Wednesday, January 18, 2023 | By Wes Nakama
No. 3-ranked ‘Iolani overcame an eight-point fourth-period deficit Tuesday night to force overtime and rally past No. 2 Maryknoll, 43-40, in a crucial ILH boys basketball showdown.
A stunned crowd of about 350 at the Spartans’ gym watched Akila Indalecio score a game-high 17 points and Kaimana Lau Kong add 13 points to help the Raiders improve to 16-9 overall and 4-3 in the ILH. Hunter Marumoto and Justin Yap each scored 12 points for Maryknoll, which fell to 18-3, 5-2.
Defending state champion Saint Louis, which rallied to defeat Kamehameha in overtime Tuesday, 48-43, now sits alone atop the league standings at 6-1.
“The way our guys played this last week, we had some extra fuel left, and I felt like the first three quarters we executed what we wanted to do, it’s just that we didn’t make shots,” ‘Iolani coach Ryan Hirata said. “But I think in the fourth quarter, big time guys just stepped up for the moment — Akila, Casey (Lyons), Mana — everybody who contributed tonight, they helped us pull off a great victory against a really really good team.”
After taking leads of 11-8 after one period and 19-15 at halftime, the Spartans used a 10-3 run capped by Yap’s 3-pointer from the top of the key to close out the third period and go up, 33-25. But Indalecio swished a 3-pointer from the left wing a minute into the fourth period, and then bookended a 9-0 run with another 3-pointer from the opposite wing to close it to 35-34 with 3:47 remaining.
Yap then drained a 3-pointer from the right wing at the 3-minute mark to push the lead to 38-34, but Lyons sank one of two free throws with 2:28 left and then converted both attempts from the stripe 40 seconds later to trim it to 38-37. Indalecio then made one of two free throws with 22.6 ticks on the clock to tie it at 38-38, and Maryknoll could not connect at the other end, forcing overtime.
Lyons scored on a layup one minute into overtime to give the Raiders their first lead of the game, but Yap tied it at 40-40 on a 15-foot jumper with 1:30 remaining.
At the one-minute mark, Indalecio drove down the left side of the lane and was fouled going up for a layup. He then sank both free throws to put ‘Iolani ahead, 42-40. Indalecio’s foul shot miss near the end of regulation was his first in 16 attempts during the ILH season, but he said it was already purged from his memory when he stepped to the line in OT.
“I didn’t think about it at all, I kind of just forget about it,” said Indalecio, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard who is now shooting 94.4 percent (17 of 18) from the charity stripe in ILH play. “I know my teammates over here have my back, and it’s all for them. Our coaches really preach playing for our teammates, so overtime got us riled up, in a way, and got our energy really high.”
The Spartans got an open 3-pointer from the left corner, but the attempt glanced off the rim and Lau Kong secured the rebound and was fouled with 16 seconds remaining. He sank the first attempt of the double-bonus and missed the second, but Maryknoll could not get a decent look at the other end and time expired.
“They wanted it more than us,” Spartans coach Kelly Grant said. “They willed the game. Our guys gotta want to get rebounds. I don’t care if (the Raiders) are two or three inches taller, we gotta block out and make sure you get the ball. Yeah they’re going to get some of the rebounds, but they can’t get every single one. That was the difference in the game, they were just killing us on the boards.
“Their size gives everybody a bad matchup, but just us being tough and blocking out, that’s basically what it is. It’s old-school basketball.”
Mahalo to City Mill for sponsoring our high school basketball game recap and for supporting local sports in Hawaii.