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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 18, 2002

Warriors knock on Wood in the clutch

By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer

 •  All Tournament Team
Selected by the media

Nancy Hoist, Konawaena

Ginger Gravelle, Iolani

Shanna-Lei Dacanay, Punahou

Rachel Kane, Punahou

Megan Ching, Kamehameha

Most Outstanding Player — Ashley Ruff, Kamehameha

Kamehameha's Lehua Wood had an "I don't have time for the pain" attitude last night against Punahou.

Wood played through a dislocated right shoulder and a fractured pinky on her right hand to help Kamehameha over Punahou, 45-42, in the final of the Hawaiian Airlines Girls State Basketball Championship before 2,575 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

When looking over the final box score, Wood's line looks rather poor: 0-for-6 from the field with no points.

But Wood's value was shutting down Punahou's Rachel Kane, who scored a combined 33 points in the quarterfinals (against Konawaena) and in the semifinals (against Iolani).

Kane was held to just one point, finishing 0-for-6 from the field and hitting one of her three free throws.

"Keeping her to a grand total of one point is awesome," said Wood, who had five assists and five rebounds. "I had to step up for my team."

Wood fractured her pinky in the quarterfinals against Moanalua when she jammed it while going for a steal in the first half. X-rays after the game revealed the fracture.

She dislocated her shoulder in the semifinals against Kahuku. The team's trainer popped the shoulder back in after she went to the sidelines.

Wood, a junior, had both injuries heavily wrapped for last night's game.

"She's hurting bad, but she wanted to play," said Kamehameha coach Clay Cockett.

Wood focused more on defense as the injuries affected her shooting.

"Because I couldn't contribute as an offensive player tonight, I had to contribute in a different way, and tonight it was defense," Wood said.

Wood's toughness didn't go unnoticed by her teammates.

"We always need Lehua," Ashley Ruff said. "She's a top defender. She's a tough girl."

Kamehameha's starters scored all of its points last night.

Ruff scored 16, Mounia Nihipali added 13 before fouling out with 1:47 remaining and Megan Ching added 10.

Kamehameha led 24-15 at halftime, but Punahou got back into the game by turning up the pressure defensively. Kamehameha committed 14 second-half turnovers.

"We played really hard in the second half," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "We played with a lot of heart and determination. Unfortunately we didn't have a lot in the first half."

The Buffanblu tied the game at 39 with 48 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Shanna-Lei Dacanay from the right wing.

The Warriors ended the game by scoring six of the last nine points, including hitting their final four free throws.

Punahou had a chance at the tie, but Janelle Shin, who didn't score in the game, missed a 3-pointer from the left wing as time expired.

Kamehameha (15-1) has won eight state girls basketball titles and three of the past four. Punahou (14-3) is second with six overall titles.

"I'm happy for the girls, happy for the school," Cockett said.

Punahou's Becky Hogue scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half.