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Saint Louis in semis with rout of Nanakuli

Feb. 23—Pupu Sepulona scored 14 points and Shancin Revuelto tallied 13 as top-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed Nanakuli 60-29 on Thursday night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

Pupu Sepulona scored 14 points and Shancin Revuelto tallied 13 as top-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed Nanakuli 60-29 on Thursday night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

The two-time defending state champion Crusaders will meet Kalaheo on Friday in the semifinal round of the Heide & Cook /HHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships.

"Nanakuli has a scrappy team and they make a lot of plays. Both teams were getting hit. They are a very dangerous team. They shoot 3s. You've got to stay patient and do what you do. That's what our guys did today. They relied on their defense, which was tremendous, " Saint Louis coach Dan Hale said. "Honestly, that's how we play. Our wins are pretty in terms of sharing the ball, but we're not finesse, hitting a bunch of 3s and that kind of thing."

ILH champion Saint Louis (25-5 ) did it in typically gritty style, winning the battle on the boards 35-26 against the OIA's third-place team. Fifteen of their caroms were on the offensive glass, including a team-high four by Sepulona. The 6-foot-3 junior, like most of his teammates, didn't have the prettiest performance. He just continued to attack on the block as the Crusaders wore the hustling Golden Hawks down.

"For me, I had two airballs. I had a little bit turnovers, but at least we got the win, that's the main thing, " said Sepulona, who shot 6-for-17 from the field. "I tried to find my open teammates, just trying to drive in when my 3-pointers weren't going down. I'm just proud of my boys. It's a team win."

Nanakuli guard Blaze Kaululaau scored five of his team-high nine points in the final quarter. Freshman Ezekiel Donnell chipped in eight points, including two 3-pointers. The Golden Hawks (19-12 ) will play Baldwin in a consolation game on Friday at Saint Louis. When the teams met in preseason, Saint Louis won 70-63.

"There were a lot of factors. We're not used to the way the ILH refs games, the physicality of it. If I knew that, we'd play very different, " Golden Hawks coach Nate Donnell said. "By the time we adjusted to what the referees were allowing, it's hard to come back on a team like that. They play really good defense. They have a lot of big bodies inside. Somewhere in the third quarter, the game got away from us."

Stone Kanoa scored eight points for Saint Louis and drew the assignment of covering Nanakuli point guard Zion Donnell. At 6 feet and 190 pounds, Kanoa's agility and strength hindered Donnell, who finished with four points on 1-for-4 shooting from the field.

"I just knew that sometimes under pressure, he can't dribble to his left most of the time. That's how I got that turnover over there by the sideline. He's a great player. Sometimes, he got me jumping, but I picked up on that and adjusted, " Kanoa said.

In all, Nanakuli committed 23 turnovers against a swarming man-to-man defense, and shot 32 % from the field (10-for-31 ).

Saint Louis shot just 39 % from the field (21-for-54 ) but had just eight giveaways.

Sepulona, Revuelto and Kanoa combined for 16 points as Saint Louis opened a 22-12 lead in the first quarter. The Crusaders opened the margin to 14 points in the second quarter, but Nanakuli began to match Saint Louis' physicality.

Early in the third quarter, Nanakuli got within nine points, but Saint Louis went on a run and opened the lead to 34-15 after Sepulona hustled for a follow shot. Zion Donnell fouled out with 5 :55 remaining in the game, and the Golden Hawks emptied their bench with a few minutes to go.

Leilehua 58, Kahuku 57 Twain Wilson went off for 32 points to lead the Mules over the Red Raiders.

Wilson missed only two of his 14 shots from the field and one of his six shots from the line in his 28 minutes, adding five rebounds and four assists.

Only six Leilehua players scored in the game, with Trystin Stevens adding nine off the bench.

Kache Kaio led Kahuku with 18 points and Kash Daley scored 11 as a reserve.

Punahou 69, KS-Hawaii 57 James Taras scored 24 points in 26 minutes and the Buffanblu took out the Warriors.

Punahou had 17 players take the court in the blowout, with nine of them scoring points.

Ayndra Uperesa-Thomas had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Buffanblu.

Kawohi Huihui led Kamehameha-Hawaii with 17 points and Kaleb Guerrero contributed 16.