Kamehameha reaches semifinals
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By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
Tradition outlasted the new and bold last night, as Kamehameha defeated its Big Island counterpart, Kamehameha-Hawai'i, 49-45, in the boys basketball state quarterfinals.
Kamehameha (12-3) advances to play No. 2 seed Kaimuki (13-2) in today's 6 p.m. semifinals at the University of Hawai'i's Stan Sheriff Center.
The two Kamehameha teams — which also share the "Warriors" nickname — held a joint potluck at the Kapalama campus Monday night. But after last night's tipoff at McKinley's Student Council Gym, "It was all business," Kamehameha coach Jesse Nakanishi said.
After an even first period, Kamehameha-Hawai'i built a 19-13 lead with three minutes remaining in the half. But the O'ahu Warriors responded with a 6-0 run, capped by Jacob Ho's 15-foot jumper from the free throw line with one second left to make it 19-19 at the break.
"I think that may have given them some momentum," Kamehameha-Hawai'i coach Nelson Wong said.
Kamehameha went up 28-22 midway through the third period, but Kamehameha-Hawai'i closed to 32-30 heading into the fourth. The O'ahu Warriors stretched it to 44-34 with 1:22 remaining in the game after Andrew Godinet's free throw, but Kamehameha-Hawai'i clawed back with 3-pointers by Reece Alnas, Mana Silva and Kealoha Kramer, which cut it to 47-45 with 31 seconds remaining.
Rykin Enos then sank four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"For us, every game has been close like this," Nakanishi said. "We haven't had a blowout all season."
Ho, who finished with a game-high 16 points, expected nothing less despite playing a friendly foe.
"It was a little weird when we walked into the gym and saw them; they even have the same warm-ups as us," Ho said. "We had that potluck, to share some aloha, but there wasn't too much socializing going on. They're in states for a reason, and I think we both knew what was at stake."
Reach Wes Nakama at firstname.lastname@example.org.