So far, Hawaii Prep is making this Division I thing look easy.
Ka Makani ended Iolani’s 11 game unbeaten streak in the quarterfinal round of the HHSAA state tournament on Thursday. The match was the Division I debut on the state tourney stage for Hawaii Prep and the team did not disappoint, with Jake Schneider putting the BIIF champs on the board early on the way to a 2-1 victory, becoming the first BIIF team to reach the semifinals since Kealakehe did so in 2013.
“Iolani is a tremendously well coached team that plays well, organized soccer,” Hawaii Prep head coach Richard Braithwaite said. “The game itself played out how we would have scripted it. We played good defense up the middle and in the back, and we had a lot of chances going forward. Iolani probably held possession 60 percent of the time but we had probably 10 chances to score to their one.”
A change of venue did not slow down Ka Makani (13-0-0). The game was moved earlier in the day from the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex’s main stadium to Waipahu High School.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal because the school is only about two miles away from the other field,” Braithwaite said. “However, we were not too excited to play on turf because we have not played a lot of games on it. But an assistant coach gave some good advice before the game to the kids. He told them to come out playing with joy and to be present, and everything worked out.”
Schneider put Hawaii Prep on the board in the 20th minute for a 1-0 lead off a assist by Ilan Naibryf. Naibryf sent a low, driven ball near post, and Schneider did a bending, post run for a one-time slotted goal.
Conor Hunt gave Ka Makani a much-needed insurance goal midway through the second half.
“The goal came right after two or three attacking chances,” Braithwaite said. “The ball came out and I was actually worried about a counter, but a midfielder stepped up and won a big tackle and sent a beautiful ball near post.”
Iolani made things interesting in the 78th minute when Alexander Liu found the back of the net. The goal started a flurry of shot attempts by the Raiders with Ka Makani holding on to the one goal lead.
“Their keeper was playing past midfield and they kept sending players,” Braithwaite said. “It was an intense last few minutes.”
The win was a big turnaround for Ka Makani. The team lost to Iolani 5-1 in an exhibition game earlier this season. Hawaii Prep played several exhibition games against the top Oahu schools this year but they are not as familiar with teams from Maui, which makes up the half of the remaining four squads in the semis.
Ka Makani will face MIL runner-up King Kekaulike in a semifinal game Friday at 5 p.m. Na Ali’i upset No. 2 seed Kalani 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
“I don’t really know anything about them, but clearly they are very talented and organized,” Braithwaite said. “We will just try to bring our best game.”
The two state semifinal games feature a heavy outerisland field with MIL champ Baldwin, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, also advancing after defeating Kapolei 2-0.
Kamehameha 6, Kalaheo 1
The Warriors (13-1-0) dominated the second half against Kalaheo (5-8-1) in their D-II quarterfinal game at Waipio Peninsula on Thursday, scoring five goals over the final 40 minutes to win in a romp.
Kamehameha, the BIIF D-II champion, took a two goal lead in the first half when Nainoa Kalaola-Maruquin scored in the 17th minute and Christopher Knell followed in the 31st minute. The Mustangs managed to cut into the deficit with a goal by Maxx Waynant one minute later.
Up 2-1 coming out of the half, the flood gates opened for the Warriors. They picked up goals by Jonathan DeMotta (41st minute), Buddy Betts (43rd), David Erskine (61st) and Richard Lindsey (74th).
Kamehameha will take on No. 4 seeded Pac-5 in the semifinals Friday at 3 p.m. Pac-5 defeated Seabury in an equally dominating performance, 6-1.
McKinley 2, Honokaa 1
The BIIF D-II runner-up Dragons (7-7-0) fell to McKinley (6-8-1) in the quarterfinals.
McKinley took the early lead off a goal by Kotasu Minawa in the 11th minute before Honokaa’s Isaac Aguilar tied the match in the 38th minute.
The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the sixth minute of the second half when Arsany Sokar scored for the Tigers.
The Dragons fall to the consolation bracket where they will play Waipahu Friday at 1 p.m. Waipahu lost to No. 2 seeded Kapaa 6-0.
Kapolei 57, Kamehameha-Hawaii 54: Nalu Kahapea scored 26 points, Izayah Chartrand-Penera added 11 points, and Isaiah Nakoa-Oness had seven points, but rest of the Warriors only scored 10 points on Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Warriors (15-2) made 21 of 26 free throws but converted only 3 of 15 from beyond the arc.
Kamehameha loses senior starters Kahapea and Nakoa-Oness.
The Hurricanes (15-2) were led by 6-foot-5 senior forward Zoar Nedd, who scored 26 points on 10 of 15 shooting.
The OIA’s No. 3 team will play Lahainaluna for fifth place.
Honokaa 47, Seabury Hall 41: Sheltyn Carvalho scored 15 points while Kamuela Spencer Herring had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds at Kaimuki High’s gym.
The Dragons (11-6) will play Roosevelt for fifth place at 11 a.m. Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
On Wednesday, No. 2 seed Kalani thumped Honokaa 51-33.
Brandon Chung scored 13 points to lead the Falcons, who led 40-20 after three quarters.
Spencer Herring scored 15 points for the Dragons, who shot just 32 percent (12 of 38) on field goals.
Roosevelt 44, Hawaii Prep 43: Ka Makani lost another nail-biter when Jonah Hurney hit a jump shot with one second left instead of taking a 3-point attempt for a tie at Kaimuki High’s gym.
Jared Elwin sank a pair of free throws to give the Rough Riders a 44-41 lead with 17 seconds left, and the OIA runner-up advanced to the fifth-place game.
Freshman guard KJ Walker scored 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting while Michael Hughes added seven points for Ka Makani (12-5).
Micah Visoria scored 13 points, and Kapono Campos added 12 for the Roosevelt (9-6).