LIHUE — Seabury Hall’s Rip Pahukoa caught fire in the third quarter Thursday night at the Kauai High School gym.
Facing a 28-17 halftime deficit, the visiting team from Maui battled back with 22 points while holding Kauai High School to just six points in the third quarter.
Pahukoa led the charge, firing up 10 of his 14 points in the frame as Seabury took a 39-34 lead at the end of three quarters of play, the first time the Spartans led in the match.
The effort fell short as Kauai answered with a 21-11 fourth period to lock up a 55-50 edge behind free throws from Chavis Garma.
Seabury Hall arrived on New Year’s Day for three pre-season games.
The Friday game at Waimea was canceled. They play at Kapaa at 9 a.m. today.
“We do this every year,” said Scott Prather, Seabury’s head coach, while exchanging handshakes with Ipo Yoshioka, Kauai’s head coach. “We just hope we’re good enough to measure up.”
The 11-point deficit at the break belied the Spartans’ performance as the visiting Maui players spread its scoring throughout the bench.
With 3:04 remaining in the third frame, Seabury found the black ink, Pahukoa increasing the lead on a plus-one play to give Seabury a 36-32 edge with 2:38 showing.
The lead stood through most of the fourth quarter until Kauai low post Melvin Tingzon netted two of his game-total four points at the 2:05 mark to deadlock the match, 47-47.
The minutes ticked down and Seabury went up 50-47 when Isaiah Payne completed a plus-one with 1:55 remaining in the match.
But the pendulum swung on a Kauai three-ball and the Raiders locked up the win at the free throw line.
Kauai guard Jassem Cumlat topped the scoring with a game-high 19 points, including three from outside the three-point arc followed by Michael Booth nailing three treys toward his game-total 11 points.
Pahukoa topped the Seabury scoring with 14 points, followed by Payne dropping 13 points, including one from outside the three-point line.
The Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys basketball season tips off Wednesday when Kapaa High School travels to Waimea to face off against the Menehune.
The Junior Varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity match approximately 20 minutes following the completion of the JV game.
Kauai hosts Waimea on Jan. 10.