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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, May 8, 2004

Punahou shuts down Iolani for ILH hoops title

 •  Girls Basketball:
McKinley girls lead East charge
 •  Track & Field:
Punahou, Kamehameha repeat as ILH champions
 •  Water Polo:
Punahou girls roll past Kamehameha for ILH title
 •  Baseball:
Roosevelt, 'Aiea to play for OIA title today

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Punahou School girls basketball team pitched a rare shutout in the fourth period and rallied to win its third Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship in four years last night with a 40-34 victory over Iolani.

The Buffanblu trailed 27-19 at halftime and 34-30 after three quarters, but pressured the Raiders into six fourth-period turnovers and milked crucial minutes off the clock before a capacity crowd of about 700 at Damien.

"Coach Mike (Taylor) just told us to keep chipping away at the lead and leave it all on the court," said Punahou guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay, who led all scorers with 12 points. "In the first half, our defense was a little passive so he told us to play sticky, in-your-face defense in the second half."

The teams traded runs in the first two quarters before Iolani ended it with a 7-0 run capped by guard Hennasea Tokumura's coast-to-coast, falling layup with 1:20 to go.

The Raiders (10-3) maintained the lead until midway through the third period, when the Buffanblu's Christine Takara started a 5-1 run with a baseline jumper and ended it with a layup off Dacanay's assist with 2:30 left to close it to 34-30.

Eryn Chun cut it to 34-31 early in the fourth quarter on a free throw, then Dacanay tied it with a 3-pointer. Chun, playing her first game since injuring her ankle about three weeks ago, put Punahou (11-2) up for good with 5:16 remaining on two free throws after making a steal.

"Give big credit to Eryn for her tie-ups and steals," Taylor said. "She makes a big difference because the whole team feeds off her energy."

Led by juniors Dacanay and Takara, the Buffanblu patiently milked the clock by looking only for layups starting at the 3:36 mark. Takara finally was fouled and sank two free throws with 34 seconds left, and after a turnover, Sophia Merrifield sealed it with two more free throws with 17 ticks left.

"Punahou kept playing hard and wouldn't give up, and we kind of died out," Iolani coach Glenn Takara said. "I think their experience playing in big games helped, and for our young girls, it'll help them down the line, too."

  • PUNAHOU (11-2) 8 11 11 10 — 40
  • IOLANI (10-3) 12 15 7 0 — 34

PUNAHOU — Christine Takara 9. Shanna-Lei Dacanay 12, Sophia Merrifield 6, Eryn Chun 5, Cianna Aiwohi 2, Tessa Sonobe 2, Gail Matsushima 2, Mahina Macfarlane 2. Totals 15 8-12 40.

IOLANI — Ginger Gravelle 3, Meilin Akamu 6, Hennasea Tokumura 6, Alana Wall 11, Alana Matayoshi 4, Chelsea Wong 2, Marci Kang 2, Keilyn Fujioka 0. Totals 14 5-6 34.

3-point goals — Punahou 2 (Carson 2). Iolani 1 (Wall).

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2456.