Preseason Battle


KEAAU — It’s hard to imagine that Konawaena’s Brenton Shropshire can grow any more. But on Friday night, the 6-foot-7 senior showed his fast-improving growth as a player while scoring 19 points and pulling down 15 rebounds in an impressive 55-38 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii in the Waiakea/Keaau Boys Basketball Tournament’s Red Bracket final.

In other games Friday in the Red Bracket at the Keaau High gym, it was: Ka’u 67, Kohala 59 in double overtime; Pahoa 56, Kalani 46; and Keaau 53, St. Joseph 26.

In Blue Bracket games at the Waiakea High gym, it was: Kalaheo 57, Hawaii Prep 29; Honokaa 46, Kealakehe 28; Hilo 59, Waiakea 44; and Waiakea 2 63, Keaau 2 19.

Shropshire was a giant in the paint for Konawaena, a talented team that is expected to give Hilo High a strong challenge for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I title this season. “The Big Target” had just too much size for the Warriors, and he scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.

The Wildcats, under head coach Donny Awa, led 30-15 at the intermission and 40-20 through three quarters. Kamehameha, with a young but promising roster under coach Dominic Pacheco, dug deep in the final period to outscore Konawaena 18-15 to close the hard-fought contest.

Shropshire was a pleasant surprise against the host Warriors in playing one of his best games in a Wildcats uniform. But he got plenty of help with shooting guard Kenan Gaspar pouring in 15 points and Nick Mims adding 12. Junior point guard Brandon “Dimes” Awa had a terrific all-around performance, effectively running the Konawaena fastbreak or terrorizing Kamehameha’s halfcourt defense with clever no-look passes for easy baskets, with a handful to Shropshire. Awa finished with a game-high 11 assists, while steady Jonah Bredeson had a rock solid performance in a team effort.

“I’m please with how we played tonight,” Konawaena assistant coach Tory Guillermo said. “We shared the ball and got a lot of good things out of transition. Brenton stepped up and had a big game; he’s improving all the time.

“I thought we played good defense and limited Kamehameha’s open looks. We also handled their screen and roll well.”

Senior Shaun Kagawa was saddled with foul trouble most of the way and finished with 11 points. He shared team-high honors with Blaine-Allen Manliguis, who also had 11, including three 3-pointers. But the Warriors struggled shooting from the perimeter and seldom finished around the basket off drives while Shropshire, Mims or Bredeson cleared the boards to start the Wildcats’ break.

“We’re still trying to work on some things,” Guillermo said. “But I like how we’re passing the ball. Our guys still need to run the lanes hard and get open. If they do, Brandon (Awa) will find them.”

In today’s consolation games at the Keaau High gym, it’s St. Joseph vs. the Waiakea junior varsity at 10 a.m., Hilo vs. Kalani at 11:30 a.m. and Keaau vs. Pahoa at 1 p.m.

In the winners bracket games at the Waiakea High gym, it’s Blue No. 1 Kalaheo vs. Red No. 1 Konawaena in the tournament title game at 7:30 p.m. In earlier games, it’s Blue No. 2 Hawaii Prep vs. Red No. 2 Kamehameha at 6 p.m., Blue No. 3 Honokaa vs. Red No. 3 Ka‘u at 4:30 p.m., and Blue No. 4 Kealakehe vs. Red No. 4 Kohala at 3 p.m.

The 14-team, four-day tournament began Wednesday and wraps up today with games at the Waiakea and Keaau gyms.

Kamehameha 9 6 5 18 — 38

Konawaena 15 15 10 15 — 55

c Ka‘u 67, Kohala 59 (2 OT): Royden Esperon scored 17 points, Greg Javar scored 15, and Honua Kauhi added 11 to spark the hustling Trojans to a heart-pounding double-overtime win over the Cowboys.

Kalal Kapeliela led Kohala with 17 points, while Kealen Figueroa had 13 and Makani Kualii added 10.

The Cowboys led 21-20 at the half, and the game was knotted at 47-47 at the end of regulation and then 54-54 after the first OT. But the Trojans outpointed Kohala 13-5 in the second OT to pull out the victory.

“I told the boys that if they stick together as a team anything can happen,” Ka‘u coach Ravel Kaupu said. “I know this year Division II is going to be real exciting, and any of the top teams can beat the other one.”

Kohala 9 12 14 12 7 5 — 59

Ka‘u 11 9 9 18 7 13 — 67

c Pahoa 56, Kalani 46: Nick Fisher scored 20 points, and Thearl Tadeo had 14 to lead the Daggers.

Matthew Haili topped the Falcons from Oahu with 12 points.

The game was close throughout until Pahoa outscored Kalani 18-11 in the final period to pull away.

Kalani 13 14 8 11 — 46

Pahoa 14 16 8 18 — 56

c Keaau 53, St. Joseph 26: Edgar Ventura scored 17 points, and Davin Alviento added 11 to lead the Cougars.

Ben Uhlmann and Cole DeSilva (two treys) each had six points to lead the young Cardinals.

The Cougars led 36-19 at the half.

St. Joseph 13 6 6 1 — 26

Keaau 17 19 11 6 — 53

Blue Bracket

At Waiakea

c Kalaheo 57, Hawaii Prep 29: Silila Tucker scored 13 points to lead the Mustangs to a lopsided win in the Blue Bracket final.

Junior Buck Thomas had seven points, and senior Jovan Crnic scored six to top Ka Makani.

Kalaheo, under coach Alika Smith, led 32-10 at the intermission and then outpointed Hawaii Prep 25-19 in the second half.

Kalaheo 15 17 15 10 — 57

Hawaii Prep 5 5 10 9 — 29

c Honokaa 46, Kealakehe 28: Keanu Freitas poured in 20 points to lead the gutsy Dragons.

Junior Malu Akiona led the Waveriders with 12 points.

Honokaa led 19-8 at the half and outscored Kealakehe 27-20 in the second half.

Kealakehe 4 4 7 13 — 28

Honokaa 12 7 15 12 — 46

c Hilo 59, Waiakea 44: The “J-J Boys,” juniors Jalen Carvalho and Jodd Carter, each scored nine points to lead the Vikings to a win over the rival Warriors.

Junior Lucas St. George led Waiakea with 14 points.

Hilo led 16-3 after one quarter and 30-11 at the intermission. The Vikings then outscored the Warriors 17-13 in the third period before the hosts held a 20-12 advantage over the final eight minutes.

It was the second straight night the teams played and Hilo prevailed.

Hilo 16 14 17 12 — 59

Waiakea 3 8 13 20 — 44

c Waiakea 2 63, Keaau 2 19: Jeffrey Tomas had 17 points, Marvin Agdepa 15 and Kahinu Alapai 14 to lead the young Warriors.

Charles Caldwell-Kaai topped the Cougars with four points.

Keaau 2 6 8 5 0 — 19

Waiakea 2 12 11 28 12 — 63