Kahuku takes OIA's first water polo title
Junior Alee Thompson stepped up from her usual supporting role yesterday and scored three straight goals to lead Kahuku High past Roosevelt, 5-2, to claim the first O'ahu Interscholastic Association girls water polo championship at the University of Hawai'i's Duke Kahanmoku Aquatic Complex.
Thompson broke a 1-1 tie a minute into the second half and added scores halfway through the third quarter and 13 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Kahuku a 4-1 lead.
Two of her goals were scored while Roosevelt was a player short after 20-second ejections for fouls.
"I usually play more of an assisting role," said Thompson, who was fresh off examinations that confirmed her status as an A-plus student.
Roosevelt's Gina Rae Inoue scored the first goal of an OIA championship game on the first shot 38 seconds after the opening whistle. Tiana Ahue tied the score for Kahuku and neither team could break through spirited defenses again until Thompson began to roll in the third quarter.
"They were doing a good job keeping our power arms from scoring," Thompson said, "but our team got the ball to me at the right place."
It seemed fitting Kahuku and Roosevelt, which pioneered the game in O'ahu's public schools, met in the first championship game. "The whole (11-team) OIA showed tremendous improvement from the first games to the playoffs," said veteran Roosevelt coach Susan Nishioka.
Kahuku assistant coach Paul Brewer said Trudianne Huish was "a powerhouse in goal" for the Raiders, who finished the OIA season with an 11-0 record. Roosevelt finished 10-2, losing only to Kahuku.
Ivy Yi scored seven goals to lead Kalani over Kaiser, 11-7, for third place.
There is no state tournament.