Farrington wins OIA title
• Photo gallery: Farrington vs. Roosevelt girls' basketball
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
MILILANI — Farrington went 18 years between O'ahu Interscholastic Association girls basketball championships but had to wait only 12 months to add another last night.
Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo scored a game-high 19 points, including both ends of a one-and-one with 7.5 seconds remaining, to help the Governors hold off Roosevelt, 48-45, for its second straight title before a vocal crowd of about 600 at Mililani Gym.
Farrington finished 15-1 in league play and earned the OIA's top seed and first-round bye for next week's state tournament. Roosevelt fell to 14-3 — with all three losses to the Govs — and will begin state tournament play in Tuesday's first round.
"I'm so excited to win again," said Tatupu-Leopoldo, a 5-foot-9 junior who was named to The Advertiser 2009 All-State first team after helping Farrington win its first league crown since 1991. "We didn't have to take the back road this time, but we worked hard and had confidence."
The Governors won last year's title after being upset by Roosevelt early in the modified double-elimination format and then working all the way back through the loser's bracket.
This time, the Rough Riders had to go through the long route and survived a thrilling 49-43 double-overtime victory over Moanalua on Tuesday.
They led 29-26 early in the second half last night, but Farrington ended the third period with a 14-4 run to lead 40-33 heading into the fourth.
"We gave them too much opportunity inside," said Hinano Higa, Roosevelt's first-year coach. "When Kirsten (Liana) and Brydgette are scoring in the post like that, it gives them more energy on defense, too."
Roosevelt rallied in the final period and took a 45-44 lead on Kelcie Namba's two free throws with 46 seconds left, but the Govs answered with Liana's short turnaround jumper in the lane.
"We wanted to take advantage of the mismatch on the inside," said Farrington coach Carolyn Tatupu. "They had four guards and one post player, so we had to pound the ball inside even more and try to take advantage of the mismatch with one of their guards playing one of our posts. It worked in our favor."
Tatupu-Leopoldo then hit her two free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining after missing the front end of a one-and-one attempt 12 seconds earlier.
"She knew how much the team was counting on her to make those free throws," Tatupu said of her niece.
Nicole Ramirez's 3-point attempt at the buzzer glanced off the back of the rim. Namba led the Rough Riders with 17 points, and Ramirez added 12 points.
ROOSEVELT (14-3) 18 7 8 12 — 45
FARRINGTON (15-1) 15 11 14 10 —48
ROOSEVELT — Breyana Dutro-Solomua 0, Kelcie Namba 17, Charisse Tanabe 0, Shana Kawakami 8, Nicole Ramirez 12, Abcde Furuta-Harada 3, Rachel Gomes 0, Mikela Thoemmes 5, Anuhea Kaneali'i 0. Totals 12 16-28 45.
FARRINGTON — Ashley Gravely 5, Sallie Lazaro 1, Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo 19, Lucky Crichton 5, Angeline Argel 5, Kirsten Liana 9, Aisha Gaea 4, Sofia Folaumahina 0, Isaley Iuta 0. Totals 17 11-20 48.
3-point goals — Roosevelt 5 (Ramirez 2, Namba 2, Thoemmes). Farrington 3 (Argel, Gravely, Crichton).
Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com