Sabers injury ends intense basketball game early, KSM wins

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Photo by Landon Ballesteros

Junior Erin Lindsey jumps for the shot against Maui High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013, at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku.

Ka Leo o Nā Koa

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

A number of injuries, time-outs, and free throws filled an intense game between Kamehameha Schools Maui and Maui High School at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku on Saturday night. The boys basketball game was called for a Sabers injury with just under three minutes remaining. The Warriors led 51-34, which became the final game score.

At the start, the Warriors eased quickly into the game with four points each from senior RJ Moku and junior Erin Lindsey, as well as two points from senior Kolby Ah Sau. The Warriors kept a constant lead over the Sabers, gaining points with a free throw each from Moku and senior Kamaka Keawekane. The Warriors led at the end of the first quarter 12-5.

In the second quarter, the Warriors eventually garnered a 10-point lead at 21-11 after two points each from Moku, Ah Sau, and Lindsey, combined with nine more points from free throws. Sophomore Keawe Rindlisbacher was very active in free throws in the second quarter, scoring in four out of eight attempts. The second quarter ended 27-15, Warriors.

The second half of the game increased in physical intensity with the referees having to make many calls, some of which the Saber supporters angrily responded to.

“I don’t expect [the referees] to make all the right calls,” Coach Chad Kalehuawehe said.

Moku, Andrade, Lindsey, and Keawekane all scored a goal in the third quarter, along with a 3-point goal from Keawekane. The fight for control of the ball was rapid as the players dove to the ground and the ball slid across the floor with players tumbling and piling up after it. Amid the fouls, the Warriors kept their lead and concluded the third quarter at 40-29.

As the fourth quarter began, the spectators already saw a huge increase in the game’s physical intensity.

“It wasn’t as intense as we’ve played in other games,” Kalehuawehe said, “(…but), it is a contact sport.”

The last time the Warriors played the Sabers was in the season opener at Maui High. The score was the same. The Warriors, ready to prove themselves at the start of the season played with focus and intensity. This time, “We had a lot more fun,” Moku said.

About thirty seconds into the quarter, Sabers freshman Tristan Nichols suffered a minor injury to the chest that stopped the game for a minute after a tough clash with other players below the Warriors’ basket. Athletic trainers cleared him, and he was able to return to the game with five minutes left in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, junior Gyle McGurn quickly scored a goal as well as three free-throws, but the Sabers threw in a three-point goal from senior Ryan Dalut. After that, the score was quickly on rise for the Warriors, continuously stepping up with two free-throws from Moku and one from Andrade.

With two minutes and 44 seconds left in the game, Sabers senior Kalvyn Aboy went hurtling toward the basket for a layup, with Moku in place to block. As Aboy went up for the score, the two slammed into each other. Aboy was injured when he took a header into the courtside floor. Trainers from both teams quickly responded to the Saber, who was obviously in pain, and an ambulance was called while the trainers secured his neck in a cervical collar to await paramedics. Fans in the stands could hear that Aboy was speaking and see that his entire body was able to move.

The commentator announced that the game was concluding early due to the injury, and the score at the time, 51-34, Warriors, would be the official game score.

Both teams have been affected by injury. The Warriors put senior Billy Ayakawa back into play tonight for the first time this season after being out with a shoulder injury, but senior Luke Batoon remained on the bench recovering from a low back injury he sustained in the King Kekaulike game on January 4.

“He will actually be back next week Tuesday at our next game,” Coach Andrade said.

In that game, the Warriors will play Baldwin High School, January 15 at Baldwin’s gym. The girls play at 5:30 and the boys begin at 7:00.

“I expect them to bring their A-game,” Kalehuawehe said.