KALAHEO — Ian Khan poured in 51 of Go EZ’s 98 game points in its 98-89 win over the Kaua‘i Ballers, Friday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
The top seeded Go EZ will face H1 and 1 for the title of the Men 18 and Over division, Friday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, closing the season for the Kaua‘i Summer Youth Basketball league in that division.
Earlier in the evening, H1 and 1 came up with a late string of buckets to pull ahead of Manny’s Sports, taking a 58-52 edge at the buzzer.
With the loss, Manny’s Sports will face the Kaua‘i Ballers in a 6 p.m. tipoff, Friday, followed by the title matchup at 7 p.m.
Coming from a 26-22 halftime deficit, H1 and 1 got its sole three-pointer from James Dingus in the final frame when it outgunned Manny’s Sports, 22-16 for the win at the buzzer.
Tab Matsumoto, player/coach for H1 and 1, pocketed nine field goals en route to his game-high 24 points, six coming in the final frame where Manny’s Sports held the team to just three field goals and on three-pointer, the remaining coming from free throws as Manny’s Sports worked for possession against a ticking clock.
Trent Thompson finished with 10 points, nine in the second half with seven of those in the final frame.
Canaan Higa, strong for Island School during the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation, fueled the first half, making five of his game-total seven points followed by Dingus getting all six of his game points in the second half. Olin Claussen and Sean Allen rounded out the H1 and 1 scoring on five and four points, respectively, Allen getting all his points in the final quarter.
Former Kapa‘a High School guard Kekoa Prem notched 15 points to lead the Manny’s Sports effort followed by Spam Lindsey, another former Warrior, adding 12 points before fouling out with 10 seconds showing in the game. Lindsey had eight of his dozen points in the second half, six coming in the final quarter.
Manny Pescador racked up three of Manny’s six three-ball, all in the second half en route to his game contribution of 11 points.
Kiah Imai and Bradley Coloma finished with six and five points, respectively, and a pair from Kimo Ai rounded out the showing.
The Kaua‘i Ballers opened to thunderous applause and cheer from its fan base, taking an early lead over Go EZ before Micah Bermoy found the net.
But with the pressure to maintain the lead, Kaua‘i Ballers worked frantically to try and contain Go EZ, limited to the five players on the floor and Levi Berton nursing a partial ankle sprain.
Despite the setback, Berton had nine points on three treys in the first half, helping Go EZ claim an 18-point lead at the buzzer.
With just five players, Go EZ mixed up the plays, relying on a combination of good strong passes, and quick moves inside, frustrating the Kaua‘i Ballers’ defense while Go EZ John Patch took the brunt of the inside punishment.
Patch’s efforts paid off in 15 points, second to Khan’s 51 points, Khan’s prowess on the floor yielding points on treys, inside drives and putbacks.
Bermoy, who opened the Go EZ scoring, finished with 17 points in the win.
Makana Aki topped the Kaua‘i Ballers’ effort with 17 points followed by Kainoa Colipano adding 16 points.
The Kaua‘i Youth Basketball Association and the County of Kaua‘i, hosts of the Kaua‘i Summer Youth Basketball league opens the doors to the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, Monday when the Women 18 and Over start its playoffs with a 6 p.m. tipoff.
Finals for the Women is Thursday night and the Men, Friday night.