HOOLEHUA - The fans at Molokai High School 's gym - aka "The Barn" - witnessed the good and the bad of college basketball on Saturday night.
The University of Hawaii men's team beat Chaminade 104-93 before 832 fans in a free-flowing, entertaining game between cross-town rivals. It was the Rainbow Warriors' first game on The Friendly Isle, while the Silverswords had made a couple of previous appearances.
"The fast-paced nature, I thought it was great," said UH coach Gib Arnold. "That's the way you'd hope basketball would be played."
Chaminade’s De’Andre Haskins is guarded by Hawaii’s Brandon Spearman during the first half of the Rainbow Warriors’ 104-93 win over the Silverswords on Saturday at “The Barn” in Hoolehua.
The Maui News / KYLE SAKAMOTO photo
The contest also had five technical fouls, four on the 'Bows.
"I think some of those guys need to learn how to control their temper," said one of the fans in attendance, Louise Manley of Kalae.
Six minutes into the game, Hawaii's Jace Tavita and Chaminade's Kevin Hu were issued technicals after shoving each other near half court.
Just 40 seconds later, a technical was called on Hawaii's Isaac Fotu immediately after a field goal by the Silverswords' Lee Bailey. Fotu said he may have accidentally elbowed an opponent in the head while boxing out.
The final - and most notable - incident came with 3:39 remaining in the game when Hawaii's Vander Joaquim took a lead pass, dunked and was fouled by De'Andre Haskins, who tried to block Joaquim from behind. Joaquim then stood over Haskins and jawed at him. Haskins got up and started to do some talking of his own.
Players from both teams raced to the baseline to break things up.
"I was a little bit hyped," Joaquim said. "We kind of just went at it. It was just a little bump. Then my teammates grabbed me out."
He added: "I was just staring at him, I was kind of yelling at him because we're rivals. We play on the same island."
Officials called technicals on Joaquim and Tavita, who was ejected for getting his second of the game.
"We came to battle and we knew they would," said Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird. "We believe we can play with anybody and we can beat anybody on any given night, and we weren't going to back down. I'm proud of our guys a few times we didn't retaliate and come running off the bench and stuff like that."
Kaina Adolpho, a 12-year-old from Hoolehua, said he was surprised by all the ill will on the court.
"I really don't see this happen at all," he said. "I never see it on TV."
This is the third straight season UH has played on Maui County - the 'Bows have won all three games.
"I loved it," Hawaii's Hauns Brereton said of Saturday's game. "It kind of feels like we're playing at home a little bit. I came here a little bit earlier in the season (on a team retreat in late October). It was very comfortable for us. Everyone is very welcoming. It was a great experience."
Kui Adolpho of Hoolehua was happy she had the opportunity to see the 'Bows and Silverswords on her home island.
"It's definitely something good for the community," she said. "We're small enough to the point that colleges don't think of us as a destination worthy of an audience. The community really showed their support for this game. We don't get to see this caliber of play, so for the fans and the sports enthusiasts, it was awesome."
Manley also enjoyed the game.
"It's super exciting to have something of this quality and stature come to Molokai, and have so many of us in the gym," she said. "It's a really, really good thing."
Bovaird, in his second year as Chaminade's coach, said he would like to make a return trip to Molokai after the season. He spoke earlier of going hunting.
"I love it over here. It's my first time here," he said. "I appreciate it over here. I plan to come back here when I have time to relax."
* Kyle Sakamoto is at email@example.com