Pale helping to keep Roosevelt in running
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
Making another late run has given Roosevelt a big boost of confidence for this week's Hawaiian Airlines/ Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Division II State Championships.
The Rough Riders (13-2) won last Thursday's O'ahu Interscholastic Association White Conference championship over Kailua, 46-36, in a fashion similar to how they've played all season. There was another slow start, then a big push at the end with their running game emerging at the right moment. Two weeks ago, Roosevelt rallied from 21 down to beat Kailua to advance to the White final.
"It gives us confidence and gives a boost that we can pull it off," Roosevelt's Kaipo Pale said after the title win.
Pale, a 6-foot-3 post player, played a big role in his team's late run, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Roosevelt is seeded first for this week's Division II state tournament and plays Pāhoa (6-9) in Thursday's quarterfinals at Farrington.
In a close game, Pale was contained until the fourth quarter. Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway said Pale is faster than most post players.
"We started telling him to seal, he wasn't sealing well on his guys, and try to slip to the open spots more," Hathaway said.
The Rough Riders have been prepared to make a late run in games. There's been a lot of running in preseason, conditioning and practices to prepare them for their running game.
"We are a running team," Pale said. "If we make them run, most teams can't hang with us."
Roosevelt, the East No. 1 seed, beat Kalani once and Kailua twice in the OIA White tournament.
The Division II tournament has been scaled down from 12 to eight teams this year. Maui Interscholastic League champion Seabury Hall (10-0) is seeded second and plays Academy of the Pacific (15-3) in Thursday's quarterfinals at Kalani. Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion St. Joseph (11-3) is third and plays Kailua (13-4) at Kalani. University High (14-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, is seeded fourth and plays Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation champion Kapa'a (11-2) on Thursday at Farrington.
Only St. Joseph and Pāhoa faced Division I competition during the regular season. St. Joseph had an impressive showing at Moanalua's preseason tournament in December, and only St. Joseph and Roosevelt were ranked in The Advertiser's Top 10 poll this season.
All of Saturday's matches will be at the Stan Sheriff Center with the championship game at 5 p.m. The Division I tournament starts tomorrow with first-round games at Radford and McKinley.