Iolani, Kamehameha advance to boys state basketball final
Defending state champion Kamehameha held off Punahou, 47-43, and Iolani dispatched Kahuku, 55-44, tonight to advance to Saturday's state boys high school basketball championship.
The Warriors (16-4), who finished third in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and had to qualify by beating Honokaa Monday, and the Raiders (14-2) will meet 7 p.m. at Stan Sheriff Center
The Warriors, who won last season's state title by beating Kahuku, will be playing their fifth meaningful game in six days on Saturday. Following Monday's play-in victory, the Warriors beat Campbell Wednesday and Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Moanalua Thursday.
IOLANI VS. KAHUKU
Turning to its staunch defense on a poor shooting night, ‘Iolani held off Kahuku to advance to its first Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball Championship game since 2006.
The No. 1 seed and Interscholastic League of Honolulu champ Raiders improved to 14-2 in the regular and postseason and will face ILH rival and defending state champ Kamehameha (17-4) for the title.
The game will be televised live statewide on OC16.
‘Iolani made just 16 of 48 field goals (33.3 percent) Friday night at the SSC, including only 5 of 19 shots (26.3 percent) from 3-point range. But the Raiders made up for it with a scrappy defense, especially in the fourth period when they held O‘ahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Kahuku (15-5) without a basket until 1:18 remained in the game.
That allowed ‘Iolani to stretch a 39-36 lead after three periods to 48-38.
“It started with our defense,” said Raiders guard Kainoa Chu, a 6-foot senior who finished with a game-high 22 points. “We started to get some steals and make them play on their heels.”
KAMEHAMEHA VS. PUNAHOU
Kamehameha took a successful final step in its long journey of return to the Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball State Championship game, holding off Punahou, 47-43, in semifinal action at Stan Sheriff Center.
The game — Kamehameha’s ninth in the past two weeks — will be televised live statewide on OC16.
“It’s a relief, all our hard work paid off so far,” said Warriors sophomore guard Dyrbe Enos, who hit a baseline jumper with 59 seconds remaining to put Kamehameha up, 45-40, and then sealed the game by converting two free throws with 2.4 ticks on the clock. “We’re tired, but we just need to go home, rehydrate, get some sleep and then stretch our legs tomorrow.”