Div. II: Seabury Hall Loses Lead and Game to Kailua
By Rodney S. Yap
Kailua High School’s Kirk Ronolo Jr. threw up a buzzer-beater at halftime, sparking the Surfriders’ 14-1 third-quarter explosion en route to a 49-36 win over Seabury Hall at Kaimuki Gym on Friday.
Ronolo’s spirited play accounted for 23 points, nearly half of his team’s offensive total and matching the sum of Seabury’s top three scorers. The win advances Kailua into the boys Division II title game against top-seeded Saint Francis, which turned back Hawaii Prep in overtime, 55-53.
Kailua meets Saint Francis for the boys Division II state title on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Neal Blaisdell Arena. Seabury Hall will play for third place against Hawaii Prep, beginning at 11 a.m.
An ill-advised 3-point attempt and a traveling violation by Seabury in the closing stages of the first half contributed to the Spartans’ collapse after leading 14-8 in the first quarter and the majority of the second period. Ronolo’s prayer put the Surfriders ahead 26-24 at halftime, a lead they would not relinquish.
Unfortunately, Seabury Hall missed the leadership and play of 6-foot-3 senior Kaleb Palmer, who suffered foul trouble early in the game and had to sit out most of the second quarter as a result.
The Spartans (13-2) trailed 40-25 after three quarters of play and fell behind by 20 points when Ronolo made the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw.
Michael Clarion and Cameron King scored nine points each for Seabury and Palmer added five.
In the other Division II semifinal, Shabir Lynton hit the game-winner with 0.3 left as Saint Francis edged Hawaii Prep in a down-to-the-wire thriller.
Ka Makani led by 10 points after the first quarter, but the Saints battled back in the second and third periods, and took a 42-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
Matthew Nuumanaia led a trio of double-digit scorers for Saint Francis with 16 points. Austin Ursua added 13.
Hawaii Prep got a game-high 25 points from senior guard Jovan Crnic in the loss.
Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball State Championships
Division II Semifinals
At Kaimuki High School
Kailua 8 18 14 9 — 49
Seabury Hall 14 10 1 11 — 36
Cason Kalei 2, Dayson Davids 0, Dustin Kalani Johnson 0, William Kailimai 6, Eric Lavoie 0, Kawika Lewis 0, Matthew Bishop 2, Delwyn Richards Jr. 0, Noah Auld 1, Christian-Taylor Scheer 0, Mason Youart 11, Keola Ford 4, Kirk Ronolo Jr. 23, Marcus Malepai 0, Russell Foster 0. Totals 14 20-30 49. 3-pointers, 1 (Ronolo).
Seabury Hall (36)
Sam Jiran 0, Jordan Haylor 0, Max DeLyon 4, Nyk Yashiro 0, Cameron King 9, Kai Shibley 1, Fletcher Prouty 3, Rayson Sorayama 3, Kaleb Palmer 5, Daniel Goodfellow 2, Michael Clarion 9, Bryce Barbier 0. Totals 11 8-18 36. 3-Pointers, 6 (Sorayama, DeLyon, King, Prouty, Clarion, Palmer).