It’s a nice partnership between KJ Walker and Javan Perez, HPA’s leaders in charge of offense and defense.
They combined for 28 points and played tough defense to lead Ka Makani to a 54-44 BIIF boys basketball win over Hilo on Wednesday night at the Vikings Gym.
The Division II Ka Makani (6-0) remain in a good position for the BIIF regular season title, which includes a berth to the HHSAA tournament.
Walker scored 18 points, Michael Hughes added 12, and Perez had 10 points for HPA, which shot 43 percent from the field, including 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Kaukahi Alameda scored 16 points, including 13 in the second half, and Rayson Padilla had seven points to lead the Division I Vikings (5-3), who shot 32 percent from the floor, including 2 of 20 from 3-point distance.
Hilo opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and eventually cut HPA’s lead to 50-42 on a pair of Alameda free throws with 41.7 seconds remaining.
But Ka Makani hit enough free throws to stiff-arm the Vikings. The visitors made 19 of 28 from the free throw line.
In the first quarter, HPA spaced the floor, showed patience and sank three 3-pointers. Walker hit a pair and his brother Tre sank one for a 16-9 lead.
In the second quarter, Ka Makani started to attack the basket for easy points. Hughes started with a layup and KJ Walker followed with a pair and was fouled twice. He made 1 of 2 free throws for a 23-9 lead.
The Vikings struggled with their perimeter shooting and went 2 of 13 from long distance. Padilla hit a 3-ball to cut HPA’s lead to 24-12.
Perez snuck in for a layup, and Lamaku Pana answered with an inside basket. Then Ka Makani scored five points on free throws, and KJ Walker was fouled on a 3-point attempt with no time on the clock. He made 2 of 3 to boost the lead to 31-14 at halftime.
Perez, HPA’s ace defender, guarded Alameda and held him to just three points on a triple in the first period. Perez stuck to Alameda like glue, contested every shot and played sticky off-the-ball defense against him. But Alameda shook free in the second half and found a way to score 13 points, but it wasn’t enough.
KJ Walker was nearly unstoppable off the dribble and scored 15 points in the first half. Tre Walker finished with nine points, including 9 of 9 on free throws.
HPA and Kohala are both unbeaten and in a fight for the BIIF regular season title. The two-time defending BIIF champion Ka Makani host the Cowboys on Thursday, Jan. 30.
It was Hilo’s Senior night and the team honored Alameda, Guyson Ogata, Mason Galima, Stan Mwarey, Logan Thomas, Pana, and Isaiah Cordero.
Kealakehe 51, Ka’u 25: The Waveriders won on the road to move into second place in D-I at 5-2.
The schedule now tightens for Kealakehe, which faces unbeaten Hawaii Prep on Saturday in Waimea then hosts Konawaena on Monday and unbeaten Waiakea on Wednesday.
The Trojans dropped to 1-8.
Waiakea 80, Honokaa 9: The Warriors used balanced scoring – only Kelsie Imai reached double-figures (11 points) – to romp on the road.
Waiakea (7-0), which led 56-7 at the half, has one more tuneup Saturday against Christian Liberty before meeting Konawaena in a likely battle of unbeatens Tuesday in Kealakekua.
The Dragons (3-4) had a modest two-game winning streak snapped but are still on good shape the earn the second seed in the D-II playoffs heading into a home game Saturday against Kealakehe.
Keaau 65, Kohala 34: Anela Gonzalez-Tremaine scored 28 points to power the Cougars to victory in Kapaau.
Shayla Kaheaku added 10 points as Keaau (5-3) stopped a two-game losing streak, leading 45-23 at halftime. It is all but assured the fourth seed in the D-I playoffs.
Laila Caravalho produced 18 points for the Cowgirls (3-6), who have one game remaining, Saturday against Kamehameha, as they try to hold on to a D-II playoff spot.