HHSAA Boys Basketball
Damien gets by Moanalua, Maryknoll overwhelms KS-Hawaii


Wed, Feb 19, 2020 @ Moanalua

Final 1 2 3 4  
Damien (8-7, 18-16) 15 17112164
Moanalua (13-2, 20-10) 12 15 19 1157
G. Robinson 20 pts  4/8 FTs
H. Bayudan 24 pts  8/10 FTs
G. Robinson 11 tot  5 off  6 def
B. Forbes 9 tot  1 off  8 def
T. Ybay 2 ast
H. Bayudan 2 ast

SALT LAKE — These Monarchs aren't ready to abdicate their throne just yet.

Hayden Bayudan scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to help No. 3 Damien rally to a 64-57 win over No. 4 Moanalua in the quarterfinals of the Snapple/HHSAA Division I Boys Basketball Championships Wednesday night.

The Monarchs (10-7) outscored Na Menehune (13-3), the tournament's No. 2 seed, 21-11, in the final stanza, including a deciding 19-9 run to close out the win and secure a spot in Thursday's 5 p.m. semifinal, where they will meet Interscholastic League of Honolulu foe, second-ranked Maryknoll.

The Spartans eased past third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii, 61-32, in their quarterfinal. They are seeking a second straight state title.

The Damien-Maryknoll matchup features the two reigning state champions. The Monarchs moved up to D1 after winning the D2 crown last year.

"We're trying our best," Damien coach Alvin Stephenson said. "We trying to come, Monarch Nation."

Bayudan, a sophomore guard, shot 8 of 13 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. He also recorded four rebounds, seven steals and three assists while playing all 32 minutes.

Jake Holtz scored 15 points in the win and Bryce Forbes added 10 points, nine rebounds and two of his team's six blocks.

Damien held a 32-27 lead at halftime, but Moanalua stormed out of the intermission with a 17-6 run that included a Nainoa Kauhola 3-pointer from the left wing and a steal and fastbreak layup by the senior forward, to pull ahead 44-38 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

"We knew they would come out and make adjustments and make runs. This is their home gym and we gotta be able to withstand their runs and stay disciplined and that's something that I think we did tonight," Stephenson said.

Jake Holtz knocked down a pair from the free-throw line to cut the Menes' lead to 48-47 with 6:11 to play in the game. He drained two more free throws to give his team the lead for good at 49-48 with 4:22 remaining.

Damien stretched it to a 55-48 lead with 2:39 to play after Hayden Bayudan converted both ends of a one-and-one bonus.

Moanalua was able to get within one possession at 56-53 when Kauhola made two of three free throws with 57.5 seconds left, but Damien made eight of their final 10 from the charity stripe to close it out — no easy feat considering the game was played at Moanalua.

"But we work on it every single day," Stephenson said. "Before the game we're shooting at least 50 to 75 free throws, just for these moments right here."

After getting to the free-throw line just twice in the first half, the Monarchs finished 17 of 23 for the game. They were 15-of-19 shooting on free throws in the fourth quarter alone.

"I thought we were in the game, (but) we got sped up a little bit and they executed on the other end," Na Menehune coach Michael Johnson said. "Credit to Damien, they're a really good team. Our boys fought, battled all the way to the end and that's all you can ask for, is you go out there and play hard, but I think a little bit of the difference was we had a couple costly turnovers at the end of the game."

Moanalua committed five of its 15 total turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Despite drawing heavy attention from Damien's defense, Geremy Robinson recorded a double-double in a losing effort with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He also had two blocks and an assist, without a turnover, while logging all 32 minutes.

"I thought he was doing a fantastic job, he was extremely aggressive," Johnson said of Robinson, a junior guard. "They decided to box-and-one and double-team him often and I know in his mind he's a playmaker for us and he wanted to do all he could to help his team win and there were times where he would sprint all over the court to just try and get the basketball and get himself open and when he's got it going it opens up a lot for our team. Unfortunately we missed a couple open looks, but he was a competitor tonight, for sure."

Robinson shot 8 of 20 from the field and 0 for 3 from beyond the arc. Stephenson said it was of utmost importance that his defense kept close tabs on the Menes' leading scorer.

"We had to, you know? That kid is good. We knew if we didn't do that to him, that he could have a big night," Stephenson said.

Senior post DiAeris McRaven scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Moanalua, which shot just 2 of 12 in the final quarter.

"I think, credit to (the Monarchs), I think they picked it up a little bit on the defensive end, forced a couple costly turnovers and they got out in transition, went on a little run themselves and I think that kind of balanced out the momentum a little bit in the game, for sure," said Johnson, whose team led 46-43 after three quarters.

Moanalua out rebounded Damien, 35 to 29, but was just 13-of-23 shooting on free throws and 2 of 15 on 3-point attempts.

There were six ties and five lead changes.

Stephenson's team has won nine of 12 games — including four of its last five —since a 1-4 start to the ILH season.

A win Friday over Maryknoll, a team that Damien lost all three meetings to in league play — each time by a mere four points — would give the Monarchs a chance at a second state championship in as many years.

"We just gotta keep believing in ourselves and just trusting each other," Stephenson said. "They love each other and they believe in each other. These guys are great athletes, great scholars and I'm at a loss of words right now because it's just a pleasant sight to see when a group finally comes together, what they can accomplish."

The only school to win a D2 state title one year and the D1 crown the next was Kalaheo in 2012 and '13.

Na Menehune, the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, saw their 10-game win come to an end. They will play Kamehameha-Hawaii in a fifth-place semifinal at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center.




Niko Robben (25) scored 12 of his team-high 16 points before halftime to lead Maryknoll to a rout of third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

Niko Robben scored 12 of his team-high 16 points before halftime and Justin Yap added 14 points off the bench to lead No. 2 Maryknoll to a 61-32 rout of third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii at Moanalua Wednesday afternoon.

The Spartans (13-3) cruised past the Big Island Interscholastic Federation-champion Warriors (10-5) to advance to Thursday's semifinal round of the Snapple/HHSAA Division I Boys Basketball State Championships.

Maryknoll shot 20 of 39 from the field (51.3 percent), including a blistering-hot 7 of 8 in the second quarter, when it outscored KS-Hawaii, 17 to 5.

The Spartans never trailed the third-seeded Warriors and were boosted by an 8-for-17 shooting night from beyond the arc. Robben, Yap and Matthew Pila each connected on a pair of long balls.

Robben, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, shot 6 of 14 from the field and added five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Both of his triples came in the first quarter, when Maryknoll made 4 of 7 from distance.

Maryknoll build upon its 17-12 lead after one quarter with a 13-3 run during a four-minute stretch in the second. A 16-foot jumper by Yap capped the run at 30-15 with 2:18 left in the quarter.

Yap, a 5-foot-10 freshman guard, shot 5 of 7 from the field in 17 minutes of action.

"Justin is our best shooter, I mean, it's not a secret anymore, he's got a pure shot. If people don't know who he is now, they're definitely gonna know who he is next year. If you give him a little gap, I mean, he's not gonna miss," Maryknoll coach Kelly Grant said.

Grant was only surprised in the sense that Yap struggled during the warm-up period leading up to Wednesday's tip-off.

"It's funny how things even out where you can't make a shot during warm-ups or during our pregame and then he comes in and he makes every single shot he shoots after that," Grant said.

Maryknoll held a 34-17 lead at halftime and stretched it to a 44-24 advantage after three quarters.

Grant said that it was his team's defense that sparked the runaway.

"And there were a couple things that they were doing that we were kind of unsure on our movements, so we made an adjustment and I think it kind of stopped them in the second half," Grant said.

The result was 18 turnovers by the Warriors, who struggled to shot just 11 of 37 (29.7 percent) from the field. They were only 4 of 9 from the free-throw line, while the Spartans made 13 of 16 from the charity stripe, including a 7-of-8 effort by Sage Tolentino. The 7-foot sophomore center tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two steals.

Kaupena Yasso led KS-Hawaii with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Warriors played without their leading scorer in Izayah Chartrand-Penera. The senior guard did not play for reasons not disclosed by coach Mea Wong.

"He's our leading scorer, he's our best defender, he's our leader, so we lose our best ball-handler — I mean, he's our best all-around player," Wong said of Chartrand-Penera, who was not on the bench for the game.

"He does a lot of what Robben did for Maryknoll, for us, you know, initiate offenses through him, we run a lot of sets through him and he's our best defender," Wong added.

Grant said that his team's defensive game planning was largely centered around Chartrand-Penera.

"Oh yeah, because we felt that all the plays went through him," Grant said. "Yeah, that made a big difference. The game would have been way closer if he was playing; that's the guy I was worrying about."

Wong was pleased the effort turned in by his players despite being without Chartrand-Penera.

"I mean, we competed with the second best team in the state for a half and then we got tired and Maryknoll is such a well-coached team. They're so well-coached, so the whole thing I wanted to do was fight," Wong said. "I wanted to see us fight and compete and I feel we did that for as long as we could."

Senior center Liko Soares did not play for the Spartans while resting some bumps and bruises sustained over the course of the year.

"We don't know if he's going to play (Thursday), we're not sure. He's hurting bad," said Grant, whose team was coming off of an overtime win over Kalaheo in Monday's play-in round after finishing second in the ILH behind top-ranked Kamehameha.

"I mean, you gotta get lucky. No injuries today, so we're happy," Grant said.

Maryknoll will play Damien at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center, while Kamehameha will face Kahuku in the 7 p.m. nightcap. The winners will advance to Friday's 7 p.m. state final.

The Spartans are seeking to become the first back-to-back state champion since Iolani won a string of five straight from 2002 to '06.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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