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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:32 p.m., Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iolani topples White Station, 61-46

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Five-time defending boys basketball state champion 'Iolani knocked off Tennessee's No. 6-ranked team, White Station (Memphis), 61-46, last night to advance to tonight's semifinals of the 23rd Annual 'Iolani Prep Classic.

The Raiders (8-2) will face USA Today's No. 11-ranked team, LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) in the 8 p.m. feature game at 'Iolani Gym.

Vincent (Milwaukee), USA Today's No. 6-ranked team in the Midwest Region, will play perennial Philadelphia power Roman Catholic in the other semifinal at 6:30.

'Iolani is the only Hawai'i team out of nine in the 16-team field to notch a victory over a Mainland opponent; the other teams went a combined 0 for 7.

"It feels good, but it's always a team thing," said Raiders guard Case Miyahira, who finished with a game-high 19 points. "We knew we could win if we came in prepared, and the whole team was prepared."

'Iolani took the lead for good on Liloa Nobriga's 24-foot turnaround 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make it 21-19, then opened the second half with a 17-6 run. Miyahira swished two 3-pointers and Ryan Dung had one to help the Raiders go up, 38-25, with three minutes remaining in the third period.

White Station closed it to 43-34 early in the fourth period, but 'Iolani responded with a 10-0 run over the next 90 seconds.

"They took control of the game by setting the tempo; they have great fundamentals and make good passes, and they accomplished their goal of keeping it low-scoring," said White Station coach Jesus Patino, whose Spartans fell to 9-3. "We couldn't get into any kind of groove offensively, and give them a lot of credit for that. The other thing they did was knock down their 3s. They got good passes and our defense was falling into giving them such good floor space, and that gave them open shots"

Raiders coach Mark Mugiishi said getting shooters like Miyahira and Dung open was a key to the game.

"It was good that we were able to get open looks, because they're really quick and switch a lot," Mugiishi said. "When you have to rush your shots, that's when you're more likely to miss."

'Iolani also was deadly accurate from the free-throw line, which helped maintain the big lead in the third and fourth quarters. The Raiders finished 21 of 25 from the line, compared to 6 of 14 for White Station.

"That's what our coaches tell us: we can win close games on free throws," Miyahira said.

Nobriga, a 6-3 post who helped bring up the ball and run the offense from the top, added 16 points. Dung was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds.


Joshua Wesley scored 18 points and Christopher Blake 17 as LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) beat St. Dominic (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) in a quarterfinal game.

Dan Kenny led St. Dominic with 24 points.

St. Dominic closed to within 41-40 early in the third period, but the Rattlers (11-0) responded with a 14-5 run to get separation and then extended the lead the rest of the way.


Iowa State recruit Diante Garrett scored 16 points to lead Vincent (Milwaukee) past defending Classic champion Fairfax (Los Angeles) in a quarterfinal game. UCLA-bound Chace Stanback led Fairfax with 20 points.


Bradley Wanamaker scored 14 points to lead Roman Catholic past Georgetown Prep in a quarterfinal game. Alvin Tucker led Georgetown with 14 points.


Scott Smith scored 26 points to lead the Crusaders over the Rams in a consolation bracket game. Soosoo Taulelei led Radford with 11 points.


Josh Kure scored 18 points to lead 'Na Menehune past the Tigers in a consolation bracket game. Nainoa Lessary led McKinley with 17 points.