Kaimuki's post play throttles Campbell
|State basketball photo gallery|
|||Kahuku eliminates Baldwin|
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
Kaimuki snuffed out any hope of a Cinderella run by Campbell in the boys basketball state tournament last night, denying the O'ahu Interscholastic Association rival Sabers, 68-50, at McKinley's Student Council Gym.
The No. 2 seeded Bulldogs (13-2) advance to today's 6 p.m. semifinal against Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up Kamehameha (12-3) at the University of Hawai'i's Stan Sheriff Center.
Campbell (11-4) had scored the tournament's biggest upset on Tuesday, stunning Saint Louis, 64-63. But last night, Kaimuki used a 15-5 run to end the half with a 30-23 lead, then held off two second-half challenges and finished the game with a 10-2 run.
"Campbell killed Saint Louis off the fast break, so we learned how to slow the game down," said Bulldogs junior Beau Albrechtson, a 6-foot-4 forward who had a game-high 23 points. "Coach (Kelly Grant) told us 'No cheering after making a shot, just get back on defense.' "
Fellow forward Keone Reyes added 15 points and eight rebounds, and center Shaun Dela Calzada added 15 points, five rebounds, a steal and an assist.
"Their post players were playing at a level above ours," Sabers coach Bob Samson said. "We've been playing without a true post presence, and tonight we finally got exposed."
Even when Campbell tried to pick up the pace on offense with fast breaks and on defense with perimeter pressure, Kaimuki rose to the challenge and refused to let the Sabers get closer than 10 points in the second half.
"We tried to slow things down, but when the other team presses you, the last thing you want to do is not take advantage of it by going to the basket when you have a chance," Grant said. "We have enough guys who can finish, and they all did a good job."
Defensively, the Bulldogs employed a 1-2-2 zone to try and limit 3-point shot attempts, especially by Campbell sophomore guard Mike Makinano, who scored a game-high 24 points on Tuesday. Last night, Makinano was held to two points in the first half and finished with nine points on three field goals, including just one 3-pointer. He scored seven of those points in the fourth period, after the Sabers were already down by 16.
"They did a good job in their zone, and we weren't patient enough to take better shots," Samson said. "But give credit to them — they negated our speed and took us out of our game. They're deserving, and that's why they're OIA champs."
Albrechtson said the Bulldogs are aiming for more.
"Everyone was cheering after we won the OIA, but later on I told our team that's only half the battle," Albrechtson said. "It's all about winning states now."
Mark Hayes led the Sabers with 19 points.
Reach Wes Nakama at firstname.lastname@example.org.