Bulldogs overcome sloppy play to turn back Kapa'a, 51-40
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
It got sloppy and Kaimukī fell out of its rhythm.
But the Bulldogs got the win and plan to turn their play around for today's final of the Hawaiian Airlines Division II Girls Basketball State Championships.
"We weren't playing our game, we should've slowed it down because we were running up and down. We only have a little bench, we don't have that much people, we were getting ourselves tired," said Dejah Fa'asoa, who scored 15 points in second-seeded Kaimukī's 51-40 win over Kapa'a in last night's semifinal game at Farrington High School.
Kaimukī (15-2), the O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion, will face defending champion and top-seeded Moloka'i (12-0) in today's 5 p.m. final at the Blaisdell Arena.
"They came out and they just keep giving," said Kaimukī coach Mona Fa'asoa, whose daughters, Dejah and Letishah, are on the team. "The little mistakes killed us, just simple errors, mental, mental errors.
"We touched up on that. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better game for us. Tonight was kind of sloppy. We can't take away the win, the kids played hard, we earned the win, but very sloppy. It's not how we play."
The Bulldogs broke open a tight game early with an 8-0 run to lead 19-8 at the end of the first quarter, pushing the tempo with its multiple guards and getting a big output from 5-foot-10 post player Leti Mikaele, who scored nine points inside on point-blank shots and putbacks. She finished with 13 points and Alison Pologa had 14.
With just eight players on the team, the Bulldogs ran the clock on several occasions in the second half, hoping to get some rest by slowing it down. The Warriors (10-2) broke through the Bulldogs' plan in the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run that closed it to 43-36 with 2:39 left on Jessilyn Artaho-Aki's basket.
Artaho-Aki had 11 points and Leinaala McCabe had 10 for Kapa'a, which plays Kahuku for third place today.
Down 46-38, Kapa'a got the ball back off a turnover with 1:11 left, but missed two free throws. Letishah Fa'asoa then made 4 of 4 free throws down the stretch for Kaimukī.
Kapa'a coach Terry Maguire was proud of her team's late rally. Kapa'a lost a 13-point lead, then rallied late to beat University High in Tuesday's first round. Now they're aiming for a third-place finish, hoping to match the same feat as the school's boys and girls soccer teams.
"They didn't quit and they hustled," Maguire said. "Kaimukī, they're amazing shooters. We tried everything we could think of and we had some bad passes. The hustle, I couldn't have asked for more."
KAPA'A (10-2) 8 13 6 13—40
KAIMUKī (15-2) 19 12 10 10—51
KAPA'A — Ashlyn Lee 9, Kira Nakamura 2, Leinaala McCabe 10, Mahea Hanie-Grace 6, Jessilyn Artaho-Aki 11, Jodi Das 0, Victoria Tuttle 2, Reggie McCabe 0, Lahela Creamer 0, Shalyn Tupou 0, Layna Christian 0, Raquelle Matayoshi 0. Totals not available.
Kaimukī — Pua Akaka 2, Tanya Villanueva 0, Canny Aikau 2, Alison Pologa 14, Keana Paez 1, Letishah Fa'asoa 4, Dejah Fa'asoa 15, Leti Mikaele 13. Totals not available.
3-point goals — Kapa'a none. Kaimukī 5 (D. Fa'asoa 3, Pologa 2).