Kamehameha-Hawaii squeezes by Kalaheo
Kamehameha-Hawai'i could have lost the game at the free-throw line.
But Kealoha Kramer would not allow that to happen.
Kramer hit all four of his free throws in the game's final 28.2 seconds to lift the Warriors over Kalaheo, 55-49, last night in the first round of the Hawaiian Airlines/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Boys Division I Basketball Championships at the McKinley gym.
"It's very encouraging," Kamehameha-Hawai'i coach Nelson Wong said. "This group has had trouble finishing games. I wouldn't call it a breakthrough (but) we closed it."
Hogan Rosehill scored 19 points, Isaiah Kekaualua added 14 and Kramer 11 as the Warriors held off a late rally by the Mustangs. Kamehameha-Hawai'i (14-3) will face fourth-seeded Kamehameha-Maui in today's quarterfinals.
Last night, Kalaheo cut its deficit to 51-49 after Ryan Preza-Haynes' two free throws with 39.9 seconds remaining. Kramer then sank two free throws with 28.2 seconds left for the Warriors, who had been 1 of 6 from the free-throw line since the 1:30 mark.
After Kramer's free throws, Taylor Jay's 3-point attempt rattled in and out of the basket with 23 seconds left. Kramer was fouled with 20.9 seconds left and knocked down both free throws for the game's final margin.
"I was focused on me and the rim," Kramer said. "I blocked everything out. I focused on me and the ball and how it is at practice. I wanted to get my shot and technique down."
The Warriors led by as much as nine points midway through the third quarter before the Mustangs (14-2) rallied.
Kalaheo closed out the third quarter on an 11-2 run to tie the score at 36 after Jay made a running basket as time expired.
Bruce Andrews' basket to open the fourth put the Mustangs ahead 38-36, their first lead of the game. Back-to-back baskets by Rosehill gave Kamehameha-Hawai'i the lead for good, but the Warriors couldn't pull away.
Jay's basket with 2:38 remaining cut the Kamehameha-Hawai'i lead to 47-45, but Kekaualua hit a wide open 3-pointer from the left on the next possession to make it 50-45 and give the Warriors a bit of breathing room.
"Our help defense got a bit better and Kalaheo didn't shoot quite as well," Wong said. "And Isaiah hit some big 3-pointers."
Preza-Haynes and Cheynne Lishman led the Mustangs with 11 points each. Lishman, the Mustangs' leading scorer, was held in check for most of the game.
"The guys we had on him, Russell Kackley and Kulani Soares, I think they did a tremendous job," Wong said. "But Cheynne still got other guys involved."
KALAHEO (14-2) 13 7 16 13 — 49
KS-HAWAI'I (14-3) 15 9 12 19 — 55
KALAHEO — Alika Kaanapu 6, Taylor Jay 6, Richard Preza-Haynes 11, Bruce Andrews 2, Christian Kepa 1, Cheynne Lishman 11, Aaron Fernandez 2, D.J. Chang 2, Matt Gasparine 8. Totals 20 7-16 49.
KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAI'I — Russell Kackley 2, Kawika Cazimero 3, Isaiah Kekaualua 14, Kulani Soares 2, Cody Waltjen 0, Kealoha Kramer 11, Colton Collins 4, Hogan Rosehill 19. Totals 21 9-15 55.
3-point goals: Kalaheo 2 (Preza-Haynes, Lishman). KS-Hawai'i 4 (Kekaualua 4).