Warriors extend season

Kamehameha tops Maui High to reach MIL tournament final

Jacob-Charles Espania of Kamehameha Schools Maui goes up for a shot as Maui High’s Makana Reis defends during the second quarter of the Warriors’ 61-53 win Thursday in a Maui Interscholastic League Division I tournament semifinal at the Sabers’ gym.
• The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Jacob-Charles Espania of Kamehameha Schools Maui goes up for a shot as Maui High’s Makana Reis defends during the second quarter of the Warriors’ 61-53 win Thursday in a Maui Interscholastic League Division I tournament semifinal at the Sabers’ gym. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAHULUI — The Kamehameha Schools Maui boys basketball team has not been to the state tournament since 2010.

A victory for the Warriors in either of their next two games will give them a return ticket.

Kamehameha rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit Thursday and won 61-53 over Maui High in a Maui Interscholastic League Division I tournament semifinal at the Sabers’ gym.

“I think it was a big win,” the Warriors’ Kamaluokeakuo Segundo said after pouring in a career-high 22 points. “We just did what we had to do. We executed and now we’ve just got to win one more.”

Kamehameha (8-5), which last won a league title in 2008, will play today at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku in the MIL tournament final against two-time defending champion Lahainaluna. A win for the Warriors would force a rematch in an overall title game Saturday. A victory today for the Lunas would send Kamehameha into an overall second-place game against Maui High on Saturday.

Scott Magno of Maui High drives against Kamehameha Maui’s Keomaikalani Chun on Thursday. 
• The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Scott Magno of Maui High drives against Kamehameha Maui’s Keomaikalani Chun on Thursday. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“It would just mean so much because I’ve never been to the state tournament,” Segundo said. “We’ve, like, all never been there, so it would mean a lot to us.”

The Warriors had won just two MIL games over the previous three seasons.

“I’ve got to give it up for the boys,” said first-year Kamehameha coach Angus Peters III. “I came in the first day of tryouts and I told them, ‘Boys, we’re going to be champs this year. We’re going for it all. We’re not going for anything less.’ And they bought in, they worked hard and it shows.”

Hanalei Hoopai-Sylva scored for the Warriors on a fast break to tie the game at 43-43 with 5 minutes, 50 seconds to go, and Keo Chun broke free for a layup off an outlet pass from Hoopai-Syla 25 seconds later to put Kamehameha in front to stay.

Maui High (7-6) was down 51-48 with 2:42 to play after Micah Jio sank a pair of free throws, but got no closer.

Jio and Fransver Castro each scored 15 points.

Segundo had 11 points in the first quarter, which ended with Kamehameha in front 23-10. The Sabers closed the second quarter on a 12-1 run to get within 29-28.

“We didn’t match their energy early and it kind of cost us, put us in a hole,” said Maui High coach Steven Vega. “It’s different when you’ve got to play back from a deficit. Now it’s tie-tie and you’re a little more empty that you should be, but hats off to them, they played a great game. Hopefully we have one more shot, but we have to match their energy.”

The Sabers are seeking their second state berth in three years.

“I hate putting our destiny in someone else’s hands, but that’s the way it goes,” Vega said.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

KAMEHAMEHA MAUI (61)

Blayde Demello 0, Kaimana Gerard 2, Jacob-Charles Espania 15, Austin Peters 7, Kamaluokeakua Segundo 22, Ronson Iniba 0, Kahai Bustillos 2, Keomaikalani Chun 8, Hanalei Hoopai-Sylva 5.

MAUI HIGH (53)

Micah Jio 15, Bronson Ranches 6, Bryson Ranches 5, Chey Higashiguchi 3, Fransver Castro 15, Efren Villon 3, Makana Reis 2, Jojo Pacubus 0, Scott Magno 4.

KS Maui 23 6 8 24–61

Maui High 10 18 10 15–53

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