 1352
T. McKinney 22 pts  3 3pm  7/8 FTs
B. Dorn 21 pts  3 3pm  0/2 FTs
K. Laboy 11 tot  1 off  10 def
B. Dorn 9 tot  4 off  5 def
K. Laboy 3 ast
K. Garcia 3 ast

One team will be looking for its first state tournament win, the other will be looking to repeat as champs.

Seabury Hall out dueled University Lab, 53-52, to reach its first boys basketball state final since 2016, while Kohala battled past Kaimuki, 50-45, in semifinal action of the Heide & Cook/HHSAA Division II Boys Basketball Championships at Kaimuki High School.

The Spartans got the go ahead basket with 30 seconds left in regulation off a driving shot in the lane by Bromo Dorn, who finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, both team highs.

"Just a clear out and got a screen from my boy Zack (Devane)," said Dorn of the play. "If they doubled me, I'd kick to him (Devane) and if not take it all the way. I didn't get doubled so I just took it and got a bucket."

The Jr. Bows had a chance to see-saw back into the lead on its last possession, but Kobe Garcia got his hand an entry pass on the low block and recovered it in the corner.

"We knew that they like to get it in the post and when I saw their big run down I knew I had to read that," said Garcia of the pass break up. "There wasn't anything drawn up, just reading that play."

With Kaimuki left with fouls to give, Seabury was able to simply inbound the ball, which they did on its final two possessions to put a cap on the win.

The game featured 11 lead changes in the contest, five in the final quarter alone.

University Lab played with its two bigs in foul trouble for the majority of the second half. Koa Laboy picked up his third and fourth fouls in a span of seconds in the 3rd, and sat from the 5:37 mark, while Alika Ahu was charged with his third personal at the 3:58 mark.

"They are both great players and with Trey out it was a big loss for them so attacking them was definitely in the gameplan," said Dorn.

Stepping up in a big way for the Jr. Bows with Ahu hobbled with three fouls and Laboy sitting with four was Todd McKinney, who had 12 points in the third alone and led all scorers with 22.

On the other side of the ball, Sebastian Peterson had 12 points for the Spartans, his third straight game in double figures, and Zack Devane who scored eight points, six of them coming in the third alone, to go along with eight rebounds.

The Jr. Bows enjoyed its largest lead at 11-5, just 3:37 into the contest, while the Spartans biggest margin was five with 3:14 in the second.

Laboy, limited to just 26 minutes, had 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals, leading his team in each category.

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Defending Division II champ Kohala got all it could handle from Kaimuki, but a go-ahead three pointer from Layden Kauka in the closing moments of regulation proved to be the back breaker in a 50-45 win.

The Bulldogs tied the score at 43-all on a Jeremiah White basket with 1:42, but the younger Kauka calmly got a pass at the top of the key on the next possession and swished through a triple to push the Cowboys ahead with 1:06 left.

Layden Kauka also made all four of his free throw attempts down the stretch to seal it for the Cowboys. He finished with a game-high 24 points, and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, shaking off any effects of an apparent arm injury he sustained in the opening quarter.

Kohala jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, all courtesy of Layden Kauka, but Kaimuki eventually settled, went to the inside with Harmon Sio and Iosefa Letuli and then tied the game up 21-all on Regan Fritz-Betiru's second triple to end the half.

The third quarter saw the Bulldogs take its first lead of the game at the 7:28 mark of the third on a driving shot by Daysen Lupica, and the host team held that advantage through the 4:51 mark of the fourth, when Layden Kauka made a basket and the free throw that followed to tie that game at 37-all.

From there, three ties and three lead changes ensued down the stretch in the final quarter, before Kauka's go-ahead three gave the Cowboys that oh-so crucial edge.

The Bulldogs struggled once again from three, hitting just 4 of 14 in the contest, but the Cowboys fared even worse from distance, knocking down just 4 of 19.

Letuli pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with five points, before fouling out in the latter stages of the final period. Foul trouble was a key factor for Kaimuki overall, with four players finishing with four fouls and 23 in total. Kohala committed just 10 personals in comparison.

Kohala had two other players reach double figures, Landon Kauka with 12 and Jayden Hook with 10. The starting five for the Cowboys accounted for all but five minutes of game time, with only Layden Kauka and Hezekiah Wilson exiting the game at all.

The title game pairing will be the third meeting between the two teams in Division II state tourney play. The last meeting was in the opening round in 2015, a 76-51 win by the Cowboys. Seabury won the third place game between the two teams in 2014, 57-45.

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