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Mid-Pacific stuns No. 1 Maryknoll

Jan. 7—Mid-Pacific improved to 1-1 in ILH play, sending perennial powerhouse Maryknoll into the cellar at 0-2 (15-4 overall ).

Darius Chizer scored 11 points, including 4-for-4 shooting at the free-throw line in the final 19.7 seconds, as Mid-Pacific surprised No. 1 Maryknoll 46-44 on Saturday afternoon.

Mid-Pacific improved to 1-1 in ILH play, sending perennial powerhouse Maryknoll into the cellar at 0-2 (15-4 overall ).

It was an exchange of clutch moments by the two teams down the stretch. Maryknoll rallied from a 40-32 deficit to tie it at 44 on Nixis Yamauchi's corner 3 with four seconds left.

MPI coach Robert Shklov then drew up an inbounds play from the past. Inbounds passer Ryan Man sprinted from right to left along the baseline. Rome Lilio, chasing Man, then ran over Chizer, who had set a screen under the basket.

"That's something we actually practice. That is an Alan Lum play that he taught me 14 or 15 years ago, " Shklov said, referring to his years playing for Lum at Punahou.

Chizer didn't need to flop as Lilio, at 6 feet, 5 inches, barreled over him for the foul. Chizer had missed two free throws in the third quarter, but swished both charity shots for a 46-44 MPI lead.

Yamauchi's 3-pointer from the left wing missed as time expired.

Jarek Yee finished with 10 points, Man tallied nine points and Logan Mason chipped in eight for the Owls. MPI shot 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. Maryknoll was 14-for-21 (67 %).

Chizer's gritty effort was an accumulation of offseason reps.

"I trusted my work. I shoot a million free throws. I knock them down, " the sophomore said. "We work hard every day in practice and we have some dogs on this team. Nothing to lose. We just came in here with that mentality. We earned some respect tonight, hopefully."

It was a disappointing finish to the opening week of league play for the top-ranked Spartans (15-4 overall ). They lost at Punahou 47-37 on Thursday, and lost at home to MPI for the first time in ages.

Despite getting good looks, Maryknoll couldn't shoot effectively against MPI's zone defense. After Jacob Bow sank two free throws, the Owls led 40-32 with 1 :10 left.

Maryknoll's full-court pressure rattled MPI. Hunter Marumoto's 3 cut it to 40-35 with 44 seconds remaining.

After a five-second violation on MPI, Zion Milare sank a free throw, cutting the margin to 40-38 with 41.8 seconds to go.

Man's feed to Mason for a transition layup opened the Owls' lead to 42-38 with 32 seconds left.

Yamauchi then splashed a 3-point shot with 21.3 seconds to go, trimming the lead to 42-41.

Facing full-court pressure, Chizer was fouled and sank two free throws for a 44-41 lead with 19.7 seconds to go.

Yamauchi then caught a skip pass on the right wing, squared up and swished another 3 to tie the game at 44. While pandemonium took over Maryknoll Community Center, officials reset the game clock at :04.

Yamauchi led Maryknoll with 13 points. Milare and Marumoto added 10 each. Kaniala Woo chipped in eight points.

MPI's string of tough games from early November and into the ILH season required a sense of adaptation. Shklov's hands-on, blue-collar mentality always rubs off. He talked with the team after a 61-43 loss to No. 10 Kamehameha on Thursday.

"The boys took it to heart. Against Kamehameha, we got all out of sorts. There was one run with a lot of one pass, one shot. Pull-ups. I told them they really needed to attack, but stay aggressive, " Shklov said. "We shot 25 % (from the field ). I'm just happy they took that to heart."

Now the Owls know. On their good days, they can beat the best in the state.

"That's the culture we're trying to set there. There's no excuse for these guys. They're a D-I program. I'm never going to allow them to settle for less, " Shklov said. "They need to treat themselves as such, as well. I hope this goes a long way for them to really believe in themselves."

No. 4 Punahou 55, No. 5 'Iolani 35 Ayndra Uperesa-Thomas scored 12 points to lead a balanced Buffanblu attack. Mana Lau Kong led the Raiders with 10 points.

Punahou (13-4 ) is now 2-0 in ILH play. The Buffanblu will host Kamehameha on Tuesday. 'Iolani dropped to 0-2 in league play (9-9 overall ). The Raiders visit Maryknoll on Tuesday.

"This group has a number of seniors that has hit that maturity level. Seeing them grow and play well together, play hard defensively, that's kind of the formula to try and win this league, " Punahou coach Darren Matsuda said. "We changed a little bit what we do. The game changes. Defenses have adjusted. It's more of a motion offense, passing, sharing the ball. We had to change what we did."

Coming off a big win over No. 1 Maryknoll, the Buffanblu did not disappoint a large crowd at Hemmeter Fieldhouse. James Taras' steal and breakaway slam capped a 10-4 game-opening run.

'Iolani switched from man defense to a 2-3 matchup zone, but Kekai Burnett scored on the block for back-to-back baskets. After Noah Macapulay splashed his second trey and Taras scored easily in the paint, Punahou had a 19-8 lead.

Reserves kept the momentum going.