Boys Basketball: Sabers claim second seed

Maui+High+defeated+Kamehameha+Maui%2C+60-56%2C+Saturday%2C+Feb.+11%2C+at+War+Memorial+Gymnasium.+The+Sabers+earned+the+Maui+Interscholastic+League%27s+second+seed+in+the+state+tournament.

Photo by Brianne Reformina

Maui High defeated Kamehameha Maui, 60-56, Saturday, Feb. 11, at War Memorial Gymnasium. The Sabers earned the Maui Interscholastic League's second seed in the state tournament.

WAILUKU– The Maui High School Sabers defeated the Kamehameha Schools Maui Warriors in the boys basketball Maui Interscholastic League tournament Saturday night at War Memorial Gymnasium.

The final score was 60-56, but the game could’ve been won by either team as they only differed at the highest by seven points.

“I don’t think the boys did anything wrong. They just had some bad passes and shots,” said Angus Peters III, head coach of the Warriors.

Leading scorer junior Austin Peters put up 15 points with seniors Keomaikalani Chun with 14 points and Hanalei Hoopai-Sylva with 10 points.

The game started with a fast three-point field goal by the Sabers’ Micah Jio, but the Warriors kept up with their first score with a basket by sophomore Kamaluokeakua Segundo, who hit for eight points the whole night. Segundo scored a team-high 22 points against the Sabers in the semifinal game on Friday night.

“Our games with the Warriors have been back and forth winning-wise, but it just came down to the matter of who wanted it more, tonight,” Sabers head coach Steven Vega said.

Maui High’s leading scorers were Micah Jio with 14 points and Bryson Ranches with 13 points.

By the end of the first half, the game tipped to no side as the score was 31-31 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Sabers came out and scored a two-point lay-up, raising their score to 33-31 but the Warriors followed closely by a three-point difference.

“Basketball is a game of runs, and we went back and forth, and Maui High capitalized on it at the end,” Coach Peters said.

The Sabers fouled the Warriors all night, but Kamehameha’s free-throws just didn’t make the cut. The Warriors were given multiple chances at tying the game in the second half, but it all came down to free-throws and finishing shots.

The third quarter score was 45-44 with Warriors in the lead. Time ticked down, and the crowd was on the edge of their seats.

Throughout the fourth quarter, both sides tipped the scale on scoring, and the outcome soon became unpredictable.

With 1:43 on the clock, the Warriors still held the lead by one point, 56-55. Hanalei Hoopai-Sylva stepped up and banked an And-1 shot keeping the Warriors in the game.

“Our best player tonight was Austin because he fought for his shots, and helped us score some, too,” junior Kahai Bustillos said.

With 20.34 seconds left, Austin attempted to draw a foul from the three-point line, but no whistle was blown. The final game score was 60-56 with the Sabers claiming a state tournament berth. In the regular season, the Sabers bested the Warriors 2-1, but in the tournament, the Warriors were ahead, 1-0, against Maui High going into Saturday’s play-in game.

“The best thing about our team [the Sabers] is we never give up, and we always try to minimize our mistakes,” Vega said.

The Warriors ended with an 8-7 season and the Sabers with 8-6 overall. The Sabers will host Kalaheo in the first round of the state tournament Monday.