Strong ‘D’ gives Athletics, Laukona wins
by Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island
KALAHEO — Both games were tied at the half, and taking different scenarios, the Island Athletics and Laukona went on to claim their victories Monday.
Island Athletics turned to their strong defense and limited Kaulupono to just three baskets in the second half, and combined with a 5-for-15 showing at the free throw line from the Waimea boys, chipped out a 36-28 victory in Game 2.
Kahale Fagarang came from a 1-for-6 performance at the free throw line to a perfect 6-for-6 in the second half to lead Laukona to a 57-35 edge over the Gee Unit in Game 2.
Neil Fagarang, Kahale’s dad, said it was probably the pressure of playing a close game that kept Laukona’s scoring to a low level during the first half that ended on a 14-14 stalemate against the Gee Unit.
But, sparked by Fagarang and Cameron Largusa, Laukona’s press and shooting saw a 17-4 fourth period for Laukona.
Fagarang, who topped the game scoring with 13 points, came up with 6 points in the fourth with Largusa adding 5 points.
Following Fagarang, four Laukona players — Paleku Yasay, Jason Iloreta, Davone Flores and Largusa finished with 8 points apiece. Cody Morden added 7 points, including the game’s first three-point bomb. Preston Ikehara-Yasay added his 4 points in the second half on feeds from Fagarang and Paleku Yasay.
The tenacious Laukona defense held Gee Unit’s Keoni Kinzie to just 8 points. V.J. Carineo shared the scoring lead with Kinzie with 8 points followed by Dayton Bayot adding 7 points to round out the Gee Unit scoring leaders.
Island Athletics guard Maleana Ledesma provided the spark that broke the 15-15 halftime stalemate.
Ledesma, working smart as the point guard, tucked in 4 points en route to the Athletics’ 8-5 showing against Kaulupono in the fourth period.
In the sixth period, Todd Hirano took the lead with 6 of the Athletics’ 8 points to seal the victory.
Hirano finished with a game-high 10 points to lead the Athletics followed by Ledesma’s 9 points, including a third period trey. Brandon Taylor added 8 points followed by Dallas Correa finishing with 6 points and a pair from Jay Louis rounding out the math.
Ariel Lahip led the balanced scoring from Kaulupono with 7 points followed by Isaac Tehero nailing 6 points on a pair of three-point bombs in the third period. Austin Parinas-Kenney added 5 points followed by Kaya Kanahele finishing with 3 points. Jonathan Tangalin, Paul Oligo Jr. and Neil Magayanes each notched pairs and a digit from Brandon Palacio rounded out the effort.
The Lihu‘e Lakers open tonight’s action against Team Central starting at 6 p.m. at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. That contest will be followed by C-Town going up against Wailua starting at 7 p.m.