Spartans claim second consecutive ILH basketball title

Published: Feb. 12, 2019 at 1:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maryknoll Spartans are continuing to prove they are the kings of ILH prep hoops.

Last night their 55-42 victory over Punahou gave the Spartans back-to-back conference championships for the first time since 1982. Their lengthy defense and the Buff and Blue’s inconsistent shooting enabled the home team to jump out to a 22-5 lead early in the first half.

The Spartans never looked back.

Maryknoll head coach Kelly Grant was satisfied with the victory but knows there is much work to be done ahead of the state tournament next week.

“These last couple weeks they have been super focused,” Grant said. “When the state tournament starts we are going to see a lot of different teams so we need everything we have learned from this season in our back pocket.”

The Spartans were led by Liko Soares and Payton Grant who both chipped in with 14 points to keep an electrified home crowd at Tony Sellitto court on their feet throughout much of the evening.

With the loss, Punahou as the ILH runner up will now host a game on Monday Feb. 18, while the Spartans will not be back in action until the quarterfinals of the state tournament on Feb 21.

The Snapple Division I Boys Basketball Championships will kick off next week and the Spartans are sure to head into the tournament with #1 seed and look like the team to beat.

Grant is expecting to see every teams best shot come tournament time.

“When you go into the state tournament you don’t know who you are going to play,” he said. “When we play against all these outer island teams, we need to be ready and we will.”

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