KALAHEO — David Pascua might not have had the highest score of the game Tuesday night during the Kaulupono Summer Basketball League matches at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
But his bucket at the buzzer pushed Team Lihue, division 2 boys, into the winner’s circle, 45-44, over the Papalina division 2 boys.
“I was nervous,” Pascua said. “I got the inbound, but Papalina had a partial block on the shot. There was just two seconds left and I grabbed the ball and shot it. I didn’t think it was going in, but it did.”
The ball was in the air when the buzzer sounded. The officials gave Team Lihue the points and the match. Pascua led Team Lihue in scoring with 10 points, including one three-point ball in the second half.
“When the ball was deflected, I thought to myself this put the boys in a situation where they had to play,” said Tyren Hepa, the Team Lihue coach. “The basketball gods were good to us tonight. This was a do-or-die play.
With 2.5 seconds showing in the game, Hepa called his final time out as Team Lihue crossed center court and settled the boys for the final play while chasing a 44-43 deficit.
The inbound went to Pascua in traffic and a Papalina hand thwarted the late-game shot from outside the paint — not a three-pointer. Pascua then put up the shot.
“That ball should have been ours,” said Papalina coach Clyde Vito. “Gunner Burkman had the partial block, and that was a long two seconds. But it was a nice shot. Team Lihue was shooting good.”
Hepa said both sides played well. His Team Lihue shooters notched four three-point balls — one each from Pascua, Edgar Tolentinpo, Roed Pagatpatan, and Vhincent Agreda.
Papalina also went to the long ball after Team Lihue closed off the inside game anchored by the defense of Agreda and Reece Valencia.
Christopher Cromartie launched three from outside the three-point arc, two coming in the first half, to finish with a game-high 14 points. He was followed by Burkman who had two second-half three-balls and was perfect two-for-two at the free throw line — his charity pair putting Papalina ahead, 44-43, in the final minute of play. Burkman finished with 12 points.
Taylon Yadao launched a 3-pointer in the second half en route to his five-point contribution. Makana Tavita notched his three-ball in the first half as Papalina finished with seven treys.
w Earlier in the evening, Team Lihue, division 4 boys took a 23-7 win over the Supersonics behind eight points from Elijah Lautej who effectively shut down the paint to the smaller Supersonics.
Michael Questin and Syrus Delos Reyes each had four points. Dominic Agrade, Ernesto Alcones, Mikey Manera each had a pair, and a digit from Justin Gummerus rounded out the victory.
Brayden Heu-Greenbaum, Jayvin Daligcon, and Kanale Viquela led the Supersonics effort with pairs, and a digit from Clarenz Ringor rounded out the effort.
The Dream Team wrapped up its third game in a week with a 23-4 win over the Team Central girls behind Kiana Pia Salvador netting 11 points and Alexie Ann Yam scoring seven. Jaley Medeiros led the Team Central effort with a pair.