Waiākea, Roosevelt gain quarterfinals
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Receiving an all-around performance from guard Kamie Imai, the Waiākea girls basketball team raced into the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
The Warriors defeated Moanalua, 57-43, yesterday in the first round of the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association/Hawaiian Airlines Girls Basketball Division I State Tournament at Radford High School's Jim Alegre Gymnasium.
"She does everything for us," Waiākea coach Grant Kauhi said of Imai. "She scores, she assists ... I think she had seven assists, seven rebounds and seven steals tonight, too."
Imai also scored 21 points, including 17 in the first half. Senior forward Jamielynn Moe contributed 13 points and freshman forward Sefulu Faavae added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
"I wanted to make everyone have confidence and not be scared to shoot the ball," Imai said. "I thought we played well. We were sharing and we were excited to play."
Waiākea (14-1), the runner-up out of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, plays third-seeded Punahou (11-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, tonight at 7 at Radford.
Imai, an Advertiser All-State first-team selection in 2007, scored 10 points in the first quarter to help the Warriors to an 18-15 lead. But the most excitement came off a half-court shot by Moanalua junior forward Joanna Nicolas that rattled in as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter.
With fellow BIIF member Konawaena watching from the stands, Waiākea scored the first 10 points of the second quarter, shutting out Moanalua through the first four minutes, until Nicolas sank another 3-pointer to end the drought.
"We made several changes to our press," Kauhi said. "We went to a half-court press, because we knew they would be prepared for our full-court press because when we played them in the preseason, they saw that press from us. So we had other presses lined up just in case."
Moanalua coach Kristie Morikawa said earlier yesterday afternoon she received a call from starting senior point guard A.J. Verdida that she would be out for the game, and likely tournament, because of an injury to her ankle.
"Out of the gate, it was difficult trying to get rolling," Morikawa said. And when Waiākea changed its defense, the younger players had a harder time recognizing it.
"It takes a senior to recognize a zone and man and what to do in each one," Morikawa said. "As coaches, we're begging and pleading to attack the zone."
Waiākea outscored Moanalua 15-10 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 45-31 behind six points from Faavae. The Warriors' lead in the fourth grew to as much as 55-39 on a basket by Moe with two minutes remaining.
Nicolas led Nā Menehune with 14 points and sophomore forward Jasmine Funtanilla added 13.
MOANALUA 15 6 10 12— 43
WAIĀKEA 18 12 15 12—57
WAIĀKEA—Jamielynn Moe 13, Faavae Sefulu 10, Kamie Imai 21, Tricia Amuimuia 2, Alyssa Ferreira 6, Melisa Nekoba 0, Kaylyn Otsubo 0, Ciera Pacheco 2, Daven-Marie Namohala 3. Totals 23 8-9 57.
MOANALUA — Kristy Tamashiro 0, Kiley Lau 4, Joanna Nicolas 14, Jasmine Funtanilla 13, Meleane Smith 8, Jaiden Rego 2, Shaunteus Ramos-Dias 2, Kelci Quinabo 0, Kija Staggers 0, Sienna Antolin 0, Samara Hoe 0. Totals 19 2-6 43.
3-point goals — Waiākea 3 (Moe 3). Moanalua 3 (Nicolas 3).
ROOSEVELT 62, MILILANI 49
Roosevelt used both an inside presence and outside shooting to build a double-digit, first-half lead it wouldn't relinquish to beat fellow O'ahu Interscholastic Association member Mililani.
The Rough Riders (15-3), the OIA runner-up, advance to play No. 2 Lahainaluna (14-0), the Maui Interscholastic League champion, tonight at 5 at Radford.
Roosevelt drained seven 3-pointers and scored 28 points in the paint, with senior forward Mikela Thoemmes amassing 14 points to go with her 12 rebounds.
"Once we start hitting, it's good for us because the defense has to chase us, and now it opens up the inside game for us," Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa said. "We're pretty versatile; we can go both in and out.
"A lot of teams like to start out with a zone with us, so they take away our post presence, so the 3s are open, so we take what we can get."
Senior guard Nicole Ramirez had a game-high 18 points for the Rough Riders, and sophomore guard Shana Kawakami added 15 and senior guard Kelcie Namba 13.
Senior Amber Ogata and sophomore Darcey Goulsby had 10 points each for Mililani (11-6), the sixth-place OIA team.
MILILANI (11-5) 13 14 9 13—49
ROOSEVELT (15-2) 17 22 10 13—62
MILILANI — Kellie Sakai 4, Moriah Blackmon 2, Sam Yuki 4, Amber Ogata 10, Cory Ramos 0, Abby McKoy 4, Darcey Goulsby 10, Courtney Senas 0, Khyla Alcantra 6, Pomai Grube-Hose 4, Kayla Wright 0, Nayla Long 0, Kaylee Torres 5. Totals 18 10-16 49.
ROOSEVELT — Breyana Dutro-Solomua 0, Kelcie Namba 13, Charisse Tanabe 0, Shana Kawakami 15, Nicole Ramirez 18, Abcde Furuta-Harada 2, Rachel Gomes 0, Mikela Thoemmes 14, Emalia Schuman ,0 Cameo Tamala 0, Anuhea Kanealii 0. Totals 22 11-19 62.
3-point goals — Mililani 3 (Ogata 2, Torres). Roosevelt 7 (Kawakami 3, Namba 2, Ramirez 2).