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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 23, 2008

Punahou girls rally past 'Iolani, 46-41

Photo galleryPhoto gallery: State girls basketball Division I championship game
Video: Girls compete for Division I championship

By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From left, Punahou's Shaena-Lyn Kuehu, Dara Tompkison and Shawna-Lei Kuehu hold up the trophy after winning the Division I Hawaiian Airlines State Basketball Championships at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Photos by JOAQUIN SIOPACK | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

'Iolani, above, led 33-24 with 3:30 left in the third quarter before the Raiders' shooting went cold, allowing Punahou to rally back.

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Shawna-Lei Kuehu and twin sister Shaena-Lyn Kuehu had worked too hard battling back from knee injuries to not go out as winners.

The Punahou seniors, who missed all of last season, combined for 27 points and 23 rebounds in a 46-41 victory over 'Iolani in the final of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball Division I State Championships last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It was Punahou's third girls state basketball title in four years. The lone blemish was last season when the Buffanblu lost to Konawaena in the title game without the Kuehus.

"Is it three out of four?" Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "I don't even keep track."

Punahou, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and No. 1 seed, trailed 33-24 with 3:30 left in the third period before it got going. 'Iolani's only field goal over the final 11:30 was a layup by Lori Yamashita just before the third-period buzzer.

"We pushed through it," Shawna-Lei Kuehu said. "We just had to play our game. Everybody knows how to play. It's just a matter of playing together."

In the fourth period, ILH runner-up 'Iolani was 0 of 8 from the field.

"We knew our assignments," Taylor said. "It was 5-on-5, just being disciplined in our close-outs and moving our feet."

Shawna-Lei Kuehu, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, hit two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to seal it.

Shawna-Lei Kuehu had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Shaena-Lyn Kuehu had seven points and 10 rebounds for Punahou (14-1).

The victory was rewarding for the Kuehus, who could only watch from the bench last season.

"It was hard," Shawna-Lei Kuehu said of the rehab. "The lifting weights and getting my muscle back was pretty hard. But emotionally it was the hardest. Not being able to help my team in the state championship."

Added Shaena-Lyn Kuehu: "I hated rehab. For the first two months it was good and I was pushing myself, but after that I got bored. It was really hard sitting on the bench."

Another key performer for the Buffanblu last night was Rebecca Lau, who scored 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

"Becca doesn't score a lot, but what she give this team is a lot of heart, pride and hustle," Taylor said.

'Iolani (15-3) found success in the first period with All-State center Jamie Smith on the bench after picking up her second foul with 4:51 left.

With Smith out, the Raiders went on a 10-2 run to end the period and took a 16-8 lead. She returned to start the second period.

'Iolani's largest lead of the half came at 21-12 after a 3-pointer by Chanel Hirata with 3:32 left before halftime. Hirata scored 10 points as the Raiders took a 23-16 lead at halftime.

Hirata finished with 18 points and Smith added eight points and nine rebounds for 'Iolani, whose three losses this season were to Punahou.

'IOLANI (15-3) 16 7 14 4 41

PUNAHOU (14-1) 8 8 17 13 46

3-point goals 'Iolani 3-12 (Hirata 2-3, Takara 1-2, Smith 0-1, Konishi 0-1, Usui 0-1, Ahlo 0-2, Jandoc 0-2), Punahou 0-7 (Shaw. Kuehu 0-1, Shae. Kuehu 0-1, Nomura 0-1, Tompkison 0-4).

Blocked shots 'Iolani 2 (Smith 2), Punahou 5 (Shaw. Kuehu 4, Merrifield). Turnovers 'Iolani 15, Punahou 11. Technical fouls none.

Att 2,442.

RADFORD 51, WAIAKEA 42

Ta Nitra Byrd scored 14 points and Marlena Malepeai added 12 as Radford (17-2) defeated Waiakea (14-2) in the third-place game at Stan Sheriff Center.

Kamie Imai and Kirsty Imai each scored 10 for Waiakea.

WAIAKEA (14-2) 4 8 14 16 42

RADFORD (17-2) 14 15 6 16 51

WAIaKEA Stacy Sakane 0, Jamielyn Moe 5, Kirsty Imai 10, Alyssa Miyake 1, Kamie Imai 10, Raenelle Santos 6, Camie Yamashita 4, Kira De Morales 6, Cassandra Morigaki 0, Tracie Sakane 0, Shantei Paranada 0. Totals 15 9-21 42.

RADFORD Itali Lindsey 6, Bui Baravilala 8, Marlena Malepeai 12, Brittini Fuller 2, Chelsea-Ann Villanueva 1, Marsharen Dupont 4, Ta Nitra Byrd 14, Melanie Alofaituli 0, Antionette Carradine 0, Disa Brown 2, Jasmine Mailo 2. Totals 15 19-40 51.

3-point goals: Waiakea 3 (Ki. Imai 2, Moe). Radford 2 (Lindsey 2).

KALANI 59, LAHAINALUNA 42

Violet Alama scored 15 points and Chloe Martin added 12 as the Falcons took fifth place.

Kalani finished 15-3; Lahainaluna was 15-2.

Milika Taufa scored 15 to lead the Lunas.

KALANI (15-3) 9 16 15 19 59

LAHAINALUNA (15-2) 8 13 8 13 42

KALANI Chloe Martin 13, Kayla Kimura 2, Brandi Yamauchi 2, Iwalani Rodrigues 10, Ashlyn Onaga 3, Rhianna Farm 9, Kimberly Balsai 0 Jamie Higa 1, Violet Alama 15, Tia Kobayashi 2, Cara Kamehiro 2, Tiare Maafala 0. Totals 24 8-19 59.

LAHAINALUNA Lovelee Tagudin 0, Elizabeth Lagas 0, Kelsea Cabrera 2, Hiilei Bacalso 0, Maiki Viela 12, Lahela Akima 0, Roxanne Padron 2, Rachel Rickard 5, Mele Filikitonga 0, Milika Taufa 15, Erica Erickson 0, Fredeliz Misay 2, Genevive Mishima 0, Akamesi Malamala 4, Summer Mayo 0. Totals 16 8-20 42.

3-point goals: Kalani 3 (Martin 3). Lahainaluna 2 (Viela 2).

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

(Selected by the media)

Jamie Smith, 'Iolani

Ta Nitra Byrd, Radford

Chanel Hirata, 'Iolani

Kira De Morales, Waiakea

Shaena-Lyn Kuehu, Punahou

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER:

Shawna-Lei Kuehu, Punahou

Reach Kyle Sakamoto at ksakamoto@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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