‘Iolani girls basketball, Punahou boys soccer among state championship winners
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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‘Iolani girls basketball, Punahou boys soccer among state championship winners

  • It was the most dramatic, controversial finish in the history of Hawaii. Kalina Obrey's miraculous 29-foot 3-point shot at the buzzer would have tied the score at 52 with top-seeded 'Iolani in the title game of the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships. After five minutes of review, officials made their determination. The shot came a fraction of a second after time expired and was ruled no basket -- even though the horn sounds after the shot is released. It is the correct call, according to the book.
    (Video by Paul Honda / phonda@staradvertiser.com)
  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Punahou raises the 2019 Division I state championship trophy after the 2019 HHSAA Division I boys soccer championship on Saturday.

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A busy Saturday night of state high school tournaments wrapped up with championships going to the ‘Iolani and Hawaii Baptist girls basketball, Punahou and Kapaa boys soccer and Punahou boys and girls swim teams.

>> In the Division I girls basketball final, Taylor Wu scored 19 points and Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu added 17 as top-seeded ‘Iolani escaped with a 52-49 win over Kamehameha at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The final seconds provided an epic, controversial finish. Kalina Obrey, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, swished a 29-foot 3-pointer as time expired, apparently tying the game for Kamehameha. It was a surreal moment, as Kamehameha’s bench emptied and players celebrated, and simultaneously, ‘Iolani’s bench also cleared as the girls began celebrating at midcourt, believing that Obrey’s shot was too late.

After further review via replay, officials ruled that Obrey’s shot came after time had expired.

“I saw the red light go on before she shot it,” said Wu, who fouled out prior to the final shot. “That’s why we ran on the court. I was the first one out there.”

The Raiders (23-6) won their first state title since 1996, when the late Bernie Ching led the program to back-to-back crowns. Kamehameha (18-7) provided all the resistance possible in a thriller of a final. The Warriors have not won the state title since ’13.

>> In the Division II girls basketball final, Hawaii Baptist used their experience to outlast the young, towering Seabury Hall Spartans 43-39.

The top-seeded Eagles hoisted the championship koa trophy and chanted “For Keith!” over and over. Their head coach, Keith Sugiura, did not attend the game. Athletic director Deren Oshiro revealed only that the longtime coach was hospitalized.

Alexis Dang led Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Hawaii Baptist (23-6 overall) with 12 points and three steals.

“A lot of it was because our whole team is tight. We have a strong bond. Some of us have been playing together in club for seven or eight years,” HBA’s Sasha Phillip said.

>> The Division I boys soccer final was settled in overtime, with Max Moonier scoring seven minutes in to lift Punahou over ‘Iolani 1-0.

It was the 21st title and first since 2017 for the Buffanblu (12-1-2) in the 45 years of the tournament.

Moonier’s goal came after he intercepted a clearing attempt by ‘Iolani from 18 yards out and sent a blistering shot into the top left corner.

“It wasn’t the best clearance and I saw it coming,” Moonier said. “It was one of things where I took it off the chest and once I hit it I knew it was going in. It’s something I felt like I’ve done before. This is a great accomplishment. We went to extra time yesterday and again today. We had a bunch of hurt players, but we stuck with it.”

‘Iolani (13-3-1) came up short in its bid to capture a 10th state championship.

>> In Division II soccer, fourth-seeded, KIF champion Kapaa held on to beat Saint Louis 1-0 in the final at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

It’s the third such title for the Garden Isle squad, which also did the trick in 2009 and ’13. Kapaa (12-1-1) also took it one step further than a year ago, when it lost to Kamehameha-Hawaii in the final. Only one team statewide has more D-II crowns, Mid-Pacific with four.

“It’s been a long journey,” Kapaa center back Kiran Costa said. “We’ve been fighting for it the past couple of years. It’s a blessing to be here and win this. We’re all so stoked and living in and loving the moment.”

The second-seeded and ILH D-II champion Crusaders (10-3-2) have never won a state title and their runner-up finish matches their run that fell one match short in 2017.

>> Punahou’s girls swim team found a way to stand tallest at the finish at the Central Oahu Regional Park aquatics complex thanks to its depth.

“Just happy with the way our girls battled through it,” coach Jeff Meister said of the stiff competition in the HHSAA/K.Mark Takai Swimming and Diving Championships. “They were scared and they battled tough. And they had good reason to be.”

Kaiser won the first race of the day, the 200 medley relay, as well as the 400 free relay to end it — and even had a double individual winner in between with sophomore Sophia Carlson — but the Buffanblu’s depth won out for the team title, 46 points to the Cougars’ 36 and Kamehameha’s 32. It was the 52nd championship for Punahou in 62 years of official state competition, and fourth in a row.

>> The Buffanblu boys made it a sweep, topping runner-up Kamehameha, 66 to 48. Kalani was third at 21. The championship was the sixth straight for the Punahou boys and 48th in 62 years of state competition.

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