Oda holds off Chiarella’s comeback for state title

WAILUA — Alex Chiarella of Seabury was on fire Wednesday, firing a four-under par 68 at the David Ishii Foundation Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Boys State Golf Championships at the Wailua Golf Course.

The effort catapaulted him to just three strokes short of the individual title with a two-day two-under par 142 (74-68).

But the challenge was strong as John Oda of Moanalua High School, eventual winner of the team competition, held on to finish with a one-under par 71 in the finals following his opening round 68 for a two-day, five-under par 139 and the boys individual title.

Chiarella was not alone in the sunny humid conditions punctuated by breezes coming in from the ocean as Rudy Cabalar of Campbell High School also fired a final-round 68 to end in a six-way tie for sixth place with a two-round 147 (79-68).

Kaua‘i’s Pono Tokioka, tops in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation golf season, and Kapa‘a’s Kenji Miyata were caught in the six-way tie with 147’s, Miyata (74-73-147) getting the nod ahead of Tokioka (73-74-147) using the Hawai‘i State Junior Golf Association tiebreakers.

Lorens Chan of ‘Iolani High School finished with even-par 72 en route to a one-under par 143 (71-72) to fill in third place, with Donny Hopoi of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama ending with a two-round 145 (71-74) for fourth place. Kalena Preus of Punahou ended a stroke back (71-75-146) for fifth place.

Led by Oda, Moanalua High School fired a 585 (291-294) to take the team championship, eight strokes ahead of ‘Iolani (287-306-593).

‘Iolani took the lead in the team standings Tuesday by four strokes over Moanalua, but fnished fourth in team totals, Wednesday for its second place, Punahou, getting the best team round Wednesday at 293, finishing in third by two strokes (302-293-595).

Kaua‘i High School, finishing team scoring in third, Wednesday at 305, held on for fifth place with a 618 (313-305).

Braeden Robley, birdie-ing the 16th and 18th on the back nine, Wednesday set the pace for the Kaua‘i team scoring, finishing the final round at 73 (38-35) followed by Tokioka (37-37-74), Jamie Amimoto (42-36-78) and Reyn Morioka (42-38-80).

Kai Adachi finished with an 88 (44-44) en route to a two-round 183 (95-88) for Kaua‘i, a tie for 84th place and Jordan Guerrero of Kapa‘a ended with a two-day 173 (85-88), tied for 67th place.

A total of 96 boys teed off at the state boys championship which moves to Maui in 2013.

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