No. 6 Punahou upsets No. 1 Saint Louis

·3 min read

Jan. 21—Peyton Macapulay scored 16 points and Drake Watanabe tallied 12 as No. 6 Punahou upset No. 1 Saint Louis 55-52 on Thursday night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

With a three-point lead, Macapulay had a chance to ice the game with 13.6 seconds left, but missed a free throw. Saint Louis had one timeout left, but freelanced and got a contested corner 3 attempt by Shoncin Revuelto, who missed with two seconds to go. Kekai Burnett rebounded and time expired.

The win lifts the Buffanblu to 2-2 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play (6-3 overall ), avoiding a much more difficult run to a potential regular-season title and automatic state-tournament berth.

"That was a hard-fought win. Every single game in the ILH is tough, " Buffanblu coach Darren Matsuda said. "The big thing is we're growing every day. We're a very young team, a lot of first-year players. The last two games against Maryknoll and Kamehameha, we weren't able to finish. It was a good step for us. Hopefully, we keep it up and continue to grow."

Burnett was highly effective on the block with 12 points, including a 3-pointer.

Saint Louis got 16 points apiece from Aiva Arquette and Hayden Bayudan. Revuelto added 12 points, including two treys. The Crusaders had ample opportunities against Punahou's scrappy man-to-man defense, but shot just 13-for-24 (54 percent ) at the free-throw line.

Saint Louis is 3-1 in league play (9-1 overall ). After winning all 13 of its exhibition games last year, the Crusaders had not lost a game since the 2019-20 season. Saint Louis played without senior starter AJ Bianco, who is participating in Polynesian Bowl festivities this week.

Coupled with Maryknoll's 55-49 win over 'Iolani, Maryknoll now has sole possession of first place in the ILH.

Punahou played like a team that couldn't afford to lose again. After suffering through two previous losses, the Buffanblu were fired up from the start and led 12-4, getting a 3 and a layup by Burnett.

The home team led 32-26 at halftime.

Punahou built up a small lead and was up 44-39 after a traditional three-point play in the paint by Burnett early in the fourth quarter. Saint Louis, using a 2-1-2 matchup zone, chipped away and tied it at 48 on a 3 from the right wing by Revuelto.

The Buffanblu answered with a bucket on the block by Ayndra Uperesa-Thomas, and after Macapulay drove and dished to Watanabe for a 3 on the wing, Punahou had a 53-48 lead with 3 :15 remaining.

After Macapulay made one of two free-throw tries with 47.6 seconds to go, Bayudan hit another clutch jumper to bring Saint Louis within 54-52 with 30 seconds on the clock.

Macapulay missed the front of a 1-and-1 with 29.6 seconds remaining, but Bayudan missed a tough runner on the left baseline as he was double teamed.

Macapulay then sank one of his two foul shots with 13.6 seconds to go, setting up Saint Louis' last-chance shot.

"It's funny. We didn't think what the ILH would be like, as crazy as it is every year. This is probably one of the crazier years since 2016. Everybody's pretty good this year and it's going to be a battle every game, " Matsuda said. "No rest for the weary."