Maui High defeats Lahainaluna in OT
KAHULUI – Tristan Nichols found the ball in his hands when it mattered most.
Maui High School’s 6-foot-4 sophomore center didn’t quite execute the final play the way it was drawn up, but his putback basket at the buzzer gave the Sabers a 62-60 overtime victory over Lahainaluna on Thursday night at the Maui High gym.
“I don’t know, it just came to me and I thought I had to take it,” Nichols said after he grabbed a miss by teammate Ginel Mateo on a runner in the lane. “And it went in.”
The play had been designed to be a pass to Nichols, who scored 14 points, after Mateo penetrated. Mateo took the inbounds pass with 7.9 seconds left after two free throws by the Lunas’ Cyrus Kama tied the game at 60-60.
“We call it double low,” Maui High coach Lloyd Leverett said of the final play. “We have our guard penetrate all the way to the paint so the bigs have got to come over and help. We said no matter what, whoever comes, we are just going to lob it over to Tristan because he’s got good hands to be able to get it.
“(Mateo) penetrated in, Tristan didn’t step free, so (Mateo) just shot it. (Nichols) stepped to where he was supposed to and (the rebound) came right to him. Very cool.”
The dramatic victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Sabers (4-5), while Lahainaluna (4-4) lost its second straight after winning four in a row, including two in overtime.
The Lunas had a 58-54 lead in overtime before Nathan Daguio’s 3-pointer from the corner bounced around and in with 1 minute, 47 seconds to go. The Sabers went in front 59-58 on a drive by Mateo with 1:11 left.
Mateo made one of two foul shots with 32 seconds left before Kama, who had 16 points and nine rebounds, sank his free throws and Lahainaluna called timeout.
Mateo, who finished with 13 points, sank a 3-pointer with 3:01 left in regulation for a 49-43 lead. It was still 51-46 when Josh Chapital drove the lane, Ryan Madera made a free throw and then Kama swooped in for a rebound basket when Madera missed his second free throw with 44 seconds left.
Chapital made two free throws to give Lahainaluna a 53-51 lead with 10.7 seconds left before Maui High’s Daniel Fonseca sent it to overtime with a one-handed runner at the buzzer.
Peni Taufa scored 14 points for the Lunas, Chapital had 13 and Ryan Madera added 11.
The Sabers’ Denzell Quines scored 10 points.
Lahainaluna coach John Dudley declined to comment.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Vierra 1, Marvin Sidon 5, Josh Corpuz 0, Josh Chapital 13, Cyrus Kama 16, Renzo Corpuz 0, Peni Taufa 14, Ryan Madera 11.
MAUI HIGH (62)
Joshua Viloria 2, A.J. Baguyo 0, Ginel Mateo 13, Brandon Viloria 6, Denzell Quines 10, Jake Frazee 0, Jomar Dela Cruz 1, Nathan Daguio 5, Kainalu Rundle 4, Tristan Nichols 14, Daniel Fonseca 7, Marques Baclig 0.
Maui High……. 15….5….13….20….9-62