Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 |
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KALAHEO — Axefaio Brewer and Justin Starks each finished with only five points, but each player helped ice a 62-56 Kings win over the SupaStars Friday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
The win broke a deadlock at the top for the Men’s 18 and Over basketball league. The Kings, with their victory, remain the sole undefeated team with just one more night of games before the playoffs start.
With the rumble of taiko from the Taiko Kaua‘i practice taking place in one of the meeting rooms, the Kings were continuously stalking the SupaStars, a late-period flurry by Tab Matsumoto, finishing with a game-high 29 points, pulling the Kings to a 7-6 advantage at the first quarter buzzer.
Sam Pomele took the reins for the SupaStars in the second period, leading the greenshirts with seven of its 18 points as the SupaStars took a 24-18 halftime lead after holding the Kings to just 11 points, Trent Thompson fueling the blackshirts’ effort on six points.
The seesaw tetered to the SupaStars advantage in the third period when Matsumoto was sidelined for a spell following a court injury, but Olaf Claussen stepped into the limelight along with Brandon Palacio, Claussen getting five of his game-total in the period and Palacio adding three along with ball maneuvering as the Kings outgunned the SupaStars, 21-15.
As the clock wound down on the game, the lead continued its seesaw battle until the final minute of play when the SupaStars’ Nate Smith had an opportunity to deadlock the match on a charity pair.
Groans filled the gym as the first bounced harmlessly, and with 20 seconds showing, Smith was given another opportunity, this time coming up empty on the charity pair.
Brewer pulled the Kings up, 60-56, on a bucket with just nine ticks showing and Starks put the cherry on top by sinking a charity pair with .7 second showing.
Matsumoto, ending with a game-high 29 points on seven buckets and going 15-for-17 at the charity stripe, topped all scorers, the Kings turning to the three-ball just once in the physically defensive contest, the trey coming from Claussen in the third quarter.
Thompson finished with 10 points followed by Claussen with six, Axefaio Brewer, Tony Brewer and Starks with five apiece and Palacio’s three rounding out the win.
Sean Allen, key to the SupaStars’ boards, topped the scoring on 16 points followed by Pomele at 13 and Smith ending with 11 points, all coming in the second half. Darren Takashima added eight and Gabe Legacy had the sole three-ball for the SupaStars in his seven points.
In another exciting match, Westside Pride picked up its first win of the season on a 54-47 showing over Notorious after picking up the lead early and holding on.
James Badua finished with a game-high 28 points and J.R. Punzalan added 14 points, including three-balls in the first and fourth quarters to lead Tropang-L to a 56-49 showing over Ramblas in the opener where the Tropang-L cheering section offered standing ovations each time the greenshirts dropped a score.
Kaina Makua netted 17 points and Ian Clements added 15 points to lead the Ramblas’ effort, Brendan McDaniels and Jed Balmidiano each ending with six and Scott Rabago adding a trey.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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