Categorized | Basketball, Featured, Sports

DII championship final: Pahoa 41, Kailua 38

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

Kailua, which ran away with the Division II title last year, was looking to repeat Saturday, March 6 at the state boy’s basketball tournament. But a tough ‘n’ scrappy Pahoa Daggers team had other ideas.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Eric Yoshimura, Pahoa hung in to take its first state basketball championship, 41-38.

Nick Fisher scored 17 points and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Isaiah Ekau added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Daggers.

Jordan DeCorte led Kailua with 14 points and seven rebounds. Rhys Nakakura added 10 points and Corey Lau had eight points, four assists and two steals.

Pahoa poured it on at the start of the fourth quarter, pumping their lead up to 33-26 with under 5 minutes to go.

A couple of free-throws gave Pahoa a 37-31 advantage within under 1 minute left, but Kailua muscled back with a three-pointer.

With just 3.3 seconds left on the clock, Kailua fought its way under the basket and pulled to within a point, 39-38.

Pahoa inbounds .. foul by Kailua. Pahoa at the line, two points. Final buzzer. Pahoa are champs!

Kailua dropped one to go up 26-24 as the seconds ticked away in the third quarter. Pahoa had two shots bounce around the bucket, but couldn’t pull back.

Kailua has the two-point advantage at the end of three quarters.

Pahoa snatched the ball away from Kailua more than one half-dozen times in the first
half, but could not quite capitalize on possession and managed only a three-point lead into the locker room at half-time.

Pahoa and Kailua were both unseeded for the tournament, with Pahoa knocking off top seed Roosevelt and Kailua taking out No. 3 seed St. Joseph on the way to the championship game at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

Pahoa was the first BIIF school to reach the Division II final since Kohala in 2007. Since the two division format, no BIIF school had won the title.

Going into the game, Kailua had a season record of 15-4; BIIF runners-up Pahoa stood at 8-9

Also in the Division II bracket, St. Joseph went on to whip Roosevelt, 48-42, for fifth place. Roosevelt must now dread playing Big Island teams, as it was Pahoa that knocked them into the consolation bracket.

Later Saturday, No. 1 seed Iolani and Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama tip off for the Division I crown.

Mayor Billy Kenoi will welcome back the state champion Pahoa High School boy’s basketball team Sunday, March 7 at Hilo International Airport .

The team is expected to arrive on Hawaiian Airlines Flight #382 at 10:55 a.m., following Saturday’s victory over Kailua (Oahu) that earned them the state Division II Boys Basketball Championship.

Kenoi will deliver a proclamation honoring the team’s outstanding achievement.

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