Lunas earn state berth

Locke scores 14 points in victory over Kamehameha Maui

Lahainaluna High School’s Siale Hafoka is guarded by Kamehameha Maui’s Keomaikalani Chun during the Lunas’ 53-31 win over the Warriors on Saturday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

PUKALANI — The Lahainaluna High School boys basketball team will be in the state tournament for a fourth straight year, but the Lunas still feel like they have work to do before they get there.

Lahainaluna clinched the Maui Interscholastic League regular-season title Saturday night, extending its league winning streak to 19 games with a convincing 53-31 victory over Kamehameha Maui at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym.

The Lunas broke away from a 9-9 tie in the first quarter with a 19-1 run, and maintained control the rest of the way.

“It’s big, just to know that if anything happens we’re still going to make it to the states and we’ll be there,” said senior forward Carver Locke, who had a game-high 14 points and six rebounds. “We’re playing all right, but we’ve still got to get clicked and be in the game mode at all times. We have a lot of potential. In this game we came out slow, but we finished it off.”

Iverson Turno had four assists as Lahainaluna improved to 36-1 in MIL play under third-year coach Jason Justus.

Lahainaluna’s Aukai Kama (right) competes for rebounding position with Kamehameha Maui’s Austin Peters in the first quarter Saturday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“It’s a check mark for sure,” Justus said of the state berth. “We have some goals still left. We didn’t achieve a lot of our goals tonight.”

One of the Lunas’ goals Saturday was to finish with 10 or fewer turnovers. They had 15.

“We haven’t been practicing well,” Justus said. “It’s been tough to keep self-motivation. Carver has struggled with knee injuries, so has Tavake (Faleta), so we kind of have some issues there. Hopefully we can get back in the swing of things.”

Lahainaluna has gone 3-5 in its last three trips to the state tournament.

“We have got to get better every day. Every minute we’ve got to get better,” Justus said. “Because if we don’t it’s one, two barbecue.”

Jacob-Charles Espania had seven points for Kamehameha (5-4).

“They are a good team, they do everything to perfection, they follow their system and they keep going and going — they are a great team,” Warriors coach Angus Peters III said of the Lunas. “Right now we’re moving forward. We base it off what we’ve done in the past and that was probably the best we’ve played against (Lahainaluna).”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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LAHAINALUNA (53)

Reece Pascua 7, Iverson Turno 4, Tavake Faleta 2, Jeremi Santos 5, Carver Locke 14, Isaiah Tanner 2, Cley Josef Palma 5, Carter Stockham 0, Siale Hafoka 7, Aukai Kama 6, Koa Evalu Robinson 1.

KAMEHAMEHA MAUI (31)

Kaimana Gerard 2, Jacob-Charles Espania 7, Kalani Gregory 3, Austin Peters 6, Kamaluokeakua Segundo 5, Ronson Iniba 0, Kahai Bustillos 4, Keomaikalani Chun 2, Hanalei Hoopai-Sylva 0, Michael Kalalau 2.

Lahainaluna    18    12    12    11–53

KS Maui             9      7      7     8–31

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