Defending champ Konawaena rolls over 'Iolani, 54-22 Second-seeded Lahainaluna tops Punahou, 64-56
• Photo gallery: Konawaena vs. Iolani girls' basketball
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Defending girls basketball state champion Konawaena continued its blitz toward a repeat last night, racing past 'Iolani, 54-22, in quarterfinal action of the Hawaiian Airlines Championships at Blaisdell Arena.
The No. 1 seed Wildcats improved to 12-0 in the regular and postseason and will face No. 2 seed and Maui Interscholastic League champ Lahainaluna (16-0) in tonight's title game at Blaisdell. It is the first time in the 34-year history of the Division I tournament that Neighbor Island teams will play for the championship.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised live statewide on OC16.
"We have the state tournament experience already, we don't have the jitters," said Konawaena sophomore guard Dawnyelle Awa, one of three sophomores who started in last year's state championship double-overtime victory over Punahou. "We want to finish out strong."
The Wildcats, who opened tournament play with a dominant 59-31 quarterfinal victory over Kapolei, jumped out to another fast start last night. Suffocated by Konawaena's tight backcourt pressure, 'Iolani committed 10 turnovers in the first period alone and trailed 19-5 heading into the second.
"We tried everything," said 'Iolani coach Eddie Maruyama, whose ILH runner-up Raiders fell to 11-4. "We changed our defense, we went to different offenses ... but (the Wildcats) were extremely focused, they played really, really well."
Konawaena led 25-11 at halftime, then held 'Iolani to three points in the third period to take a commanding 38-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Raiders held off Pearl City, 51-46, in its first-round game on Tuesday and then outlasted Farrington, 63-58, in overtime Wednesday.
"They had to battle, and they gave it their all two nights in a row," Wildcats coach Bobbie Awa said.
But Maruyama said he doesn't know if fatigue was the difference.
"Regardless of that, you gotta give (Konawaena) credit," Maruyama said. "We lost to a very, very good team tonight."
'IOLANI (13-4) 5 6 3 8—22
KONAWAENA (12-0) 19 6 13 16—54
'IOLANI — Saphyre Rezentes 3, Kryn Masutani 0, Kylie Rae Maeda 3, Lori Yamashita 2, Georgette Lopes-Liutolo 4, Kaitlyn Shikada 2, Lahela Usui 2, Shauni Watanabe 0, Alyssa Liilii 2, Alex Masaquel 4, Mahina Haina 0, Brittany Barnes 0, Taimane Passi 0. Totals 8 3-4 22.
KONAWAENA — Anuhea Wall 3, Misilosa U'ulopa 7, Thea Hanato-Smith 1, Emalia Galdeira 10, Dawnyelle Awa 10, Hokulani Liftee 8, Makayla Awa 7, Melissa Simon 0, Taylor Awa 0, Staysha Galigo 3, Amanda Varron 0, Matelita Taumoefolau 1, Aukele Waikiki 0, Courtney Kaupu 4, Chrysa Dacalio 0. Totals 20 12-21 54.
3-point goals — 'Iolani 3 (Lopes-Liutolo, Rezentes, Maeda). Konawaena 2 (D. Awa, Galigo).
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