They both came out swinging from the heels.
‘Iolani simply had too much knockout power. The Raiders, ending a slump of sorts from the perimeter, hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter en route to a 68-57 win over Farrington in the Division II quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships.
Kylie Maeda led the way with 18 points, including 3-for-3 accuracy from long range. Saphyre Rezentes added 13 points, and Taimane Passi added 10 points and five boards. Alex Masaquel provided eight points, nine boards and tough defense under the glass.
"We beat a very good Farrington team," ‘Iolani coach Eddie Murayama said. "(Assistant) coaches (Rodney) Veary and (Glenn) Young put a good game plan together."
Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo led Farrington with 20 points, including 11-for-12 from the line. Kirsten Liana added 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, but there was little help from the rest of the Govs.
As a team, they committed 19 turnovers against ‘Iolani’s fullcourt pressure, while the Raiders had only seven giveaways against Farrington’s press. Farrington often struggled to get the ball past halfcourt when ‘Iolani turned up the defensive pressure, but it was the Raiders’ sharpshooting that stole momentum.
"It felt like a relief. We’re starting to hit (3-pointers) at the right time," Maeda said.
‘Iolani, the runner-up from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, won its second game in as many nights. Farrington is the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion.
A crowd of about 1,000 at McKinley Student Council Gym saw a whirlwind pace in the first quarter. With 4:28 left in the opening quarter, the Raiders already had a 17-13 lead, and the Lady Governors were more than willing to push the pace, as well.
However, ‘Iolani couldn’t miss from beyond the arc against Farrington’s matchup zone, sinking all five of its 3-point attempts, including three by Maeda. Farrington was forced to switch to a man-to-man defense, and that took some wind out of the Governors.
"They went man and that’s what we like," Maeda added.
‘Iolani extended the lead to 27-17 early in the second quarter on back-to-back jump shots by Rezentes. The Raiders closed the first half with a resounding 11-2 run for a 38-22 lead at the break.
The running Raiders extended the lead to 22 by the end of the third quarter, wearing the Govs down with their five-for-five platoon system and a relentless press. Farrington chipped the lead down to nine in the final minute.
"We’re just looking for the open man and playing unselfish ball," Usui said.
‘IOLANI–Kylie Maeda 18, Saphyre Rezentes 13, Klein Masutani 3, Katie Tom 4, Jelene Wong 1, Erin Napier 1, Kaitlyn Shikada 2, Abrianna Johnson-Edwards 0, Lahela Usui 8, Loxley Keala 0, Alex Masaquel 8, Taimane Passi 10.
FARRINGTON–Diena Peterson 4, Ashley Savusa 3, Sallie Lazaro 2, Chasity Scanlan-Sevao 6, Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo 20, Koleti Siliga 5, Kirsten Liana 17, Leilani Mageo-Pacheco 0, Penina Faumui 0.
3-point goals–‘Iolani 7 (Maeda 3, Rezentes 2, Masutani, Usui). Farrington 2 (Tatupu-Leopoldo, Savusa).
Konawaena 57, Kaiser 32
Defense just might win Konawaena another state championship.
With former state player of the year Lia Galdeira saddled on the bench with foul trouble, the Wildcats still had plenty of ammunition in a 57-32 win over Kaiser last night in a quarterfinal game.
Point guard Dawnyelle Awa, a 5-foot-9 junior, conducted a masterpiece on offense. Awa finished with 20 points and four assists for the tourney’s top-seeded team. She also had six of her team’s 18 steals.
Galdeira added 13 points despite sitting more than half the game.
"When she’s out (with fouls), we don’t have another scorer who can take her man," said Awa, who was comfortable in a scoring role.
Konawaena’s defense had Kaiser mesmerized.
"I think our girls were amazed with how quick they were," Kaiser coach Simon Bitanga said. "But we showed some fight after that. We can learn from this. Konawaena’s a well-coached team."
Konawaena will take on ‘Iolani in today’s semifinal. The teams met in the Konawaena Winter Classic two months ago — a blowout win by the Wildcats — but nobody is expecting another.
" ‘Iolani got better, shooting and running," Galdeira said after watching the Raiders oust Farrington.
"They play like us," Awa said. "It’s a fast pace."
Kaiser had a 34-25 edge on the boards, but struggled against Konawaena’s trapping halfcourt defense. The Cougars had 15 of their 33 turnovers in the first quarter, permitting the Wildcats to take a 15-0 start.
"The girls played good defense in the first half. I didn’t think we played bad, but they gave us 11 fouls," Konawaena coach Bobbie Awa said.
Kaiser finally ended its scoring drought with a free throw by Meleana Adams with 7:21 to go in the second quarter.
Konawaena opened a 23-6 lead before Galdeira sat with her third foul. Kaiser got a 3-pointer from Kristi Areliano in a 9-2 run to close the half.
The Wildcats, whose season motto is "Unfinished Business," were solemn during the break, then came out roaring in the second half. Galdeira crossed over for a drive to the bucket and went on to score eight points in an 11-2 run. Kaiser got no closer than 18 the rest of the way.
Coach Awa hopes her team plays better each day.
"Lia’s just got to play smarter. I was worried more about her offense. She was doing her own thing sometimes," Awa said.
One of Galdeira’s fouls was on a charge.
"The only thing we did wrong was forcing shots when we were up," she said. "A win’s a win, but we could’ve done better."
At McKinley gym
KAISER–Micaela Bitanga 0, Kristi Arellano 4, Kiana Nakai 2, Tiana Miyashiro 0, Meleana Adams 8, Daryn Vorderbruegge 0, Shelby Pa 0, Ashley Soong 0, Makana Borden 8, Darcey Goulsby 8, Courtney Phillips 2, Kayla Soong 0.
KONAWAENA–Dawnyelle Awa 20, Lia Gldeir 13, Misilosa U’ulopa 9, Courtney Kaupu 6, Thea Hanato-Smith 6, Anuhea Wall 2, Makayla Awa 1, Makani Wall 0, Staysha Galigo 0, Amanda Varron 0.
3-point goals–Kaiser 2 (Adams, Arellano). Konawaena 2 (D. Awa, Galdeira).
Kaimuki 47, King Kekaulike 33
Alison Pologa scored 13 points as the Bulldogs defeated Na Alii. Dasya Tavares led King Kekaulike with 10 points in the loss.
At McKinley gym
|King Kekaulike (9-6)||13||5||6||9||—||33|
KING KEKAULIKE–Brandi Carillo 6, Taylor Hiraga 1, Dasya Tavares 10, Kylile Hoopii 4, Taylor Fernandez 9, Tori Kawahara 0, Fayma-Angeli Sales 0, Maile Naito 0, Mariah Kim 2, Jennifer Treu 1, Mkalyn Mendoza 0, Ariana Valdez 0, Danielle Evans 0.
KAIMUKI–Alison Pologa 13, Krista Yasui 10, Julia Soares 0, Kaena Paez 10, Letisha Faasoa 6, Nikki Vongprachanh 0, Valerie Wilson 6, Canny Aikau 0, Luisa Moala 2.
3-point goals–King Kekaulike 1 (Tavares). Kaimuki 1 (Faasoa).