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Kahuku upsets Mount Vernon at ‘Iolani Classic

Kahuku forward Daniel Fotu slammed the ball over Mount Vernon’s Derrick Hamlin (3) and Noah Morgan (30) at the‘Iolani Classic on Saturday.

Point guard Jessiya Villa poured in 27 points as Kahuku shocked Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 60-54 on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the ‘Iolani Prep Classic.

Mount Vernon got 18 points from Jason Douglas-Stanley and 15 from Noah Morgan. This is the second opening-round win by a local team, with the exception of host ‘Iolani, against a mainland team since 1997 when Keola Abreu and Jacob Ordenstein led Kamehameha over St. Bernard (Calif.) 39-38.

On Friday, Kailua beat Corona del Sol (Calif.) 52-47.

Villa, son of former Kamehameha standout Kahi Villa, was 7-for-13 from the field and 10-for-14 at the foul line with three assists to spark Kahuku.

“We were getting too excited, but we were able to stick together like a family,” Villa said.

He grew up in Virginia before transferring to play for Brandyn Akana, who played with Kahi Villa at BYU-Hawaii.

Samuta Avea, who transferred back to Kahuku from Bingham (Utah) after one season, contributed with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. The 6-foot-6 senior signed with Hawaii last month, still recovering from an offseason ankle injury.

“It’s something I can deal with,” he said. “As long as I’m helping the team, I want to be out there.”

The biggest surprise was the appearance of a player from Auckland who had arrived on Oahu earlier in the week.

Dan Fotu, younger brother of former UH player Isaac Fotu, came up big playing the second and fourth quarters. The 6-foot-7 junior had 12 points, including a follow slam dunk to tie the game at 54 with 36 seconds remaining. He made his free throw on the and-1 play to give the Red Raiders the lead for good.

“Having Dan is such a big factor. He’s lethal,” Villa said.

From there, the Knights missed their next three shots. Villa made two free throws for a 57-54 lead with 33.9 seconds left. The senior guard added two more foul shots with 18.8 seconds to go for a 59-54 lead, icing the win.

Fotu arrived at Kahuku after playing for the New Zealand national team in Fiji.

“Since I’ve been here, it’s been like a big family,” he said. “In Hawaii, basketball is way faster, up and down. In New Zealand, it’s way more structured.”

Akana was pleased with his team’s hard-nosed defense and poise.

“It’s early in the season, they’re trapping us after we pass halfcourt. We just needed to settle everybody down, fill the middle. These are things we need to learn as we go into the OIA season,” he said.

The lead changed hands five times before Morgan hit a 3 from the top for an 18-16 Knights lead. That was the opening salvo of a 14-3 run as Villa (11 first-half points) couldn’t get enough help on the offensive end.

The Red Raiders answered with a 13-0 run. With Fotu providing resistance against Mount Vernon’s 6-8 center, Gregory Calixte (nine points, five rebounds), Kahuku gained momentum. Mark Viloria’s corner 3 on a feed from Villa gave Kahuku a 32-29 lead.

Kahuku led 34-32 at the break despite a combined five trifectas by Douglas-Stanley and Morgan.

The Knights’ 1-2-2 halfcourt traps befuddled Kahuku for a stretch in the third quarter. Steals by Demetre Roberts and Douglas-Stanley powered an 8-0 run that gave the visitors a 44-40 lead late in the third.

Kahuku entered the game ranked No. 6 in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.

Dr. Phillips (Fla.) 59, Waiakea 38

Jordan Poventud and Daniel Love poured in 18 points each as the Panthers (7-3) opened play in the Classic with a win over the Warriors of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.

Nick Smith added 10 points for Dr. Phillips, which finished fifth in the tourney in 2010.

Wesley Amuimuia scored 14 and Calvin Mattos chipped in 10 for the Warriors.

Oak Hill (Va.) 101, Kapolei 28

Lindell Wigginton splashed four treys and finished with 26 points to lead the Warriors. Ty-Shon Alexander added 17 points and Billy Preston had 16. Matt Coleman added 11 and Devonte Shuler had 10.

Hezekiah Del Prado paced the Hurricanes with eight points.

Oak Hill (Va.) is ranked No. 4 by USA Today. They won the Classic in 1989, ’99, ’03, ’08, ’10 and ’14.

De La Salle 71, Waianae 35

Connor O’Dea led four Spartans in double figures with 14 points. Emeka Udenyi, a big 6-6 post, added 12 points. Eric Headley and Colby Orr chipped in 11 each.

Douglas Mitchell paced Waianae with 17 points.

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