Iolani tops Kamehameha for state basketball championship Pahoa of Big Island wins Division II basketball state title
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Kainoa Chu sank a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining tonight to lift ‘Iolani to a pulsating 46-43 victory over Kamehameha and the Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball State Championship.
A raucous crowd of 5,407 at Stan Sheriff Center was on its feet for the game’s final 18 seconds and watched the Raiders finish the regular and postseason with a record of 15-2. It is their first state title since 2006, after a record five straight crowns.
The defending state champ Warriors, who played nine games in the past two weeks, ended at 16-5.
“My dad used to take me to ‘Iolani games since I was in elementary school, and it was always my dream to win a state championship with ‘Iolani,” said Chu, a 6-foot senior. “Tonight I had my dream come true.”
After Micah Christenson's layup tied it at 41 all with 1:43 left, ‘Iolani reclaimed the lead at 43-41 lead on Chu’s layup with 1:18 remaining. But Christenson’s jumper from just inside the top of the key tied it at 43 with 1:03 remaining.
The Raiders then worked the clock down until 18 seconds, when they called timeout left. Chu came up from the baseline to just left of the top of the key and drained the game-winning 3.
He finished with a game-high 27 points, including all 11 of 'Iolani's fourth-quarter points. Christenson finished with 23 points, including 11 of 12 Kamehameha's fourth-period points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Kamehameha led, 12-2, after a first period in which ‘Iolani made just one of eight field goals, including 0 for 5 from 3-point range. The Raiders also had eight turnovers in the first eight minutes.
‘Iolani closed it to 19-15 by halftime, thanks to improved shooting from the field (4 of 7) and Chu’s two 3-pointers, including a 22-footer three seconds before the horn.
The Raiders eventually tied it at 19-19 after starting the second half with Trevyn Tulonghari’s jumper and two free throws by Chu. They took their first lead at 30-29 on Chu’s 3-pointer with 3:06 remaining in the third period, but the Warriors answered with a layup by Shane Matayoshi with 1:34 left.
‘Iolani took a 35-31 lead into the fourth quarter after Andrew Skalman’s 3-pointer with 49 seconds remaining followed by his baseline jumper at the buzzer.