Sabers make statement with win over Na Alii

Pacubas

PUKALANI — The Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys basketball race appears to be a close call, but the Maui High School team did its best to send a message in its opener Thursday night.

The Sabers beat King Kekaulike 72-61 behind 17 points from Isaiah Richards and 13 apiece from Jojo Pacubas and Efren Villon at Na Alii’s gym.

“It’s good because we’ve got to make a statement,” Pacubas said. “All the teams right now are good.”

The Sabers ran up an 8-0 nonleague record in their own tournament and a tournament on the Big Island as well as a matchup with Lanai.

“Any win we can get is good,” Pacubas said. “This lets everyone know, like, where we’re at.”

After trailing by as many as nine points on a few occasions in the first half, King Kekaulike climbed within 42-41 when Kai Carbajal scored inside after a nifty pass from Dylan Baird with 3:25 to go in the third quarter.

The Sabers answered with a 6-0 run to take a 48-41 lead with 44 seconds to go in the third quarter and prompt a timeout from King Kekaulike coach Joe Aguilar.

Maui High’s lead was 50-41 going to the fourth quarter after Richards scored on a layup after a pretty pass from DJ Sable with 12 seconds left in the third.

Brycetyn Boco nailed a 3 for Maui High to open the fourth quarter, and a tip-in by Pacubas gave the Sabers a 60-47 lead with 5:47 left.

Richards finished a 3-point play with 4:14 to go to push the lead to 68-53.

“I think it was a total team effort,” Maui High coach Steven Vega said. “We seemed a little bit rusty going almost three weeks without playing a game, so it’s just finding the combination that works and I think we have a whole bunch of different type players who fit different situations.

“It was my job to find what combination was working, but overall I think it was good. I think the league is wide open. I talk to my boys about this a lot, it’s just a matter of who shows up.”

Na Alii’s Jovyn Nault hit a corner 3 to bring his team within 37-31 with 1:10 left in the second quarter. Darius Lauture added a putback with less than 10 seconds to go to bring the home team within four at halftime.

Lauture went down with a lower leg injury with 5:56 to go in the third quarter — with the Sabers clinging to a 37-35 lead — and did not return. He finished with 13 points, while Carbajal led Na Alii with 17.

King Kekaulike (0-2) had a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter on defending MIL champion Lahainaluna last week before falling 49-46.

“Maui High is a good team, we knew they were going to be hard to beat,” said Aguilar, who was filling in for head coach Malik Bell, who is on a pre-planned family vacation. “We knew what we had to do, but unfortunately we couldn’t come away with the win. They’re a good team — we look forward to seeing them again.”

Lauture’s injury appeared to be in the ankle region, and both coaches said it made a difference.

“Unfortunately we’re unaware of what his injury is — we will follow up with him and figure it out,” Aguilar said. “Darius is a big part of our team. He’s a big loss.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

MAUI HIGH (72)

Efren Villon 13, DJ Sable 4, Keoki Agtaguem 5, Kevin Cacho 2, Jojo Pacubas 13, Logan Nagamine 0, Isaiah Richards 17, Charles Guansing 0, T-Jay Valle 6, Michael Villon 2, Kobin Harris 0, Brycetyn Boco 10, Chris Rummans 0.

KING KEKAULIKE (61)

Ethan Bediamol 6, Thorren Rebugio 3, Darius Lauture 13, Carson Yoshida 0, Dylan Baird 10, Kai Carbajal 17, Jacob Wittenberg 0, Kainalu Pahia 0, Braeton Taylor 3, Corey Frias 6, Jovyn Nault 3, Akhil Fernando-Bell 0, Caleb Chun 0.

Maui High (1-0) 18 19 13 22–72

King Kekaulike (0-2) 17 16 8 18–61

KING KEKAULIKE GIRLS 59, MAUI HIGH 44

MAUI HIGH (44)

Hiilani Arai 3, Kayla Thornton 13, Kealohi Real 4, Kylenna Rieta 2, Natea Rosete-Tokuhisa 8, Sophia Otsuka 2, Nicole Otsuka 2, Atasha Timbreza 0, Makena Stevenson 8, Ronie Butihi 2, Mayghen Thornton 0, Althea Garduque 0.

KING KEKAULIKE (59)

Cailyn Ukida 18, Lauren Albrecht 5, Charlie Abreu 6, T.C. Pahukoa 8, Namahana Kaeo-Young 11, Anna Lee Peters 6, Heather Pease 0, Kreyajan Pahukoa 2, Kamalani Puu 3, Kailia Purdy 0.

Maui High (2-3) 12 13 7 12–44

King Kekaulike (4-1) 3 19 20 17–59

LAHAINALUNA GIRLS 51, BALDWIN 19

BALDWIN (19)

Kyra Cambra 7, Taylor Manangan 2, Shalei Lee Awai 0, Jeziel Pulgados 1, Makayla Chung 8, Saree-Ann Kekahuna 1.

LAHAINALUNA (51)

Aira Baguyo 2, Abby Akamine 12, Teani Buenconsejo 8, Ashley Akamine 5, Alea Kimokeo 1, Erin Hookano 3, Kiera Kaniho 0, Piper Pascua 7, Alexia Plaza 0, Teani Rickard 0, Susi Namoa 13.

Baldwin (0-5) 1 5 6 7–19

Lahainaluna (5-0) 22 13 8 8–51

LAHAINALUNA BOYS 50, BALDWIN 29

BALDWIN (29)

Jerren Manarpanc 0, Mochi Dukelow 2, Owen Nakamura 0, Rommel-Mico Daoang 0, Holden Ioanis 2, Reinhard Taidrik 0, Ben Wagner 0, Tyrone Nakooka 0, Kui Ross 6, Quintan Akaka 8, Prieston Rayray 0, Ikaika Raines 0, John Werner 11.

LAHAINALUNA (50)

Reece Pascua 22, Tre Rickard 8, Juztin Gaoiran 0, Malino Jacinto 8, John Flores 7, Sam Fifita 0, Josh Tihada 0, Mathew Rabino 1, Hunter Higdin 0, Miki Tufuga 0, Tui Lai 0, TJ Galoia 4.

Baldwin (1-1) 12 8 5 4–29

Lahainaluna (2-0) 7 5 15 23–50

MIL Standings

BOYS

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Lahainaluna 2 0 1.000 —

Maui High 1 0 1.000 1⁄2

Baldwin 1 1 .500 1

Kamehameha Maui 0 1 .000 1 1⁄2

King Kekaulike 0 2 .000 2

DIVISION II

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 —

Thursday’s Results

Lahainaluna 50, Baldwin 29

Maui High 72, King Kekaulike 61

Saturday’s Games

Kamehameha Maui at Maui High, 7 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.

GIRLS

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Lahainaluna 5 0 1.000 —

King Kekaulike 4 1 .800 1

Maui High 2 3 .400 3

Kamehameha Maui 1 3 .250 3 1⁄2

Baldwin 0 5 .000 5

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 4 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 4 0 1.000 —

Hana 0 4 .000 4

Lanai 0 4 .000 4

Thursday’s Results

Lahainaluna 51, Baldwin 19

King Kekaulike 59, Maui High 44

Today’s Games

Molokai at Lanai, 7 p.m.

Seabury Hall at Hana, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Molokai at Lanai, 10 a.m.

Seabury Hall at Hana, 10 a.m.

Kamehameha Maui at Maui High, 5:30 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 5:30 p.m.

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