Posted: December 23, 2011 - 7:05pm
Punahou wins Invitational title over Maryknoll, 58-36
The game was played at Stan Sheriff Center during a break in the Diamond Head Classic.
Maryknoll jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes, but Punahou got untracked and tied it at 10-10 on Taylor Henderson's 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining in the period. Henderson followed with a baseline jumper and then Sean Gruebner scored on a layup to make it 14-10 heading into the second.
Buffanblu freshman Micah Ma'a later drained a 3-pointer midway through the second period to start a 9-2 run that put Punahou ahead, 29-20, at the half.
"The same thing happened to us last year in this arena, we got off to a slow start," Buffanblu coach Darren Matsuda said. "I think the depth perception, the shooting perception a little different and it takes getting used to. Plus the kids were excited to be playing here. Once we settled down, we were OK."
DeForest Buckner began the second half with a slam dunk off a backcourt steal to ignite a 10-2 run that made it 39-22 after a 3-pointer by Nick Velasquez with 4:24 left in the third period.
The Spartans could not get closer than 15 points the rest of the way, but Matsuda said Maryknoll will nonetheless be a factor in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu race under first-year coach Kelly Grant.
"I definitely think they are (a contender), they're gonna get better and they're good already," Matsuda said. "They have a good combination of swings, posts and guards. That 6-9 center (Tobias Schramm) uses his body well and (freshman guard Kaleb Gilmore) is very steady."
Punahou forward Kupono Fey led all scorers with 14 points and Buckner added 13 points.
Austin Gaskins led the Spartans with 10 points.
Punahou leaves Tuesday for the ESPN ISCORE/MaxPreps Tournament in San Diego set for Dec. 27-30. The Buffanblu will be without Buckner, a 6-8 center, and Kupono Fey, a 6-4 forward, as they will be participating in football and volleyball events, respectively.
"The first team we play (Poway, Calif.) has a 7-foot center," Matsuda said. "But we've played small before, and this will be a good bonding experience."
December 23, 2011
Maryknoll's Tobias Schramm posts up Punahou's DeForest Buckner. Sean Nakamura | SL
Punahou's DeForest Buckner pulls down a rebound over Maryknoll's Isaiah Dowdell. Buckner was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Punahou's Malik Johnson grabs a rebound against Maryknoll. Sean Nakamura | SL
Maryknoll's Austin Gaskins defends Punahou's Matt Taniguchi. Greg Yamamoto | SL