LAHAINA - This was a David-and-Goliath matchup in so many ways.
Seabury Hall had height advantages across the board and three straight titles to back it up.
Lanai had a roster of just three seniors and two juniors and a dramatic upset a day earlier catapulted them to the Maui Interscholastic League Division II tournament championship game on Friday night at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Seabury Hall’s Max DeLyon goes in for a layup against Lanai’s Jestonie Molina.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
With surgical precision, the Spartans made it four MIL D-II crowns in a row with a convincing 65-51 victory to wrap up a 13-1 run through the league.
When the Pine Lads pushed the pace, the Spartans pushed right back.
"We have been working hard in practice and trying to push the ball up," Seabury Hall junior point guard Max DeLyon said after scoring 15 points and dishing out seven assists. "That's our main thing that we have been working on."
The Pine Lads (5-9), so deadly from long range in their 62-60 upset of second-seeded Molokai on Thursday, struggled to find the bottom of the net on Friday as Seabury Hall methodically pulled away.
After Lanai scored the first basket of the second half to pull within 31-19, Seabury Hall went on a 13-4 run that included four assists from Kaleb Palmer out of the post and four points and an assist for DeLyon. Palmer, who at 6-foot-4 towered over the Pine Lads, finished with 13 points and seven assists.
"We have really developed as a team this season and we are moving the ball and not relying on one person as much anymore," DeLyon said. "We really developed into a solid team. Hopefully, we can bring it at states. We are going to work hard this week at practice and hopefully come out with solid games at states."
The Spartans are 1-6 at state over their recent championship run, but they appear to have a deep roster that could help when the state tournament rolls around Feb. 20-23. Eleven different players scored for the Spartans on Friday night.
"MIL Division II this year has been really good," Seabury Hall coach Louis Turbeville said. "So, we got a lot of good games in. Anybody could beat anybody on any night, so you have got to come prepared and hopefully that will help us when we head over to states."
Seabury Hall shot 14-for-31 in the second half while a lot of the bench players saw action, but they dominated the boards against the smaller Pine Lads. The lead reached 22 on three occasions Friday night, the final time at 60-38 midway through the final quarter.
"We have had some close games against Molokai and against Lanai and St. Anthony, so hopefully we will be ready for states," Turbeville said. "Our main focus is defense and then trying to move the ball to the open guy, just nice simple passes."
Turbeville was pleased with the way DeLyon ran the show.
"They all did well, Max moved the ball around, Michael Clarion, Kaleb Palmer," Turbeville said. "It was nice for our seniors to get out there and show some leadership today."
Lanai coach Jimmy Fernandez said his team got a valuable learning experience from the experience of Seabury Hall.
"Seabury Hall is awfully tough, they have the height, they hustle up and down the floor, they beat us on offensive and defensive transitions all night," Fernandez said. "They played well together as a team, they played tough defense, they took it to us all the time. We committed too many fouls, we put them on the line I don't know how many times."
With eight returnees, six of whom are sophomores, the Pine Lads could be a contender for the lone spot that the MIL receives to the eight-team D-II state tournament. One of the sophomores, Kealoha Kahananui led the Pine Lads with 14 points, and another, Marcus Koep, added 12.
"Our goal was to overachieve and be in the championship game of this tournament," Fernandez said. "I am proud of them for doing it. Today my thing was for them to be relaxed and just to leave it all out on the floor."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEABURY HALL 65, LANAI 51
Michael Domiquel 4, Jayvee Llamelo 4, John Koanui 8, Jestonie Molina 0, Kerl Manuel 0, Derec Kahananui 0, Kealoha Kahananui 14, Aaron Ambe 4, Marcus Koep 12, Christian Etrata 5.
SEABURY HALL (65)
Sam Jiran 1, Max DeLyon 15, Nyck Yashiro 2, Cameron King 6, Kai Shibley 7, Fletcher Prouty 0, Rayson Sorayama 2, Kaleb Palmer 13, Daniel Goodfellow 6, Michael Clarion 9, Rip Pahukoa 2, Michael Chasen 0, Bryce Barbier 2.