Kamehameha Maui topples Maui High
Win gives Warriors two chances to earn first state berth since 2010
LAHAINA — Both teams knew how important a fast start would be to a crucial semifinal game in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys basketball tournament.
Kamalu Segundo and his Kamehameha Schools Maui teammates got the message the clearest. The Warriors bolted to an early lead Monday night and never looked back in a 67-51 win over Maui High that kept hopes alive for Kamehameha Maui to reach its first state tournament since 2010.
The Warriors (6-7) came into the tournament seeded third after losing in overtime at the buzzer to fourth-seeded Baldwin in the regular-season finale. A win in that game would have given Kamehameha Maui the second seed, which instead went to Maui High (6-7).
“It does feel good because we had a tough loss on Thursday,” Segundo said after he had a game-high 18 points, including eight in the first quarter. “If we had just won that game we could’ve just won tonight to get to state. I’m happy that we won tonight because now we still have a chance.”
The Warriors led 20-12 at the end of the first quarter and 39-24 at halftime. The margin never shrank lower than 12 points the rest of the way.
Kamehameha Maui now has two chances to clinch a state berth — in tonight’s tournament final against Lahainaluna or on Wednesday in a playoff game for second place against Maui High.
The Sabers won in a similar scenario last season.
“Hats off to them, they had a great start,” Maui High coach Steven Vega said. “All season long we’ve been struggling against slow starts and (it) changes the dynamic of the game when we start in the hole 10, 12 points. We just couldn’t dig our way out of it tonight.”
Kaimana Gerard, who finished with 16 points, scored the first five points of the third quarter to push the Warriors’ lead to 44-24.
“That was huge — we’ve been pushing the boys that it’s do or die,” Kamehameha Maui coach Angus Peters III said. “Let’s not leave any effort on the court wasted, let’s go to work early in each half. Good job by them tonight.”
The Sabers closed within 50-35 at the end of the third quarter, but Kahai Bustillos scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for the Warriors to make it 55-35 with just under 7 minutes to play.
“My guys definitely responded,” Peters said. “It was a tough loss against Baldwin and they were kind of bummed — they wanted that second seed. These boys are fighters, they bounce back.”
KAMEHAMEHA MAUI (67)
Kahai Bustillos 8, Blayde Demello 0, Kaimana Gerard 16, Kamalu Segundo 18, Beau Ramos 0, Henry Miguel 2, Austin Peters 13, Ronson Iniba 2, Tiliti Adams 7, Taj Falconer 0, Michael Kalalau 0, Iverson Dudoit 1, Colton Luke 0.
MAUI HIGH (51)
Efren Villon 0, D.J. Sable 4, Rexie Butihi Jr. 4, Jojo Pacubas 13, Brycetyn Boco 3, Chey Higashiguchi 5, Fransver Castro 7, Michael Villon 3, Kevin Cacho 4, Keoki Agtaguem 1, Jayden Ramos 0, Kea Aguirre 4, Scott Magno 3.
Kamehameha Maui .. 20 … 19 … 11… 17-7
Maui High …………… 12 … 12 … 11… 16-51
D-I tournament semifinal: Lahainaluna 57, Baldwin 22
D-I tournament semifinal: Kamehameha Maui 67, Maui High 51
D-II regular-season championship playoff: Seabury Hall vs. Lanai at Lahainaluna, 6 p.m.
D-I tournament final: Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha Maui at Lahaina Civic Center, 7 p.m.
D-I overall championship or second-place playoff: Kamehameha Maui vs. Lahainaluna or Maui High at Lahaina Civic Center, 7 p.m.