BIIF boys basketball: Kamehameha handles Honokaa, clinches state berth

KEAAU — Kamehameha was consistent with its scoring while Honokaa was cold half the time, never a good formula for winning basketball games.

The Warriors ran behind Nalu Kahapea’s 26 points and thumped the Dragons 64-48 in a BIIF basketball game on Tuesday night at Koaia Gym.

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Isaiah Nakoa-Oness and Koby Tabuyo-Kahele added 10 points each for the Division I Warriors, who outscored the Dragons 21-7 in the first quarter and 20-4 in the third period.

Gene Ansagay scored 16 points, and Kamuela Spencer-Herring had 12 points for Honokaa, which couldn’t string together scoring runs. When the visitors did score points during mini-spurts, they hurt themselves with turnovers.

Honokaa finished with 18 giveaways while the Warriors had 12, most of which didn’t come back to bite them.

Kamehameha (12-0) clinched the BIIF Division I regular-season title and an HHSAA tournament berth, the team’s first state spot since 2015. The Warriors last won the league championship in 2012.

Honokaa (8-4), in second place behind Hawaii Prep (9-2), is out of the running for the BIIF Division II regular-season title and the league’s first state spot. If two teams are tied, both state berths will be available in the four-team BIIF playoffs.

In the first quarter, the Warriors buried 8 of 15 field goals, including 3-balls from Tabuyo-Kahele, Payton Grahovac, and Kilohana Haasenritter. Kahapea led the charge with six points. It was an efficient first quarter with Kamehameha ahead by 14 points.

Kamehameha also ran the floor and dropped in three layups and stuffed Honokaa’s transition game. The Dragons scored on a cut and score by Ansagay, Spencer-Herring’s 8-foot jump shot, and Ansagay’s basket and free-throw conversion.

In the second period, the Warriors couldn’t play defense without fouling. Honokaa’s best offense came from the free throw line. The Dragons went 10 of 13 from the line and were in the double-bonus at the four-minute mark.

In the matchup between bigs, the 6-foot-5 Kahapea and 6-3 Spencer-Herring got the best of each other during the second quarter First, Spencer-Herring scored on a nifty spin move, but Kahapea answered with a post basket for a 29-13 lead with 5:40 to go.

Kahapea had 12 points in the first half while Spencer-Herring scored nine points, including 3 of 4 from the free throw line.

In the third quarter, Kahapea scored 10 points, including a 3-pointer that was part of a 12-0 closing run. With under 40 seconds left, Tabuyo-Kahele drained a 3-pointer to take a 52-29 lead into the final eight minutes.

Ansagay scored six points as Honokaa made a spirited charge with a 9-0 run to start the fourth period quarter, but Nakoa-Oness threw cold water on that run with two free throws. The Warriors were comfortably ahead 54-38 with 5:06 left.

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Honokaa 7 18 4 19 — 48

Kamehameha 21 11 20 12 — 64

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