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BIIF basketball: Behind big man Kahapea, Kamehameha coasts by Hilo

  • RICK OGATA photo
    Nalu Kahapea scored 29 points with 14 rebounds Tuesday as Kamehameha beat Hilo 58-42. To purchase an Ogata photo, email guppies4me@gmail.com.

Kamehameha gave giant killer Hilo a good lesson in smash-mouth basketball in a key Division I showdown on the basketball court.

The Warriors pounded the ball inside and walloped Hilo 58-42 in a BIIF Division I showdown on Tuesday night at the Vikings Gym.

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Nalu Kahapea had a monster game with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Kaupena Yasso added six points for the Warriors (6-0), who shot 50 percent (19 of 38) from the field, including 4 of 9 from long distance, and made 15 of 24 free throws.

Kekaukahi Alameda and Guyson Ogata each scored 11 points, and Liko Medeiros added nine points for the Vikings (3-2), who converted 31 percent (18 of 59) from the floor and sank 7 of 12 free throws. Hilo had a fondness for the 3-point shot but hit just 5 of 20.

Last Thursday, Hilo upset Konawaena, the two-time league runner-up, 68-57 on the road, but Kamehameha dominated in the paint, outscoring the Viks, 24-13.

Hilo’s schedule doesn’t lighten up with a home date against Hawaii Prep on Thursday, a road trip to Keaau on Saturday and a crosstown rivalry clash at Waiakea next Tuesday.

The Warriors are a physical bunch and resemble football players. The team’s two top threats are Kahapea, who looks like a 6-foot-5 defensive lineman, and the 6-1 Nakoa-Oness, who could pass as a linebacker and had an off-night with four points.

Though he doesn’t play football, Kahapea uses his muscle well, establishing low-post positioning for close-range shots or to clean the glass.

In the first half, the Warriors scored 18 of their 33 points in the paint, and Kahapea taught a master class in post play.

In the first quarter, he scored under the basket and on a layup off a turnover. Kahapea was more entertaining in the second period with a fadeaway, a jump hook, and a floater for a putback. He finished with three fadeaway buckets, one basket off the dribble, and several power moves around the rim.

When Kamehameha didn’t pound it inside, the perimeter was open, and Izayah Chartrand-Penera and Cyrus Veloria each knocked down a 3-pointer. In the second half, Kahapea and Yasso each buried a 3-pointer.

In the third quarter, Hilo turned up its defense and forced eight turnovers to outscore Kamehameha 9-0 off free gifts. Off giveaways, Ogata swished a 3-pointer and had a layup while Alameda dropped into two buckets.

Kahapea scored seven of his team’s eight points. He scored on a jump-stop banker, a 3-pointer and another fadeaway. He was only getting warmed up for the fourth period.

Ogata opened with a 3-pointer to cut Kamehameha’s lead to 41-30, but the visitors answered with a 6-0 run. Then Kahapea scored eight points in the final eight minutes to carry his team to an unbeaten streak.

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Kamehameha 19 14 8 17 — 58

Hilo 3 10 14 15 — 42