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Maryknoll moves to second place in ILH with win over Saint Louis

Jan. 14—Zion Milare scored 23 points as No. 5 Maryknoll overwhelmed top-ranked Saint Louis 54-36 on Saturday night at Clarence T.C. Ching Gymnasium.

Saint Louis and Maryknoll are tied for second place in the ILH, two games behind 5-0 Punahou, which trounced MPI 63-41 on Saturday.

"Our attitude, our mindset changed. We're looking to play more as a team," said Milare, a senior guard. "I think we've still got to work on our defense, some points, like our help, but it's getting better and I'm proud of my team right now."

Ghesiah Faleafine-Auwae added nine points and Rome Lilio tallied seven. With the 6-foot-5 Lilio and the 6-3, 270-pound Faleafine-Auwae walling off the basket, Saint Louis struggled to get points in the paint. Senior guard Hunter Marumoto had a team-high eight rebounds, adding a valuable asset to the Spartans.

Pupu Sepulona was limited to 6-for-8 shooting from the field. He was 3-for-6 from the free-throw line and finished with 16 points to lead the Crusaders. Caelan Fernando chipped in eight points. Point guard Shancin Revuelto suffered a left calf injury late in the game and did not return.

"I'm going to keep my confidence and trust in my teammates. We lost two in a row, but I feel like we can bounce back. This is just a setback for a greater comeback," said Sepulona, a 6-3 junior. "We're dealing with adversity. I have so much confidence in my teammates and myself. We'll come together and have that brotherhood, and show it on the court, too."

Maryknoll has won three games in a row since losing to Mid-Pacific last week. The Spartans edged 'Iolani and Kamehameha on buzzer-beaters this week, but dominated the two-time defending state champion Crusaders from the start.

"I think the kids are understanding roles on our team a lot better. We're more clear on what they're supposed to be doing. Defensively, they understand that it doesn't take just defending for 15 seconds. It takes 30 seconds, sometimes 35 seconds to defend," Maryknoll coach Kelly Grant said.

The loss to MPI was on the tail end of an 0-2 start to the ILH season.

"When we were playing those first two games, we had a couple stops, and 10 seconds left in the shot clock, they're getting a shot up and making shots. Or they're getting a rebound and reset to another 35. I told them we have to play solid defense, jump to the ball, limit them to one-shot opportunities and I think we've been doing that," Grant said.

Maryknoll is 3-2 in league play (18-4 overall). The gauntlet in the ILH gets no easier, with games against Punahou on Tuesday, Mid-Pacific on Thursday and 'Iolani on Saturday. The MPI and 'Iolani games are on the road.

Saint Louis dropped to 3-2, taking a second loss in a row. After beating MPI, the Crusaders lost to No. 2 Punahou 48-40 on Thursday. Saint Louis (16-4 overall) will host 'Iolani on Tuesday, travel to Kamehameha on Thursday and return home to meet MPI on Saturday.

The visiting Spartans jumped to an 11-2 lead and stifled Saint Louis, which ran a different offensive look. The lead was up to 19-7 after a layup by Lilio when Grant called time out late in the first quarter.

"Coach said keep going, don't stop. Don't be satisfied. There's still plenty of time on the clock," Milare said. "Run some clock, work as a team, move the ball around."

Saint Louis shot 5-for-19 from the field (26%) and committed six turnovers in the first half. Meanwhile, Maryknoll continued to find open looks for Milare, who splashed another 3 during an 11-4 run. Marumoto's offensive board and dish to Nixis Yamauchi opened the lead to 16, and after Marumoto drove for a classic and-1 play, the Spartans led 30-11 with 32.9 seconds to go in the first half.

Maryknoll opened the lead to 35-15 after two free throws by Milare early in the third quarter. Saint Louis brought the lead down to 43-30 after a corner 3 by Fernando, but got no closer.

There are good losses and bad losses. Milare believes the loss to MPI was a blessing in disguise.

"I think it helped us all a lot," he said. "It could go either way."

ILH

Varsity Boys

Maryknoll 54, Saint Louis 36

Leading Scorers—Mryk: Zion Milare 23, Nixis Yamauchi 12. StL: Pupu Sepulona 14.

'Iolani 44, Kamehameha 43

Leading Scorers—KS: Kyler Wade 16, Nahiku Nahalea 12. Iol: Ayden Goo 15, Manu Lau Kong 14.

Punahou 63, Mid-Pacific 41

Leading Scorers—MPI: Logan Mason 10. Pun: Ayndra Uperesa-Thomas 19.

University 66, 'Iolani II 41

Leading Scorers—ULS: Trey Ambrozich 16, Kenna Quitan 14, Todd McKinney 10. Iol: Reef Hangai 10.

Le Jardin 71, Hawaii Baptist 56

Leading Scorers—LJA: Jackson Swirsky 18, Kai Kimhan 15, Giovanni Olivia 12. HBA: Eli Shibuya 31.

Neighbor Islands

Kauai 47, Waimea 41

Island School 53, Kapaa 49

Kamehameha-Hawaii 52, Hawaii Prep 23

Molokai 60, Lanai 40

Varsity Girls

Maryknoll 63, University 25

Leading Scorers—Mryk: Madison Guillermo 17, Skylar Wu 13, Skylyn Moore 11, Hailey Perez 10.

'Iolani 61, Punahou 34

Leading Scorers—Pun: Keilani Stewart 12. Iol: Justice Kekauoha 14, Mia Frye 11.