No. 2 Central upsets Dream Hoops at Merv Lopes

PUHI — The second-seeded Team Central beat top-seeded Dream Hoops Elite, 49-41 to claim the crown of the D1 Boys basketball division Sunday before a large audience at the Island School Wilcox Gym in Puhi.

The victory by the team led by coaches Ipo Yoshioka and Sean Andrade was even sweeter because they are the only team in the 2012 Merv Lopes Kaua‘i Hoops Classic to win a division title.

Earlier in the day, the top seeded CitySide downed the No. 3 seed Westside Bajingas, 32-22 to earn the D1 Girls title.

Clarence Sales, the event coordinator, said Maui Mayhem took the D2 Girls title and Imua, a team from Maui, earned the D2 Boys title with a win over the D2 Dream Hoops.

“Defense,” said Central coach Andrade following its upset win to keep a trophy on the host island. “We stressed defense to the boys. We know we can score, and after Dream Hoops Elite took the semifinals by just two points over Aiea, we told the boys they had to shut them down.”

Both teams played see-saw with the lead through most of the first half, the Dream Hoops Elite pulling to a five-point advantage before Central called a time-out.

The break worked, Central swung the tide, and with seconds remaining in the opening half, Donovan Harrison literally stole the ball out of the Dream Hoops’ point guard and drove up the middle for a 24-21 lead.

The momentum did not stop there, Central coming back from the break and kept the lid on the Dream Hoops’ bucket for more than five minutes of the 16-minute half.

On the other side of the ball, Central built up a lead which at one point reached 13 points, Keane Agoot getting the nod and launching a flurry of bombs from outside the three-point arc.

Duke Pauli cleaned up the inside, finishing the win with 13 points on four buckets and going five-for-eight at the charity line.

Harrison, playing the second guard on the floor, finished with 13 points on five buckets, mostly putbacks and second efforts, and finished three-for-four at the foul line.

Agoot ended with three treys for nine points, Kerwin Morano, the lead guard, adding five points, including a sorely-needed first half trey and two-for-two at the line.

Cameron Simao, effective on the boards in the first half, finished with five points and Mikal Moranz rounded out the win on four points, two second half buckets.

Nick Valesquez topped the Dream Hoops Elite scoring on a game-high 16 points including four three-balls, a bucket and two-for-two at the line. Daib Starks added nine on three treys in the effort.

The D1 Boys title game wrapped up a four-day run of the 2012 Merv Lopes Kaua‘i Hoops Classic which attracted 26 teams playing in four separate divisions.

“We more than tripled our numbers from last year when we had just a D2, or Junior Varsity, division with seven teams,” Sales said. “We added the D1, or varsity, in both Boys and Girls and a D2, or JV, Girls division.”

Teams played more than 50 games at both the Island School Wilcox Gym and the Kaua‘i High School gym, the consolation games all being played out Sunday at the Raiderdome.

Sales felt the teams had a good time, most of them showing up at the Island School to watch the D1 Boys game, the final match of the tournament, noting that several teams have already committed for next year’s play.

He said he might look at perhaps adding a division for middle school in future tournaments.

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