Mililani edges Kapolei, 57-55
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
Amber Ogata hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and made a pair of free throws with eight seconds to play to lift host Mililani to a thrilling 57-55 win over Kapolei in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red West Conference game last night.
The Trojans improved to 7-1 to share first place with Pearl City, which defeated Wai'anae last night. The Hurricanes fell to 6-2.
"This feels awesome," Trojans' coach Pat Basilio said. "I don't think anyone felt like we could be here except for these girls. They've been working really hard and this is a big win for us."
Kapolei held a 54-51 lead after Leilani Tuani-Fifita sank a pair of free throws with 1:06 left. Mililani's Sam Yuki came away with a loose ball after a Kapolei turnover and was fouled from behind on the way to the basket. The foul was deemed flagrant and Yuki made the first of two free throws to cut it 54-52.
Kaity Wills' free throw put Kapolei up 55-52 with 34 seconds to play before Basilio called for a timeout.
"I tried to settle them down," Basilio said. "Everyone was kind of tense and I wanted them to relax and have fun a little bit."
Out of the timeout, Ogata curled off a screen near the top of the arc and drained her fourth 3-pointer of the night to tie it at 55.
"For the most part, everything went as we drew it up," Basilio said. "Kapolei overplayed her a little so that helped, too."
Kapolei was whistled for traveling on its next possession, but Mililani gave it right back. On the play, the Hurricanes' Kawehi Hagi jumped in front of a Trojan pass, but was called for a charge with nine seconds left.
"We just were not focused down the stretch and made too many bad decisions," Hurricanes coach Jessie Baugh said.
Ogata drew a foul on the inbounds pass and made both ends of a one-and-one to put the Trojans back ahead.
"I was nervous, but I had confidence that I would make them," said Ogata, who finished with a game-high 20 points.
Kapolei got off a shot with seconds remaining, but it did not fall and Mililani's Kellie Sakai came down with the rebound and ran out the clock. Sakai finished with 14 points.
The Trojans avenged a 58-51 loss at Kapolei on Dec. 17.
"This feels super good," Ogata said. "I'm really happy, especially because we felt like we could have won the first time we played them, but this gives us even more confidence."
Tuani-Fifita led Kapolei with 18 points and Hagi added 12.
Mililani led 24-23 at halftime.
KAPOLEI (6-2) 11 12 17 15 — 55
MILILANI (7-1) 12 12 17 16 — 57
KAPOLEI — Krystal Jacobs 2, Danniel Tapat 8, Kaity Wills 5, Rhilee Soriano 6, Daimond Carter 4, Kawehi Hagi 12, Vanessa Banogan 0, Leilani Tuani-Fifita 18. Totals 20 13-22 55.
MILILANI — Kellie Sakai 14, Tiff Lagua 0, Sam Yuki 6, Amber Ogata 20, Abby McKoy 3, Darcey Goulsby 7, Courtney Senas 5, Amberlee Maluenda 0, Kawehi Pilakowski 0, Khyla Alcantra 2, Pomai Grube-Hose 0. Totals 20 10-21 57.
3-point field goals—Kapolei: 2 (Tapat, Hagi). Mililani: 7 (Ogata 4, Sakai, Yuki, Goulsby).
JV score — Mililani 38, Kapolei 28.