Locked in a tight road contest at Konawaena on Friday night, Kamehameha was in about as good a spot as it could have hoped: Izayah Chartrand-Penera had the game in his hands as time was running out.
“Our plan was to get the ball to our best player, and he was either going to send us home or we were going to overtime,” coach Mea Wong said.
There would be no need for overtime.
Chartrand-Penera made a layup just before time expired giving the Warriors a big victory in the BIIF Division I boys basketball picture, 52-50 in Kealakekua.
“The kid is a lion, he has a lion’s heart,” Wong said. “We have seen it from him before. He has an ‘on’ switch, and he was definitely ‘on’ there.”
In a game that was close throughout, Chartrand-Penera might not have had the best first half, but Kamehameha (5-2) received strong performances from Darius Olloway and Braedy Yamada in its fifth consecutive victory. Olloway posted a double-double and Yamada delivered a career-high 14 points, Wong said.
“I told Braedy afterward that for him to do that at Konawaena says something big,” Wong said.
Kahiau Holzgrove scored a game-high 15 points and Kainoa Jones had 12 for the Wildcats (4-4), who have lost two in a row to fall to fifth place. Wong said Konawaena turned the ball over on its possession prior to the final one of the game.
Kamehameha lost its opening two games of the season, at Hilo and at Waiakea, but the hot stretch has the Warriors in second place in the tightly packed D-I, where four teams look to be fighting for three playoff spots.
“We knew the season was a grind and a process, and we had a lot of new guys to blend in,” Wong said. “(The 0-2 start) was never a worry. I just had to remind the guys to stay the course.”
Waiakea has established itself at the top at 7-0, while Keaau is at the bottom at 2-5. In between, Kamehameha, Kealakehe (5-3), Hilo (5-3) and Konawaena are separated by just a game and a half.
And much could change with many big matchups on tap during the second-to-last week of the regular season. Kamehameha hosts two unbeatens from D-II, facing Kohala on Monday and Hawaii Prep on Wednesday, and there are two big D-I rivalry games Monday: Hilo visits Waiakea and Kealakehe welcomes Konawaena. On Wednesday, the Waveriders take on Waiakea in Kailua-Kona, and Waiakea finishes the week Saturday at HPA.
“This is a fun week,” Wong said. “The funnest time of the season. It’s when champions are made.”
Hawaii Prep 30, Kealakehe 28: Javan Perez scored 18 points in Waimea as Ka Makani overcame an ultra-slow start to remain undefeated.
Looking to increase its BIIF winning streak to 23 games dating back to the 2018 playoffs, HPA (7-0) didn’t score in the first quarter and trailed 10-5 at halftime.
“Give Kealakehe credit,” HPA coach Fred Wawner said. “They had a good game plan to slow us down. We didn’t shoot well, and I think it’s one of those things where when the rim starts to look small, it starts to look even smaller.
“By the third quarter, mid-fourth, we found some rhythm and pulled ahead.”
Howard Robert scored 13 points for the Waveriders, who led by one point entering the fourth and made a late 3-pointer in the final minute after falling behind by four points.
Waiakea 63, Keaau 32: Kiai Apele scored 20 points and Keegan Scanlan added 10 as the Warriors jumped to a big lead on the Cougars’ court, taking a 46-14 advantage to the break.
Emmanuel Parks scored eight points for Keaau.
Pahoa 58, Honokaa 43: Damon Romero scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Barreon Holland finished with a double-double at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium as the Daggers ended the game on a 23-5 run to solidify their hold on third place in D-II.
Jahsaiah Yoshizumi scored 10 points for the Dragons (1-5), including a jumper that gave Honokaa a three-point lead with 7:25 remaining in the game.
It was all Pahoa from there.
Romero made a home at the free-throw line, finishing 7 of 12 overall, along with two jumpers and Jaydan Broad-Melander’s basket gave Pahoa a double-digit lead.
Broad-Melander finished with 15 points and Holland had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Romero had six rebounds as Pahoa dominated the boards, 42-28.
Kuha’o Kane also had 10 points for Honokaa