Lunas capture fourth straight league crown
Warriors fall in tournament final 60-28, to play Sabers today for state spot
LAHAINA — The Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys basketball tournament final was a six-point game at halftime. The second half was a different story.
Lahainaluna High School ran to its fourth straight MIL title Tuesday night on the strength of a 22-0 run that covered 13 minutes of the second half, turning a battle into a blowout.
The Lunas allowed just five points — all on free throws — in the second half of their 60-28 win over Kamehameha Maui in front of a partisan crowd at the Lahaina Civic Center.
“We were just trying to be aggressive on defense,” Lahainaluna senior point guard Iverson Turno said after he scored 12 points, grabbed a team-high six rebounds and dished out four assists. “Coach just told us to be aggressive, especially on defense.”
Kamehameha Maui (6-8), the third seed in the regular season, will face No. 2 Maui High for the MIL’s second berth to the state tournament tonight at 7 at the LCC. The Warriors kept their season alive with a 67-51 semifinal win over the Sabers on Monday.
Forwards Aukai Kama and Koa Evalu Robinson matched Turno’s 12 points for Lahainaluna (14-0), which led 29-23 at halftime.
The Lunas improved to 55-1 in MIL play under head coach Jason Justus.
“We showed a one-dimensional team in the first half,” Justus said. “It’s kind of disappointing because we’re a lot more than that. Hats off to Kamehameha for just coming out and ready to play. They were on a good roll with that win over Maui High and it was tough to meet their intensity, but luckily the second half came around and we did a good job.”
The Lunas led just 16-13 after a 3-pointer late in the first quarter by Austin Peters, but Isaiah Tanner answered on the next possession with a 3-pointer of his own. A drive to the basket by Peters with 1:15 left in the second quarter pulled the Warriors within six at the break.
The Lunas outscored Kamehameha 19-2 in the third quarter to take complete command. The second-half margin was 31-5 in favor of the champions.
Peters led the Warriors with 13 points.
“They’re a good team, they made some good adjustments after halftime and that’s why they’re where they are.” Kamehameha coach Angus Peters III said. “They’re a well-oiled machine, they do what they’re supposed to and that’s why they are where they are. Hats off to them — I hope they do great in that state tournament.”
Now, the Warriors have one more chance to reach their first state tournament since 2010. In the three years before Peters took over last year, the Warriors were 2-37 in MIL play. Maui High beat the Warriors in a second-place playoff game last season.
“That’s what we’ve been playing for since I got here and the boys have been working hard and we want to get to that state tournament,” Peters said.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
KAMEHAMEHA MAUI (28)
Kahai Bustillos 3, Blayde Demello 0, Kaimana Gerard 0, Kamalu Segundo 8, Beau Ramos 0, Henry Miguel 0, Austin Peters 13, Ronson Iniba 2, Tiliti Adams 0, Taj Falconer 2, Michael Kalalau 0, Iverson Dudoit 0, Colton Luke 0.
Reece Pascua 0, Iverson Turno 12, Malino Jacinto 0, Justin Gaoiran 2, Isaiah Tanner 6, Tre Rickard 0, Cley Josef Palma 6, Carter Stockham 8, Siale Hafoka 0, Aukai Kama 12, Hunter Higdin 2, Koa Evalu Robinson 12.
KS Maui 13 10 2 3–28
Lahainaluna 19 10 19 12–60