No. 2 Lahainaluna rolls into DI semis
• Photo gallery: Girls state basketball
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Even playing with tempered aggression due to foul trouble, the Lahainaluna girls basketball team maintained a double-digit lead over Roosevelt to advance to the state semifinals.
The second-seeded Lunas handled the Rough Riders, 68-46, in the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball Division I State Tournament at Radford High School's Jim Alegre Gymnasium last night.
"When me and (Milika Taufa) went out, our girls stepped up and they didn't give the lead away," said junior guard Maiki Viela, who finished with a team-high 23 points before fouling out. "They just played smart. Everyone else was aggressive, but me and Lika had to step back and let them go a little more, but we didn't want to give them a free shot, so we still tried to stay intense. It's hard."
Lahainaluna (15-0), the undefeated Maui Interscholastic League champion, plays No. 3 Punahou tonight in one semifinal at the Blaisdell Arena at 7.
Defensively, the Lunas opened with a full-court press that gave the Rough Riders trouble and turned into a 21-6 first-quarter start for them.
"We've been working on it all week, and practically all season," Viela said. "Just to try to frustrate them and get on them and keep them tired the whole game."
Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard said the full-court press is "our game, we're going to full-court press from the beginning to the end. We're going to trap from the beginning to the end. We stuck with it, got some fast baskets, and we were fortunate."
The Lunas' lead grew to as much as 54-24 with five minutes to go in the third quarter.
Just about the only thing slowing the Lunas down was foul trouble. Taufa, an Advertiser All-State senior center who finished with 17 points, picked up her second foul with 6:22 left in the second quarter and sat the rest of it, and by its end, posts Ann-Marie Lauese and Akanesi Malamala both picked up their fourth fouls.
"It's a total different story," Rickard said. "Instead of pounding the ball inside, when (Taufa) is out, we have to work it around the outside more. When (Viela) is out, you could see at the end, it got a little bit helter skelter."
The Rough Riders (15-3), the O'ahu Interscholastic Association runner-up, received 27 points from senior forward Mikela Thoemmes, who benefitted from a softer presence inside.
"We were fortunate to have a big lead and we were able to stay off of (Thoemmes)," Rickard said. "We told (Taufa) not to challenge her too much, we needed her more offensively than defensively."
ROOSEVELT (15-3) 6 16 12 12—46
LAHAINALUNA (15-0) 21 20 17 10—68
ROOSEVELT — Breyana Dutro-Solomua 0, Kelcie Namba 5, Charisse Tanabe 0, Shana Kawakami 4, Nicole Ramirez 7, Abcde Furuta-Harada 1, Rachel Gomes 2, Mikela Thoemmes 27, Emalia Schuman 0, Cameo Tamala 0, Anuhea Kanealii 0. Totals 18 9-19 46.
LAHAINALUNA — Kelsea Cabrera 7, Maiki Viela 23, Trina Akima 11, Ana-Marie Lauese 9, Milika Taufa 17, Hiilei Bacalso 0, Akanesi Malamala 1. Totals 25 12-16 68.
3-point goals — Roosevelt 1 (Ramirez). Lahainaluna 6 (Viela 3, Cabrera, Akima, Lauese).
PUNAHOU 55, WAIĀKEA 50
Punahou received a late scare from Waiākea but pulled out a quarterfinal victory at Radford.
"This team is very young, we're very young experience-wise," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "They hung together and they played together, and we move on. You win ugly, you win pretty, you move on."
The Buffanblu (12-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and tournament's third seed, advanced to the semifinals against No. 2 Lahainaluna.
The Buffanblu led 49-33 in the third quarter, but the Warriors rallied back into it with help from freshman Sefulu Faavae, who scored nine points to spark a 13-4 run to close to 53-50 with 1:27 left.
But as the Warriors were driving, Punahou's Hailey-Ann Maeda blocked Alyssa Ferreira's shot and on the other end Punahou senior guard/forward Janet Li sank both of her free throws with 17.3 seconds to seal the win.
"We have to give credit to Waiākea, they did a great job attacking us and our positioning wasn't very efficient tonight, and we were a little slow in our rotations," Taylor said.
"We switched up our defense and our kids did a better job locating the shooters, containing dribble penetration and we pulled it out."
Waiākea (14-2), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up, was led by Faavae's 11 points and 10 from senior guard Kamie Imai, who also had 12 rebounds. Li scored a game-high 10 points for Punahou and Maeda grabbed 12 rebounds.
WAIĀKEA (14-2) 16 11 10 13—50
PUNAHOU (12-1) 21 14 14 6—55
WAIĀKEA — Jamielynn Moe 9, Sefulu Faavae 11, Kamie Imai 10, Tricia Amuimuia 0, Alyssa Ferreira 9, Melise Nekoba 0, Ciera Pacheco 9, Daven-Marie Namohala 2. Totals 19 10-12 50.
PUNAHOU — Kaylin Okuma 9, Khaliyah Thompson 6, Janet Li 10, Turner Wong 2, Brittnie Lau 2, Mysha Sataraka 9, Julia Brand 4, Jennifer Ching 3, Michelle Parke 0, Kysa Ludviksen 2, Hailey-Ann Maeda 8. Totals 23 6-13 55.
3-point goals — Waiākea 2 (Moe, Ferreira). Punahou 3 (Okuma 3).
MILILANI 57, MOANALUA 54
Kellie Sakai and Amber Ogata each scored 11 points and the Trojans, trailing 38-34, used a 23-16 fourth-quarter surge to beat Nā Menehune to advance to the consolation final against Pearl City.
Jasmine Funtanilla scored 16, Joanna Nicolas had 12 and Shaunteus Ramos-Dias 11 for Moanalua.
MOANALUA (11-9) 13 14 11 16—54
MILILANI (12-5) 8 10 16 23—57
MOANALUA — Kristy Tamashiro 0, Kiley Lau 3, Joanna Nicolas 12, Jasmine Funtanilla 16, Meleane Smith 6, Jaiden Rego 4, Shaunteus Ramos-Dias 11, Kelci Quinabo 2, Jasmine Young-Gusman 0. Totals 19 15-25 54.
MILILANI — Kellie Sakai 11, Tiff Lagua 1, Jacque Agbayani 2, Sam Yuki 0, Amber Ogata 11, Cory Ramos 0, Abby McKoy 9, Darcey Goulsby 9, Courtney Senas 2, Kawehi Pilakowski 0, Khyla Alcantra 0, Pomai Grube-Hose 2, Kayla Wright 6, Nayla Long 0, Kaylee Torres 4. Totals 15 23-36 57.
3-point goals — Moanalua 1 (Nicolas). Mililani 4 (Ogata 3, Sakai).