KS Maui Warriors take first step, beat Sabers

KS+Maui+Warriors+take+first+step%2C+beat+Sabers

Photo by Reid Cairme

Kamaka Keawekane makes a shot during the MIL tournament against the Maui High Sabers at the King Kekaulike High School Gym. The Warriors won, 49-41. They will play the Baldwin Bears tomorrow, February 9.

By Reid Cairme, Features writer

The Kamehameha Maui Warriors boys basketball team played their first game of the 2012 MIL Division 1 tournament against Maui High tonight, February 8, 2012, at the King Kekaulike High School Gym.

The Warriors took a narrow victory against the Sabers, 49-41, their closest game against Maui High this season.

The Warrior win signaled the end of the season for the Sabers.

“We went over the plans for this game, but didn’t execute it,” Maui High Assistant Coach Manny Ballesteros said. “However, despite having a bad year with only nine players, they [were] able to stand up against adversity. I’m proud of them.”

The game itself saw the lead shift between the two teams throughout the four quarters.

“We were not focused at some points during the game,” junior Luke Batoon said, “but we came through with the win.”

The Warriors scored first within the first minute of the game. The Sabers overtook them soon after with a basket and a free throw.

With a small Saber lead and five minutes still left in the first quarter, sophomore Erin Lindsey and junior Kahiau Andrade scored to tie it up.

But just before the quarter ended, the Sabers made another two-point shot and free throw, ending the first quarter, 7-9, Sabers leading.

The Sabers continued to be aggressive going into the second quarter, scoring two additional free throws and a three-pointer. The Warriors scored throughout the quarter, but the Sabers stayed in the lead.

Warriors Head Coach Chad Kalehuawehe said, “We let them get ahead with open shots that allowed them to gain momentum.”

With a minute left on the clock, Andrade made a three-point shot, followed by a basket and free throw by Erin Lindsey. This ended the first half, 21-19. The Warriors were ahead by one basket.

Kamehameha Maui returned after halftime with a three-point shot by Batoon within the first minute. Lindsey, Kamaka Keawekane and Kolby Ah Sau all scored, and the Warriors increased their lead by four to 34-28.

The Sabers weren’t ready to give up. They regained the lead in the fourth quarter by scoring a basket and two three-point shots within one minute. The Warriors strengthened their defenses, only allowing the Sabers to score two additional baskets over the course of the fourth quarter.

Warriors Andrade, Batoon, Keawekane, Ah Sau, and Quinn Kihune all scored, pulling the team ahead of the Sabers, and the game ended 49-41.

“We won,” Coach Kalehuawehe said.

The Warriors play the Baldwin Bears tomorrow at the King Kekaulike Gym at 6:00 p.m.

“I hope that we come out aggressive and start with pressure on them,” Coach Kalehuawehe said.