A tumultuous basketball season ended Friday evening at King Kekaulike gym for the Molokai boys, but not after a strong effort against Seabury Hall in the Maui Interscholastic League Division II title game.
After losing six of their players, and at least three starters, for violating school and team rules, the Farmers spent most of the season with only seven players. The remaining two seniors and five underclassmen on the team were able to come from behind to defeat Lanai in the MIL semifinal on Thursday, 55-45 at King Kekaulike gym.
On Friday, Shane Jacob and the Seabury Spartans proved to be too much for a tired Molokai team. Jacob, a senior forward, dropped a career-high 25 points on the Farmers to lead Seabury to a 84-60 win and the Spartans third straight MIL Division II title.
The Farmers fell behind by 20 points early in the second half after trailing 41-25 at halftime. But then the Farmers found a second wind and put together a run to climb within 11 points. Behind the three-point shooting of David Rapanot, the Farmers cut the lead to 51-40 late in the third quarter. That was as close as they would get.
With four three-pointers, Rapanot, a sophomore, led the team with 19 points. Senior Edison Ringer and junior Hauole Falealii added 13 points apiece. Also scoring for Molokai was Ha Aloha Aikala Falealii with 9 points and Brayden Willing-McCutcheon with 6.
Afterward, Molokai head coach Lester Delos Reyes told The Maui News, “Oh yeah, the kids played with a lot of heart. Seabury was just too tough, they look ready for the states and I wish them the best of luck in the state tournament.”
As the regular season MIL Division II winners, the Spartans would have played another game on Saturday against Molokai to determine the state berth if they had lost Friday. With the completion of their undefeated season (8-0), the Spartans will be the sole MIL Division II team at the state tournament.
The Farmers finish the season with a 4-4 record.