BIIF boys basketball: Waiakea surges past Konawaena 60-44

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Waiakea junior Calvin Mattos put on a highlight show, not with his scoring, but rather with his passing, all the while exposing a few flaws with a still youthful Konawaena squad.

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Waiakea junior Calvin Mattos put on a highlight show, not with his scoring, but rather with his passing, all the while exposing a few flaws with a still youthful Konawaena squad.

Behind Mattos’ ball-sharing and a balanced attack, Waiakea defeated the Wildcats 60-44 in a BIIF Division I basketball showdown on Monday night at the Warriors Gym.

It wasn’t Mattos who led the Warriors (2-0) in scoring, but his fastbreak partner Noah Ferreira, who had 13 points, including seven in the fourth quarter with three layups.

Mattos and Kahinu Alapai each had 12 points while Alex Mathews came off the bench and contributed 11 points for Waiakea, which shot 43 percent (21 of 49) from the field and made 15 of 25 free throws.

Hauoli Akau scored 16 points and Austin Aukai added 15 points, each slashing to the rim, to lead the Wildcats (1-1), who struggled with their outside shooting and converted just 30 percent (17 of 57) and sank 10 of 16 free throws.

With the graduation of Kevin Medeiros, the ’Cats lack a long-distance gunner. They had zero 3-pointers or shots just inside the 3-point line. Waiakea had three treys, including two by Ferreira and one by Louie Ondo.

Two of Kona’s best players, 6-foot-2 forward Kamakana Ching, who had five points, and point guard Austin Ewing, who had four points, picked up their fourth fouls early in the third quarter.

Still, even when they were back in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats didn’t have anyone who could guard Mattos, who beat defenders with dribble-penetration for passes or with his patented floater.

Mattos had four assists in the final eight minutes, the first on a fastbreak to Mathews for a 47-42 lead with 4:53 left, and the last to Ferreira for the final score to cap a 15-2 run.

Waiakea led 28-24 in a fast-paced first half that saw both teams attack the rim in transition and pick up a ton of fouls. The Warriors went just 5 of 9 from the line while the Wildcats made 8 of 12 free throws.

Akau carried Kona’s offense and scored 11 points in the first half, including eight in the first quarter when his teammates were ice cold and went scoreless.

After misfiring on perimeter shots and mid-range jumpers, Kona started slashing to the rim for layups or trips to the free-throw line. That strategy was repeated in the second half.

The Warriors lost a nine-point lead right before halftime, but started to play with patience to gain it back. They worked the ball inside to get high-percentage looks and get to the line.

Alapai hit one of two free throws, Treyson Ishimoto sank a pair and then Waiakea rebounded and held the ball with 37 seconds until halftime. Ferreira buried a 3-pointer right before the the clock expired.

The Warriors’ defensive pressure forced 20 Kona turnovers; Waiakea had 15 giveaways. With those extra opportunities, the Warriors had more points off giveaways, 9-4.

In Ferreira and Ondo, the Warriors have two of the best on-ball perimeter defenders. With their lateral quickness, they’re able to limit dribble-penetration, a bit of a problem for the rest of the Division I contenders.

In a preseason game, Kona struggled against Kamehameha’s Bayley Manliguis, who took defenders off the dribble. Hilo also had trouble fronting Manliguis. St. Joseph’s Manato Fukuda gave hard rubs to Kamehameha’s perimeter defense.

Waiakea doesn’t have the ball movement like the Wildcats, who grew up playing ball together with coach Donny Awa’s Stingrays club team. But the Warriors play with a HHSAA state tournament team philosophy.

The Warriors value possessions, especially near the end of quarters when they’ll hold the ball for a last-second shot. They did that in the preseason. That’s the style of the state tournament as opposed to most BIIF teams, which somewhat ignore the clock.

Konawaena held the ball with 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but missed a shot and the following putback.

Potentially, it could be a 12-point swing if 3-pointers are drained or 8-0 advantage if half-court sets work. The defense doesn’t even get a chance to score if patience is applied.

That lack of discipline has already cost one team a chance at victory.

Last Wednesday, Kamehameha edged Hilo 44-42 when a Viking jacked up a low-percentage, long-range shot with too much time. Then Manliguis beat his defender off the dribble for a game-winning layup with five seconds left.

The Warriors showed a different style against the three-time defending BIIF champion Wildcats, who don’t start any seniors.

With under five minutes left, Waiakea spread the court and Mattos went to work, not just scoring but sharing the ball and showing that his team knows how to play like those that advance to states.

In the junior varsity game, it was Waiakea 53, Kona 30.

Konawaena 11 13 10 10 — 44

Waiakea 18 10 8 24 — 60

Kealakehe 73, Ka’u 42: Sophomore Richard Kaiawe-Kaluau scored 25 points in Pahala as the Waveridersshrugged off a slow start to even their record at 1-1.

Blaine Broberg added 15 points for Kealakehe, which dominated after trailing by six after the first quarter.

Pete Dacalio led the Trojans (0-1) with 11 points and Evan Manoha finished with 10. Ka’u scored 18 points inthe first eight minutes but managed just 13 during the second and third quarters.

Kealakehe 12 15 19 27 – 73

Ka’u 18 7 6 11 –42

Pahoa 47, Keaau 41: Keinan Agonias led all scorers with 17 points as host Daggers won their opener.

Keali’i Luis added 11 for Pahoa, which was a step ahead the entire game, taking a 30-19 lead at halftime.

Charles Caldwell-Kaai finished with 14 points for the Cougars (1-1).

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Keaau 8 11 8 14 – 41

Pahoa 11 19 4 13–47