Kahuku captures OIA crown
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Kahuku junior Marissa Del Ray threw her head back, half exhausted, half exhilarated, as the referee blew the whistle to end the match.
Del Ray scored three goals in overtime as the Kahuku girls water polo team won its seventh O'ahu Interscholastic Association championship by beating Roosevelt, 12-11, yesterday at the Veterans' Memorial Aquatic Center at the Patsy T. Mink Central O'ahu Regional Park.
"I wanted it so bad, and I knew someone had to step up and our whole team had to work together," Del Ray said. "I just saw the shots and I had to take them."
Along with Kahuku (13-1) and Roosevelt (12-1), third-place Leilehua, fourth-place Mililani, fifth-place Kapolei and sixth-place Kaiser will represent the OIA in this week's state tournament.
"She's one of our main shooters and she was kind of quiet the whole game but she stepped up when we needed her," Kahuku coach Makana Whitford said of Del Ray. "She has a nice shot and I'm glad she used it. Because of her and the rest of the team, we were able to win back our title."
Del Ray scored once in regulation for the Red Raiders, who got six goals from junior utility Brooke Roy.
"It feels amazing, indescribable, really," Roy said. "I don't think we wanted it so much before. Every single person's heart was in it."
Roosevelt and Kahuku met in the finals all eight years of the OIA Tournament, with Kahuku taking the first six, and Roosevelt winning its first last year.
Roy scored five goals to lead the Red Raiders to a 6-4 halftime lead.
The Rough Riders outscored the Red Raiders, 3-2, in the third quarter on goals by seniors Hoku Keola and Tiffany Tran and junior Poni McGee to close to 8-7 headed into the final quarter. Del Ray and Roy scored for Kahuku.
"Usually we give up when they start coming back, but everybody wanted it," Roy said.
Roosevelt's Rachel Gomes tied it at 8 but Kahuku took the lead back on a Keola Kahaulelio goal. Roosevelt's Keola scored with 1:22 remaining on a penalty shot to make it 9-9 and send the game into overtime.
Del Ray scored her final goal of the overtime period with 42 seconds left. Gina Galmiche and McGee scored for the Rough Riders in the six-minute overtime period.
For Roosevelt coach Sue Nishioka, it was a game of missed opportunities.
"We knew every time we tied or there was a timeout, Kahuku would come out blitzing and trying to get a quick one and they were successful several times," Nishioka said. "I thought we had pretty good control of the game, but we weren't putting our shots away."
Kalani High School is seeking a boys varsity soccer coach and a varsity sideline/competition cheer coach for the 2010-11 school year. E-mail resumes to the athletics director at: Gregory_Van-Cantfort@notes.k12.hi.us or fax to 377-2488. Deadline for the submission is May 7. For information call the athletics office at 377-7744, extension 320.