Punahou will take on Kamehameha in semis Kahuku to play top-seeded 'Iolani in Division I semis
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By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Charlton Tang scored the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime and followed with another layup 17 seconds later as Kamehameha rallied past Moanalua, 53-50, last night in a Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball State Championship quarterfinal thriller.
A vocal crowd of about 1,100 at McKinley's Student Council Gym watched the Warriors — who finished third in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu — improve to 15-4 in the regular and postseason and advance to tonight's 7 o'clock semifinal against ILH runner-up Punahou (13-3).
"We're pretty ecstatic right now," said Tang, a 6-foot-2 junior forward who finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. "We knew we could do it the whole way."
Josiah Kauhola's layup with 46 seconds left had put the No. 2 seed and O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion Nā Menehune (15-2) up, 50-49, but Tang answered with his basket off a rebound.
After Moanalua missed a bank shot on the other end, Tang received a long pass from Shane Matayoshi and scored in transition to make it 53-50 with 13 seconds remaining.
Nā Menehune worked the ball around for one final 3-point attempt, but it went off the rim as time expired.
"We had some great looks toward the end, but we just didn't knock them down," Moanalua coach Greg Tacon said. "It's unfortunate, because these kids have given us everything they had all season long."
The game was intense from the opening tip and lived up to its billing as the most highly anticipated quarterfinal matchup.
Nā Menehune went up, 20-13, after Keven Amaral's baseline jumper midway through the second period, but Kamehameha closed to 26-21 by halftime and eventually took a 30-29 lead on Dyrbe Enos' putback with 2:30 left in the third quarter.
Chaz Bajet's free throw pushed it to 32-29 with 39 seconds remaining, but that was the biggest lead for either team throughout the rest of regulation.
Marcus Monroe's layup tied it 39-39 with 29 seconds left in the fourth period, and neither team could score on its next possession. Monroe's 3-pointer put Moanalua up, 46-43, with 1:40 remaining in the first overtime, but Enos (16 points) answered with a 3-pointer 37 seconds later to help send it into a second OT.
Monroe finished with 16 points and freshman guard Marcus Keene added 15 for Nā Menehune.
PUNAHOU 76, HILO 46
The Buffanblu (13-3) conquered their second straight Neighbor Island opponent last night, racing past No. 3 seed and Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Hilo at McKinley.
Punahou, the ILH runner-up, overcame a relatively slow start in opening-round action Wednesday before pulling away from Kamehameha-Maui, 59-45. Last night, the Buffanblu broke away quickly in the first period and never looked back.
Henry Cassiday started a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer and mid-range jumper as Punahou stretched an 8-6 lead to 15-6 after James Dowsett's two free throws with 2:27 remaining. By the end of the quarter, it was 19-9 and the Buffanblu eventually took a 36-19 lead into halftime.
"Coach (Alika Smith) was telling us that the first four minutes were the most important, because that sets the tone for how we play the rest of the game," said Cassiday, a senior forward who finished with 12 points. "We had to make sure we played our game instead of somebody else's game."
The lead grew steadily in the second half, as the No. 3 seed and Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Vikings (11-5) struggled to find open shots, especially inside against Punahou's twin-tower sophomore posts, DeForest Buckner (6 feet 7) and Malik Johnson (6-6).
"When you don't see that kind of height all year long, it's hard," Hilo coach Kyle Keamo said. "They play a more physical game than we're used to, and until you're exposed to it, it takes a while to adjust."
Johnson led the Buffanblu with a game-high 13 points and Sean McFadden added 12. Chan Spikes led the Vikings with 10 points.
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