Kahuku tops Honoka'a in OT, 67-63
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By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brandon Masuoka
Junior Ale scored a game-high 34 points to lead Kahuku past Honoka'a, 67-63, in overtime in a state tournament first-round game yesterday at Radford's Jim Alegre Gymnasium.
O'ahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Kahuku (11-2) will play Maui Interscholastic League champion Baldwin (11-1) in today's quarterfinals at 6 p.m. at Radford.
Ale scored five points in overtime — including the go-ahead 3-pointer — and had all of Kahuku's final five baskets that bridged the fourth quarter and overtime against Honoka'a (13-6), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up.
"In overtime, I was relaxed," Ale said. "I was thinking we can't lose this game. I said it over and over again. I wasn't about to lose in my senior year."
In the four-minute overtime, Honoka'a's Jacob Galdeira hit two free throws to tie the score at 63 with 2:22 remaining. Ale then dribbled around a screen at the top of the key and drained a 22-foot 3-pointer from the right wing for a 66-63 lead with 1:55 remaining.
The Dragons failed to score in the final seconds, and Kahuku's Manti Te'o sank one of two foul shots to end the scoring.
"This victory means a lot," Ale said. "I think we underestimated Honoka'a, and that's a mistake. Every team we play now, that's a lesson learned."
The Dragons grabbed a 32-24 third-quarter lead on Galdeira's layup, but the Red Raiders responded with a 12-4 run — sparked by Ale's five points — to tie the score at 36.
After a 3-pointer by Honoka'a's Auwae DeRego, Ale scored six consecutive points for Kahuku as the Red Raiders took a 42-40 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Kahuku built its lead to 51-46 , but the Dragons engineered a comeback. Galdeira scored six points during an 11-1 surge as Honoka'a moved ahead 57-52.
Ale responded with a 3-pointer and jump shot from the left elbow to tie the score at 57 with 40 seconds remaining. After Galdeira sank a pair of free throws for a 59-57 lead, Ale hit a jumper from the right elbow to send the game into overtime tied at 59.
"I thought we missed some free throws (making just 1 of 6) in the fourth quarter that would have given us some breathing room," Honoka'a coach Cheyenne Meyer said. "And Ale hit some real tough shots. He's a phenomenal player. He's the key to their team."
Honoka'a played overtime without point guard Tramaine Baquiring, who fouled out with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"You've got to give Honoka'a credit where credit is due," said Kahuku head coach Nathan James, whose team beat Honoka'a in the preseason. "We played them right here in the preseason on this floor. They improved over the course of the season, and peaked at the right time."
DeRego led the Dragons with 18 points, and Galdeira added 17.
Honoka'a controlled most of the first half, and used a 15-9 run midway through the second quarter to take a 28-24 lead at intermission.
Reach Brandon Masuoka at firstname.lastname@example.org.