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.
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.
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.”