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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 24, 2008

Punahou is state's best

Photo galleryPhoto gallery: Punahou boys win Division I title
Video: Division I boys compete for hoops title

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Punahou captured its first boys state basketball championship since 1999 with a victory over Kamehameha-Hawai'i.

Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Division I

Kealoha Kramer, KS-Hawai'i

Darryl Milana, Konawaena

Stevie Austin, Moanalua

Manti Teo, Punahou

Hogan Rosehill, KS-Hawai'i

Most Outstanding Player:

Kameron Steinhoff, Punahou

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Punahou's Kameron Steinhoff (30), who finished with 13 points, was named Most Outstanding Player.

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Punahou squeezed past Kamehameha-Hawai'i, 41-38, last night to win its first Hawaiian Airlines/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Championship since 1999.

A crowd of 4,124 at Blaisdell Arena watched the Buffanblu finish 14-3 in the regular and postseason and deny the Warriors (15-3) from claiming the Big Island's first state title since Hilo's in 2000.

"We've been thinking about this moment ever since we lost (to Kaimuki) last year in this game," said Punahou senior forward Kameron Steinhoff, who finished with a team-high 13 points and 12 rebounds. "Our goal was to come right back this year and win it."

Kamehameha-Hawai'i took a 38-37 lead on Kealoha Kramer's three-point play with 3:39 remaining, but Buffanblu forward Manti Te'o put Punahou back up, 39-38, on a tip-in with 45 seconds left.

The Warriors then worked the ball around the perimeter, but an errant pass to the backcourt sailed out of bounds with 25 seconds remaining, and with five fouls to give before the bonus they made three straight fouls.

But before they could commit a fourth, Buffanblu guard Dalton Hilliard broke loose and found Henry Cassiday under the basket and he scored on a layup with 11 seconds left to make it 41-38.

The Warriors then raced down the court and had a 3-point attempt from the top of the key, but it rimmed out and Cassiday secured the rebound as time expired.

"They were such a good team and they executed so well ... it was toe-to-toe the whole way, but it came down to one play at the end," Punahou coach Dan Hale said. "Dalton getting loose was key, because we wanted to try and break free and attack the basket."

Kamehameha-Hawai'i ended the first period with a 6-1 run to lead 12-7 and extended it to 19-11 after Hogan Rosehill's layup with 4:07 remaining in the half.

But Robbie Toma swished a 3-pointer from the left corner 24 seconds later to start Punahou on a 12-0 run that gave the Buffanblu a 23-19 lead at the break.

Trevor Crabb tied it at 19-19 on a slam dunk from the right baseline, and Steinhoff scored on a layup and two free throws in the final 43 seconds.

Steinhoff had nine points and five rebounds by halftime and Crabb added seven points and five rebounds.

Punahou outrebounded the Warriors 16-11 in the first half.

Rosehill, who finished with a game-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, led Kamehameha-Hawai'i with 10 points and seven rebounds by halftime.

The Buffanblu pushed the lead to 31-25 after a layup by Te'o with 2:54 left in the third quarter, but the Warriors ended the period with an 8-2 run capped by Rosehill's 3-pointer from the left wing with 10 seconds remaining to tie it at 33-33 entering the fourth.

"They gave us a hard run, and we had to play our hearts out to get this victory," said Steinhoff, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "It was a great team effort all the way."

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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