The Maui Preparatory Academy boys basketball team’s first trip to the state tournament is ending with a chance for Na Pueo to claim the school’s first state team championship.
Drew Triplett poured in 24 points as fifth-seeded MPA dominated top-seeded Kohala 65-46 in a Heide & Cook Division II State Championship semifinal Friday at the Kalani gym in Honolulu.
The Maui Interscholastic League nearly had a state finalist in both divisions, but Baldwin lost a close contest with Saint Louis 40-32 in the Division I semifinals Friday.
So it will be Maui Prep that will try to end the MIL’s 40-year state-title drought in boys basketball. No team from the league at any level has won the state championship since Lahainaluna took the Division A crown in 1982.
Against defending D-II champion Kohala, Na Pueo were in control from start to finish, leading 21-10 after the first quarter, 32-18 at the half and 46-29 heading to the fourth.
In addition to leading MPA (11-0) in scoring, Triplett also had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Dylan Falk added 14 points and five rebounds, Jimmy Falk had 11 points and a game-high eight boards, and Levi Basurto chipped in 10 points and six rebounds for Na Pueo, who shot 63.6 percent (28 of 44) from the floor and outrebounded the Cowboys 33-22.
Kohala (10-1) was led by O’shen Cazimero with 26 points. Laakea Kauka added 12 points.
Na Pueo — the MIL’s first state finalist since Seabury Hall in 2016 — advance to take on Kaimuki in the D-II championship game today at 5 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Arena.
At Moanalua, fourth-seeded Baldwin held a slim lead going into the fourth quarter before No. 1 Saint Louis was able to pull away for the win.
A low-scoring first half ended with the Bears ahead 14-13, and they were able to maintain their one-point advantage after a back-and-forth third quarter, leading 24-23 going to the fourth.
The Crusaders were able to pull away with a 6-0 run to start the fourth. While mid-range jumpers by Quintan Akaka and Hudson Yarbrough kept the Bears in range, Saint Louis was able to hold them off and advance to the D-I final.
Akaka registered his second straight double-double, leading Baldwin (10-3) with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Yarbrough finished with eight points, but the Bears couldn’t overcome their 24 turnovers.
Alexander Bianco scored 14 points and Aiva Arquette added 12 to lead the Crusaders (18-2).
Baldwin will play for third place today against Iolani.
Also on Thursday night, Seabury Hall (9-4) saw its season come to an end with a 62-54 overtime loss to Le Jardin in a D-II fifth-place semifinal at Kaimuki.
Statistics from the Spartans-Bulldogs game had not been reported at the time of The Maui News’ deadline.
MAUI PREP 65, KOHALA 46
MAUI PREP (11-0)
Drew Triplett 24, Jimmy Falk 11, Dylan Falk 14, Koenig Biegel 6, Levi Basurto 10, Emerson Flores 0.
Logan Neves 0, O’shen Cazimero 26, Koby Agbayani 7, O. Taveres-Matsuda 1, Laakea Kauka 12, Landon Kauka 0, Trevor Figueroa 0.
Maui Prep 21 11 14 19–65
Kohala 10 8 11 17–46
SAINT LOUIS 40, BALDWIN 32
Alex Murata 0, Kobe Gonzales 4, Brody Reformina 2, Hudson Yarbrough 8, Avery Pauole 4, Quintan Akaka 14.
SAINT LOUIS (18-2)
Aiva Arquette 12, Hayden Bayudan 0, Alexander Bianco 14, Cole Schmidt 7, Shoncin Revuelto 5, Kache Kaio 0, Jordan Posiulai 2, Pupualii Sepulona 0.
Baldwin 6 8 10 8–32
Saint Louis 11 2 10 17–40
HEIDE & COOK BOYS BASKETBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Semifinals • At Moanalua
No. 1 Saint Louis 40, No. 4 Baldwin 32
No. 2 Mililani 45, Iolani 39, OT
Fifth-place semifinals • At McKinley
Kahuku 53, Kailua 36
Maryknoll 53, No. 3 Hilo 29
Today’s Games • At Blaisdell Arena
Fifth-place game–Kahuku vs. Maryknoll, 9 a.m.
Third-place game–Baldwin vs. Iolani, 1 p.m.
Championship–Saint Louis vs. Mililani, 7 p.m.
Semifinals • At Kalani
No. 5 Maui Prep 65, No. 1 Kohala 46
No. 2 Kaimuki 72, No. 3 Hawaii Baptist 59
Fifth-place semifinals • At Kaimuki
Kapaa 66, Waipahu 59, 2OT
Le Jardin 62, Seabury Hall 54, OT
Today’s Games • At Blaisdell Arena
Fifth-place game–Kapaa vs. Le Jardin, 11 a.m.
Third-place game–Kohala vs. Hawaii Baptist, 3 p.m.
Championship–Maui Prep vs. Kaimuki, 5 p.m.