BIIF boys basketball: Kamehameha stops Hilo cold, coasts in semifinal

  • BRAD BALLESTEROS/Tribune-Herald Kamehameha's Izayah Chartand-Penera drives through Hilo's defense Tuesday night, scoring 25 points in the Warriors' 75-60 victory in the BIIF Division I boys basketball semifinals.

KAILUA-KONA — As Izayah Chartrand-Penera dribbled near his bench in front of a defender with Kamehameha nursing a comfortable fourth-quarter lead, coach Mea Wong gave him an instruction that in any other circle would sound cold-hearted.

“Go by him, and then break him,” Wong said.

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Chartrand-Penera did just that on what was another day at the office for him Tuesday night. His 25-point, six-rebound, four-assist effort carried the Warriors into the BIIF Division I boys basketball championship game with a 75-60 victory against Hilo High at Kealakehe’s gym.

Kaupena Yasso contributed 20 points and nine rebounds in a contest in which the Warriors (9-4) shot 60.5%, dominated the boards (42-22) and seized control in the third quarter with a 24-12 run.

“I just try to do my part,” Yasso said, “to help Izayah win the Player of the Year, and hopefully we can cut down the nets tomorrow.”

Kamehameha made a point of exiting Kailua-Kona quickly after the final of four games, but the Warriors will be back for Wednesday’s 7 p.m. championship game against Konawaena (9-5) in what will be a rematch of the 2018 final, which the Warriors won. Because the Wildcats upset outright regular season champion Waiakea in the other semifinal, the BIIF’s other state berth, a seeded one, will be decided in the final.

Kaukahi Alameda scored 23 points for the Vikings (9-4), who shot 35.2%, including 3 of 19 on 3-pointers. Guyson Ogata had 11 and Rayson Padilla finished with 10.

“When we play well in half-court defense, we’re tough to score on,” Wong said. “We were going to live with them shooting jump shots, and luckily Hilo had a bad shooting night.”

While Chartrand-Penera has been the Warriors’ bell cow all season — his layup near the buzzer lifted Kamehameha to a win at Konawaena in the regular season — Yasso’s performance, he shot 7 of 11 from the field, came after an up-and-down regular season.

“He does what he did in this game every single day in practice,” Wong said.

Koby Tabuyo-Kahele scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Warriors, Braedy Yamada had seven points and Darius Olloway produced six points and five rebounds.

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Kamehameha has won nine of 11 since season-opening losses at Hilo and Waiakea.

“We started rough, but our chemistry really started to grow,” Yasso said. “We shoot a high percentage from the field. We don’t focus on ourselves, we focus on each other.”

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