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BIIF boys basketball: Hilo forces three-way tie, hosts Keaau on Sunday in first play-in game

A bit of a nightmare scenario for BIIF schedule-makers is a dream for basketball fans: Three boys Division I teams remaining with only one postseason spot left and two days to sort out the mess ahead of the playoffs.

Mason Galima scored 16 points and Hilo beat Kohala 65-54 on Saturday night in Kapaau to join Kealakehe and Keaau at 8-5 in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot, extending the regular season by two days.

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The Waveriders get a bye since they own wins over Hilo and Keaau, who meet at 10 a.m. Sunday – yes, Sunday – at the Vikings’ gym, with the winner taking on the Waveriders on Monday.

The host team in a play-in is the opposite of the school hosted the regular-season contest, so a Vikings-Waveriders play-in game would be held in Kailua-Kona, while the Waveriders would have to travel to Keaau.

A wild night of basketball Friday night in North Hawaii helped get us here.

At Honokaa, Kamuela Spencer Herring hit the game-winner at the the buzzer as the Dragons spoiled the Cougars’ chance of clinching the fourth and final seed in the playoffs with a 60-58 victory, while the Waveriders ended Hawaii Prep’s nine-game losing streak with a 60-44 victory in Waimea.

During the regular season, Hilo won at Keaau 41-40, while the Waverider won at Hilo 74-59 and beat the Cougars at home 48-43.

The Cougars seemed destined to take Honokaa to overtime, but with 3.8 seconds remaining and the Dragons inbounding the ball under Keaau’s basket, a streaking Spencer Herring gathered a full-court pass from Sheltyn Carvalho on the left side on the basket and banked in a 5-footer with two players on him, finishing with 16 points. Gene Ansagay added 12 and Kieran Lo had 10.

Kealakehe saved its season Friday behind Lewko Lai’s 16 points and 14 from Anthony Trevino. The Waveriders led 32-26 at halftime and pulled away in the fourth quarter. Matija Vitorovic scored 25 for HPA (10-3).

At Waiakea on Friday night, the Warriors held off Konawaena 64-61 in a preview of a Division I semifinal on tap for Tuesday at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

In Division II on Saturday, Pahoa beat St. Joe 48-42 behind Jaymin Santiago-Burns’ 20 points, securing the fifth seed in the playoffs and sending the Daggers to Kapaau to face the Cowboys on Tuesday in the first round.

The Cardinals get the sixth seed and a trip to Ka’u (6-7) on Tuesday.

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Hawaii Prep and Honokaa (9-4) get byes into Wednesday’s semifinals.

Also on Saturday, Kamehameha beat Ka’u 58-37 at home, to finish up a perfect regular season at 13-0. Whichever team survives the fourth-seed tiebreaker will draw the Warriors at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals.

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