Posted: December 22, 2011 - 5:40am
Fairfax (Los Angeles) holds off upset-minded 'Iolani, 41-40
It was the closest of 10 tournament losses for Hawai'i teams vs. Mainland competition in the five-day Classic.
"Win or lose, it's a big step forward for us," Raiders coach Dean Shimamoto said. "We were definitely going out there to win, and not just compete. The last 10 quarters of this tournament, we played the kind of basketball I'd like to see in the regular season. Especially on defense, we played with 'Iolani-type intensity."
Yesterday's game was a defensive struggle throughout, but the Raiders ended the first period with a 6-0 run to lead 8-5. Duke Pauli opened the second quarter with a short jumper to make it 8-5, but Lorne Currie Jr. answered with a 3-pointer and Landon Drew's jumper tied it at 10-10 with 3:02 remaining in the half.
Pauli later converted a layup to put 'Iolani up, 14-11, with 1:19 left before Drew scored on a layup just before the buzzer to make it 14-13 at the break.
The Lions drained four 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half to fuel a 12-4 run that put them ahead, 25-18, but 'Iolani closed to 30-27 entering the fourth period after Zach Buscher's two free throws with one second remaining.
Things stayed tight and Pauli scored on a layup with 2:34 left to give the Raiders a 39-38 lead, but Theus Jr. sank his two free throws with 1:17 remaining to make it 40-39, Fairfax.
After Theus made another free throw with 23 seconds left to push the lead to 41-39, the Lions were whistled for a lane violation and 'Iolani center Gabriel Vega converted the first of two free throws with seven ticks remaining. But his second shot was off the mark, and Fairfax was fouled after the ensuing rebound.
The Lions missed the front end of the 1-and-1, however and the Raiders worked the ball into the front court before calling timeout with 2.1 seconds left.
Vega then missed on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
"I missed too many shots earlier that I could have made," said Vega, who finished with 13 points. "We had a lot of opportunities, but you learn the most in these pressure situations, especially against a good Mainland team that is so athletic."
Theus and Ronny Price each scored 11 points to lead Fairfax, and Drew added 10 points.
Pauli led 'Iolani with a game-high 20 points.