KAILUA-KONA — When Izayah Chartrand-Penera got into foul trouble in the first half, he sat and returned as an energized hoopster, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to power Kamehameha back to prominence.
Kamehameha eliminated Konawaena 56-46 in the BIIF Division I boys basketball championships Wednesday night at Kealakehe High’s gym, winning its first title since 2018.
Kamehameha (10-4) clinched a state berth along with regular-season champion Waiakea (10-3) to the HHSAA tournament. Waiakea will host a first-round game at 4 p.m. Monday Feb. 17 at their gym.
“We fought as a team, played as a team and won as a team,” Chartrand-Penera said. “I wanted to bring energy and create for the team. We played well together, and everybody had each other’s backs.”
The season is over for the Wildcats (9-6), who upset No. 1 seed Waiakea in the semifinals.
In the regular season, Kamehameha beat Konawaena 52-50 on the road .
Konawaena recharged to make a run into the postseason. The next game, the Wildcats lost to Kealakehe 39-33 on the road. Then they won three straight before a 30-27 victory over Kealakehe in a play-in game. Their magical run ran out of gas.
“We struggled on both ends,” Konawaena coach Donny Awa said. “We put so much energy into the semifinals we didn’t have enough.”
Kamehameha got separation in the fourth period when Chartrand-Penera did what he does best: attack the rim with energy. He drew a foul and drained 1 of 2 free throws. Then got the ball again, scored, drew a foul and missed his free throw. The Warriors were ahead 44-35 with 6:06 left.
Then came the dagger. Kaupena Yasso swished a 3-pointer for a 49-39 lead with 4:12 left. From there, Kamehameha made 5 of 8 free throws to shut the door on the Wildcats.
Besides Chartrand-Penera’s 17 points, Darius Olloway and Yasso each added 12 point for the Warriors, who shot 40 percent from the field, including 4 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Aldrin Gadot scored 15 points, Kahinu Holzgrove, and Elisha Martin each scored five points for the Wildcats, who converted 40 percent from the floor, including 3 of 15 from 3-point range.
The Warriors outrebounded the Wildcats 41-23.
“We did just enough to win,” Kamehameha coach Mea Wong said. “Izayah is our leader and everyone follows his lead. When Konawaena turned up their pressure, we want the ball in his hands. He gives us energy and our guys feed off of that.”
Gadot scored eight straight points to cut Kamehameha’s lead to 30-28 with 1:48 left in the third quarter. He made 6 of 6 free throws and a layup.
Olloway followed with a putback, Martin answered for the Wildcats, and Joshua Luiz scored to continue the back-and-forth roller coaster.
Yasso converted two free throws for a 36-30 lead with 3.1 second back. But nobody got back on define and Joah Gacayan drained an elbow jumper at the buzzer to cut Kamehameha’s lead to 24-18 entering the final eight minutes.
Olloway and Yasso scored eight points each to lift Kamehameha to a 24-18 halftime lead.
The Warriors often looked to work the ball inside or dribble-penetrate to the hoop. Yasso, a big with 3-point range, drained two 3-pointers and bulldozed his way to the basket for layups.
Gadot scored nine points in the first half to lead the Wildcats, who made just 6 of 20 shots, including 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors shut down Konawaena’s post game and had a massive rebounding edge, 21-11, in the first 16 minutes.
In the first quarter, Coby Molina, Gadot, and Boo Jones swished 3-pointer while Kamehameha worked the ball inside. Olloway got a layup and a putback, the last basket to cut Konawaena’s lead to 11-10 to head into the second period.
To kick off the second quarter, Yasso fed Chartrand-Penera in the post. He scored and drew a foul. He converted the three-point play to tie it 13-13 with 6:01 left.
Then the Warriors closed the second quarter strong. Braedy Yamada scored off a turnover, the Warriors made 4 of 4 free throws, and Yasso capped the 9-0 run with a 3-pointer for a 22-14 lead with 1:26 remaining.
Gadot scored and Jones hit a pair of free throws before Olloway scored right before the buzzer to give Kamehameha a 24-18 halftime lead.