Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Avea, Stansberry stand out on opening night of HD League playoffs

The duo of Samuta Avea and Brocke Stepteau continued to build momentum on the opening night of the playoffs for the Hawai’i Development League.

The University of Hawai’i teammates led Island Movers into the semifinals of the summer league playoffs with a 111-82 victory over Society Contracting on Saturday night at Saint Francis School Gymnasium.

Avea scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Island Movers. He shot 15 for 24 from the field, and scored 17 points in the first half, when Island Movers seized control of the game.

“Playiing with the guys, I like the way it feels right now,” Avea said. “It’s really good to get up and down and get used to playing with the ball.”

Stepteau scored just four points, but directed the Island Movers’ offense, and had six assists. Since Stepteau joined the team midway through the regular season, Island Movers is 3-0.

“It’s obvious how much Brocke changes the game, having him facilitate the ball,” Avea said. “It’s a big game changer for us.”

Leon Ballard (former Chaminade player) and Nick Velasquez (Punahou/Union University) added 18 points each for Island Movers, which will face No. 2 seed Ultimate Roofing in Monday’s semifinals.

UH point guard Drew Buggs had 12 points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss for Society Contracting, which finished the HD League with a 2-4 record. Spencer Vering (Chaminade) led Society Contracting with 18 points.

“It comes up a lot in the (UH) locker room, I’ll tell you that much,” Avea said of playing against his UH teammates in the HD League.

In the second playoff game, Hooters defeated Electricians Hawaii, 94-86. Former UH standout Julian Sensley made his first appearance of the HD League and scored 25 points to lead Hooters to the win.

It was another debut performance that had the crowd buzzing.

Eddie Stansberry, an incoming junior guard for UH, scored 33 points for Electricians Hawaii in what would be his one and only appearance in the HD League this summer. Stansberry initially declined to participate in the HD League, and was added to the Electricians Hawaii roster this week as an injury replacement for UH teammate Justin Hemsley.

“It was a fun experience coming in here,” Stansberry said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a good feeling for my first game here.”

Stansberry made five 3-pointers, and also displayed an ability to handle the ball.

“For me, the biggest thing is I’m a competitor – I don’t like losing,” he said. “But for the most part, it was fun … I wish I started (summer league) a lot earlier. Next year, I hope to come back and start from the beginning.”

UH incoming freshman center Dawson Carper had five points, four blocked shots and four rebounds in the win for Hooters. He played limited minutes due to foul trouble.

The semifinals will be held on Monday at Saint Francis School, and the championship game is set for Thursday at Maryknoll School.

Saturday’s Results

Island Movers 111, Society Contracting 82. Leading scorers: IM – Samuta Avea 31, Leon Ballard 18, Nick Velasquez 18, Kam Victorino-Kato 15. SC – Spencer Vering 18, Chance Kalaugher 17, Huthifa Abdel Jawad 14, Drew Buggs 12, Chris Kobayashi 11.

Hooters 94, Electricians Hawaii 86. Leading scorers: Hooters – Julian Sensley 25, Nick Demusis 23, Kaleb Gilmore 23. EH – Eddie Stansberry 33, Zoar Nedd 19, Elet Donley 11.

Monday’s Schedule
At Saint Francis

6:00 p.m. – Ultimate Roofing vs. Island Movers
7:30 p.m. – Lei Lei’s vs. Hooters


  1. Thanks for the highlights/ interviews and posted so promptly.

  2. Thanks, Dayton & Co.

    Is Owen Hulland Enrolled // Attending second / bridge session ?

  3. Someone said Hulland is coming in later this month.

  4. Stansberry looked poised and polished. He could get major minutes this season. When the situation calls for it, Ganot could go with a 3-guard lineup of Buggs, Stepteau and Stansberry in which all three have point-guard skills.

    Thought Electricians would pull out the win even after losing its lone post to injury minutes into the game. That forced the 6-5 Nedd to defend Carper, and he did a good job fronting and harassing the 7-footer. Nedd and Abdel Jawad appear to be solid walk-ons.

    Nice to see Avea continue the transition from high school post to college wing. He looks more comfortable with the ball.

  5. This team looks great all around. Very deep.

    There is no chatter about the Australian trip. No schedule has been posted. I checked the Australian pro teams websites and found no mention. Perhaps the games will be free, just walk in to the gym. But still we would need to know what gyms they are playing in and when the games are being played. This seems very casual. Is anyone going? Anyone going to be posting videos?
    This is looking like a non-starter for the fans. August 8th right ?!?

    Looking forward to the season starting, seeing us play and making it to the dance.

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