Lunas handle Bears
Pascua scores 26 points in 64-38 win
WAILUKU — The Lahainaluna High School boys basketball team is serious about its quest for a state championship.
The Lunas matched their best- ever finish last season when they took third in the Division I tournament, and they are off to a 2-0 start on their quest for a fourth straight Maui Interscholastic League title after a dominant 64-38 victory over Baldwin on Saturday night at Jon Garcia Gym.
“Right now, we’re playing all right, but I think we can do much better,” Reece Pascua said after scoring a career-high 26 points for the Lunas. “But it’s the beginning of the season and we’re only going to go up from here.”
The Lunas led 32-20 at halftime and used a 9-1 run in late in the third quarter to make the score 46-28.
That charge was capped by five points by Pascua, who scored on back-to-back breakaway layups, one of which became a 3-point play to make it 44-28.
Pascua’s 3-pointer followed by his jumper on the next possession made it 59-36 with four minutes to play. Aukai Kama’s layup with 1:40 to go pushed the lead to 61-36, the biggest of the night.
“I didn’t even know that,” Pascua said when told he had 26 points. “I’m just trying to bring good intensity to practices, during the games. Tell people where to go and let everyone know what to do.”
Baldwin (0-2) was led by 10 points apiece from Chayce Akaka and John Werner. Akaka had all of his points in the first half, Werner had all of his points in the second.
“They’re well-disciplined, they’re really tough, they play good defense, they execute on offense, so we’ve got a way to go against them,” Baldwin coach Cody Tesoro said.
The Lunas improved to 43-1 in MIL play under fourth-year head coach Jason Justus.
“We still are struggling to find a leader on the team,” Justus said. “Reece does a great job as a junior. We just need some guys that will follow. We picked up the defensive level and that’s pretty much what made the difference in the game.”
Pascua was key to quick starts in both halves. He scored nine points in the first quarter as Lahainaluna took a 16-5 lead. He had 10 in the third quarter as the Lunas outscored the Bears 18-10.
“We’re trying to get to that state championship and the only way to do it is to work hard,” Pascua said.
The Lunas went 2-2 in the Iolani Classic earlier this month on Oahu. Their next MIL game is on Wednesday at Maui High.
“We’re not taking any time off — Monday’s off, but I don’t think this team could deal with two days in a row,” Justus said. “So we have one day off on Christmas and back to drawing board on Tuesday.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Reece Pascua 26, Iverson Turno 5, Malino Jacinto 0, Kuikawa Ross 0, Isaiah Turner 1, Tre Rickard 0, Cley Josef Palma 9, Carter Stockham 4, Siale Hafoka 5, Aukai Kama 12, Hunter Higdin 2, Koa Evalu-Robinson 0.
Owen Nakamura 0, Chayce Akaka 10, Mochi Dukelow 6, Jacob Fernandez-Ruiz 0, Miguel Agcolicol 0, Kainalu Lacno 3, Darius Pulgados 5, Mark Villalba 0, Holden Ioanis 4, Dawson Tokishi 0, Preston Rayray 0, Mafatini Mafatini 0, Zion Floyd 0, John Werner 10, Tevita Pulahe 0.
Lahainaluna 16 16 18 14–64
Baldwin 5 15 10 8–38
W L Pct GB
Lahainaluna 2 0 1.000 —
Maui High 2 0 1.000 —
Kamehameha Maui 0 0 .000 1
Baldwin 0 2 .000 2
King Kekaulike 0 2 .000 2
W L Pct GB
Haleakala Waldorf 0 0 .000 —
Hana 0 0 .000 —
Lanai 0 0 .000 —
Molokai 0 0 .000 —
Seabury Hall 0 0 .000 —
St. Anthony 0 0 .000 —
Lahainaluna 64, Baldwin 38
Maui High 55, King Kekaulike 45
Kamehameha Maui at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.
Lahainaluna at Maui High, 7 p.m.