Warriors boys basketball gets first win

Dayson+Damuni%2C+junior%2C+fights+for+the+ball+with+multiple+Sabers+on+him%2C+Saturday%2C+January+25%2C+at+the+Maui+High+School+Gymnatorium.+The+Warriors+won%2C+their+first+win+this+season+after+two+of+three+starters+returned+to+the+game+after+several+weeks%27+absence.

Photo by Destinee Murray

Dayson Damuni, junior, fights for the ball with multiple Sabers on him, Saturday, January 25, at the Maui High School Gymnatorium. The Warriors won, their first win this season after two of three starters returned to the game after several weeks’ absence.

With half the season gone, the boys basketball team earned their first win, 53-45, against the Maui High Sabers last night at the Maui High School gym.

“[We’re] starting all over. Even though its halfway through the season, we have our guys back…,” Coach Chad Kalehuawehe said, “I think it’s a good start.”

The Warriors had Keawe Rindlisbacher, Gyle McGurn, and Quinn Kihune out since midway through the first round of the season. This game was the first in several weeks for Rindlisbacher and McGurn, although Rindlisbacher was out after the first half. It is hoped that Kihune will return for the team’s next game.

All three were benched for academic performance after the last grade check.

Coach Kalehuawehe explained that having Rindlisbacher and McGurn back to play definitely inspired the rest of the team and brought their confidence up.

“The team feels good because the experience is there,” Coach Kalehuawehe said about the return of the two upperclassman starters.

The game began with both teams going up and up, staying within five points of each other throughout the first half.

BJ Villon, senior, scored for the Sabers with a three-point shot to start the game. The Warriors’ Zackary Lopez, junior, followed closely with two points.

The Sabers took the lead until Rindlisbacher, junior guard, added six points for the Warriors ending the first quarter 12-11, with the Sabers down by one point.

Warriors started the second quarter with two points each from Rindlisbacher and Erin Lindsey, senior. They were closely followed by the Sabers adding six more points to the scoreboard, keeping the score relatively close the entire time.

Dayson Damuni, junior, brought the Warriors to the lead by scoring four points one after another ending the first half with the Warriors ahead 31-26.

In the last minute of the first half, Rindlisbacher hurt his ankle when he landed on an opponent’s foot during a shooting attempt at the basket. He was out for the rest of the game.

The third quarter was a struggle with the Warriors putting up only six points on the scoreboard and the Sabers adding four points. The Warriors kept the lead at the end with a score of 30-37.

In the fourth quarter Maui High took the lead back from the Warriors for the first time since the first quarter with two three-pointers by Nathan Daguio, and another by junior Ginal Mateo following behind and pushing the Sabers to the lead by one point with one minute and forty-eight seconds left in the game.

Chase Newton, junior, took the lead back for the Warriors with two free-throws, followed immediately with another basket, bringing the Warriors back on top with a 46-43 score.

When Damuni went under the basket on the next possession, the Sabers’ Tristan Nichols mistimed his block and landed on Damuni for a foul. Damuni made both of his free throws, and, in the next play, Damuni stole the ball and scored two more points on a fast break.

Damuni said he was proud of being able to capitalize on the other team’s bad passes by stealing the ball.

The Warriors opened up the lead with Lindsey, then Newton, each scoring two points on free throws. There were seven seconds left in the game after Newton’s shots, which were the last points scored in the game.

The Sabers prevailed against the Warriors in the first round. Coach Kalehuawehe said that in that game the Sabers hit their free throws, and this time, the Warriors hit theirs.

“We were 12, 13 from the free throw line. That’s huge. That’s 12 free points basically,” Coach Kalehuawehe said.

In the last two minutes of the game, the Warriors added 12 points, 8 of which came from free throws, while the Sabers only scored two on a basket.

The Warriors, who had lost in a close game of 48-54 against the Sabers last time, won their first game this season.

“It’s halfway through the season now, so it’s good to get one win,” Damuni said.

The Warriors’ next game will be this Tuesday, January 28, against King Kekaulike High School at the King Kekaulike gym.