Leilehua races past Mililani
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAHIAWA The Leilehua High School boys basketball team, deciding it was "tired of close games," raced past arch rival Mililani last night, 60-49, in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association semifinal at the Mules' gym.
Leilehua (11-1) will play defending champion Kalaheo (10-3) for the title at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Blaisdell Arena. The Mules had beaten Mililani, 49-48, on Jan. 30 on a free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining, and they squeaked past Castle, 37-36, in the quarterfinals last Friday.
"After that, we sat down as a team and said we don't want any more close games," said guard Angelo Massey, who scored a game-high 15 points last night. "We didn't want to keep it close, because then you don't know what is gonna happen."
Leilehua instead took care of business early, jumping to leads of 8-0 and 13-2 in the opening minutes. The Mules extended the advantage to 31-17 before the Trojans' Clarence Gray scored on a layup just before halftime to cut it to 31-19. Andrew Tokumi's layup capped a 7-0 run by Mililani (9-4) to start the second half, but that was as close as the Trojans would get.
"This is the best game we've played all season," Leilehua coach Keith Spencer said. "We've been good enough to win, but we hadn't really put it all together until tonight. We shot well, we played good defense ... I gotta be happy."
Mililani entered the game on a five-game win streak, but never really got untracked. Senior wing Simeon Tavares, one of the Trojans' top scorers, finished with 11 points but was shut out in the first half. Shooting guard Brandyn Fidel, another big scoring weapon, had seven points by halftime but was held to two field goals in the second half and ended up with 13 points.
The Mules started with torrid shooting and never cooled off. Zac Rivera and Andrew Talaeai each added 10 points for Leilehua.
"They were very hot, they shot real well," Mililani coach Mike Coito said. "We have good shooters and guys who can fill it up, too, but it was just one of those nights. Leilehua played good defense, too, so they deserve it."
Spencer said the absence of late-game pressure last night came from the removal of pressure before the game.
"My approach tonight in the locker room was, 'Let's do our jobs, but just relax out there and have fun,' " Spencer said. "We took the pressure off of them, and I think it showed."
Mililani (9-4) 11 8 11 1949
Leilehua (11-1) 18 13 9 2060
MILILANI Brandyn Fidel 13, Puna Neumann 2, Alex Patykula 10, Tony Gabriel 2, Clarence Gray 6, Simeon Tavares 11, Andrew Tokumi 2, Mikhail Mabry 0, Aaron Kano 0, Zac Anduha 3, Jordan Woolsey 0. Totals 17 13-16 49.
LEILEHUA Zac Rivera 10, Jonathan Scruggs 2, Andrew Talaeai 10, Angel Fontanez 5, Angelo Massey 15, Antonio Carter 6, Demetrius Washington 7, Tyrell Couch 5, Anthony Hall 0. Totals 21 15-29 60.
3-point goals: Mililani 2 (Fidel, Anduha). Leilehua 3 (Couch, Fontanez, Massey).
JV semifinalsLeilehua 50, Castle 42. Leading scorers: Leil: Kennedy Orteza 9. Castle: Bryce Kalauoka'aea 12.