Roosevelt roughs up Moanalua, 54-32
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Leila Wai
Two years ago the Roosevelt girls basketball team captured the Division II state basketball tournament championship, all the while proclaiming it belonged in Division I.
Yesterday, the Rough Riders proved it.
Roosevelt advanced to the semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships at the Stan Sheriff Center with a 54-32 win over Moanalua.
"We're taking some steps," said Rough Riders coach Bobby Keanini, who said this is the furthest Roosevelt has advanced in the state tournament since the early 1980s.
Roosevelt, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion and the tournament's second seed, will play tonight at 6 in the first semifinal.
The Rough Riders (15-1) shot .533 (24 of 45) and held Na Menehune (8-10) to a .234 shooting percentage (11 of 47). Roosevelt also outrebounded Moanalua, 39-24.
"Rebounding, I think that's how we win our games," said Roosevelt sophomore guard Iwalani Rodrigues, who scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Moanalua led 7-6, but the Rough Riders took the lead for good at 8-7 on a steal and layup by sophomore guard Tiana Su-gui with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
"Defensively, we came out aggressively and Moanalua did good things offensively," Keanini said.
Roosevelt then outscored Moanalua 8-2, including a basket at the buzzer by senior forward Shannon Miyashiro to end the first quarter up 16-9.
Moanalua closed to 16-13 on baskets by senior guard Jade Miller and junior guard Jamie Ronolo. Roosevelt answered with a 12-0 run, led by senior guard Tati Beasley's six points.
"We just had to settle down and play team ball," said Beasley, who finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Roosevelt ended the half with another buzzer-beater, as Rodrigues received a pass from Beasley off a missed free throw by Moanalua, and drove up the left side of the court and completed the play for a 32-15 halftime lead.
Roosevelt took its largest lead of the game twice in the third quarter — at 48-17 and 50-19.
"We came out in the second quarter and really established ourselves," Keanini said. "Moanalua hit a cold spot and we got consistent. It was a combination of both."
Moanalua outscored Roosevelt 13-4 in the fourth quarter, although by then the Rough Riders had removed their starters.
"We got sloppy and lazy," Keanini said.
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.