Hawaii hangs tough in loss to superior Seminoles

December 23, 2010, 6:43 AM HST · Updated December 23, 6:43 AM
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By Fred Guzman

Given its problems contending with Florida’s State’s superiority in the paint and on boards, as well as its own inability to protect the basketball, Hawaii easily could have been blown out in last night’s opening round of the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Instead, a 70-62 loss to the Seminoles almost represented a moral victory for an under-manned squad that used only seven players because of lingering injuries to senior starters Hiram Thompson and Bill Amis.

That UH stuck around as long as it did before Florida State began pulling away early in the second half was a tribute to the team’s grittiness and the marksmanship of Zane Johnson and Bo Barnes.

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Johnson matched a season high with 24 points, including six 3-pointers, and Barnes scored all of his 17 in the second half.

But Hawaii couldn’t overcome Florida State’s 23 offensive rebounds and committing 24 turnovers. As a result, the Seminoles will face Butler in tonight’s 5 o’clock semifinal while the Bows will meet Utah in a 7:30 consolation game.

Butler, last season’s NCAA runner-up, rode a 24-point effort by Mike Howard to beat Utah 74-62.

The tournament opened with a pair of blowout as Washington State routed Mississippi State 83-57 and No. 15 Baylor spanked San Diego 83-50 to set up their 1 p.m. semifinal. Mississippi State and San Diego will meet at 11:30 a.m.

PREP ROUNDUP: It was a highly productive night for Lahainaluna athletes.

It’s talented boy’s wrestling team easily captured top honors in the Maui Invitational Tournament at War Memorial Gym, out-pointing Iolani 203-160. Kahuku won the girls’ team title with 102 points, beating out Mililani’s 92 and Lahainaluna’s 86.

In basketball, the Lunas swept a pair of road games against Maui High.

TJ Rickard had 18 points and Luke Williams added 15 in a 57-58 win over the Sabers boys. The fourth-ranked Lunas’ girls again overwhelmed an MIL opponent with a 62-23 romp behind Maiki Viela’s 18 points.

In soccer, Maui High moved past idle Baldwin into first place in the Division-I boy’s standings by beating Kamehameha-Maui 3-1 behind a pair of goals by Terrance Sayers.

The Seabury Hall boys bounced back from a pair of recent losses with a 4-2 victory over Saint Anthony. Willie Harris scored twice for the Spartans. The Seabury girls blanked St. Anthony 5-0.

JUNIOR GOLF: Five Maui athletes claimed titles in the US Kids Golf regional event held at the Kaanapali Royal Hawaiian course. The champions were Cassy Isagawa, Justin Ngua, Kyeton Littel-Kamimoto, Kimberlie Miyamoto and Kirsten Ishikawa.

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