Kinston stops 'Iolani, 54-51
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
'Iolani came within a couple baskets of upsetting one of the nation's top boys basketball teams yesterday, falling to Kinston (N.C.), 54-51, in the consolation bracket of the 26th Annual 'Iolani Prep Classic.
'Iolani led 37-24 early in the second half and took a 51-50 lead on Kainoa Chu's 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:41 remaining in the game. But Kinston answered with Josh Benoit's short banker 10 seconds later and then Benoit sank two free throws with 39 seconds left to put the Vikings up, 54-51.
The Raiders had two chances to tie it in the closing seconds, but Trevyn Tulonghari's 3-point attempt from the left corner skipped off the rim with four seconds remaining and Jarrett Arakawa's 3-point shot from the opposite corner also glanced off the rim as time expired.
" 'Iolani is well-coached, very disciplined and has great teamwork, and frankly we had problems competing against them," said Kinston coach Wells Gulledge. "They're a tough team to match up with, because they have four really good ball handlers and three great shooters, and they're all very unselfish. On effort alone, they would be one of the top three teams in our league ... I think they would be a top-three team in most leagues anywhere in this country."
Kinston is ranked No. 33 in ESPN Rise's Fab 50. The Vikings return four starters from a team that finished 27-4 and ranked No. 3 in North Carolina last season, including 6-foot-6 forward Reggie Bullock, who has committed to play for the University of North Carolina next year.
But 'Iolani matched them shot-for-shot throughout the first period and took a 26-24 lead after Chu's three free throws with 3:31 remaining in the half. Chu later drained a 3-pointer two seconds before halftime to put the Raiders up, 31-24, at the break.
He then opened the second half with a three-point play and another 3-pointer to make it 37-24 with 7:08 left in the third period. But that would be the Raiders' final field goal of the quarter, as Kinston chipped away and closed it to 38-37 heading into the fourth.
"We had some gimmes that we needed to convert, but we couldn't finish," said 'Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto.
The teams traded baskets for most of the fourth period, until Benoit scored four straight to close out the game.
Chu, a 6-foot senior, led all scorers with 32 points. Bullock led the Vikings with 16 points and Benoit added 10 points.
NEUMANN-GORETTI 72, Montrose Christian 65: Wake Forest-bound Tony Chennault scored 29 points and Tyreek Duran added 22 points to lead the Saints of Philadelphia — Pennsylvania's No. 1-ranked team — past the Mustangs, who are ranked No. 11 in USA Today, in semifinal action.
The championship game is tonight at 8.
Neumann-Goretti led 51-50 entering the final period.
Duke recruit Josh Hairston led Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) with 20 points and Maryland-bound Terrence Ross added 15 points for the Mustangs.
YATES 88, Columbia 66: Providence-bound Joseph Young scored 30 points to lead the Lions of Houston — ranked No. 6 in USA Today — past the Eagles of Decatur, Ga., in semifinal action.
Northwestern recruit JerShon Cobb had 18 points for Columbia.
Kamehameha 53, Hamilton (Ariz.) 52: High scorers–KS: Micah Christenson 20, Dyrbe Enos 16, Shane Matayoshi 12. Ham: Jack ConeI 17.
Moanalua 65, 'Iolani II 54: High scorers–Moa: Curtis Martin 19, Jordan Tottori 17. 'Iol: Marcus Monro 17, Reece Racoma 12, Josiah Kauhola 11.
Radford 44, Kaimukí 43: High scorers–Rad: JB Fontenot 14, Isaiah Jackson 11. Kaim: Tevin Nishiyama 15.
Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 68, Lutheran 66: High scorers–Gon: Cedrick Lindsay 20, Tyler Thornton 16, Malcolm Lemmons 12. Luth: Dylan Rice 22, Tyler Funk 21.
Tsinghua (BEIJING) 45, Kahuku 27: High scorers–Tsi: Yuliang Hou 12, Bo Wang 11. Kah: Sage Kaka 8.