Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, May 11, 2002


Kalaheo's Dawnelle Nahinu cut down the net after the Mustangs beat Kahuku 55-50 to win the OIA championship.

Kalaheo keeps winning
OIA titles

By Tim Crouse

It doesn't seem to matter who comes and goes through the Kalaheo program. The end result is usually the same.

A year after losing perhaps the best player in Hawaii high school history, Kalaheo won its fifth straight Oahu Interscholastic Association championship last night, beating Kahuku 55-50 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"It's a credit to our program and the kids, they really want to work hard and compete," Kalaheo coach Chico Furtado said. "Especially our seniors. They didn't get a lot of playing time last year except for Brina (Fritzsche), but they came out and played well.

"Latoya (Wily) comes and she contributes big. I'm really proud of this team because of the way we had to do this."

Brandy Richardson led the Mustangs to four straight titles before moving on to UC Santa Barbara. This season, Furtado used a huge inside game and a more balanced offensive attack to equal the same result, even though he had only one senior starter.

Kalaheo wasn't invincible as in other seasons, losing twice this year, but the Mustangs peaked at the right time.

Furtado said the fifth felt just as good as the others.

"It's still sweet. It's a different group of kids. We told them in the locker room, 'It's nice to win when you're a junior and sophomore, but when you're a senior and you're contributing, that's sweet.' "

Kahuku made things interesting in the fourth quarter, going on a 9-0 run to pull within 50-45 with two minutes remaining. The Red Raiders got the ball back with a chance to get even closer, but turned it over. Fritzsche ended the Kalaheo drought by hitting a free throw with 1:32 left.

But the Mustangs missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Mereani Lewenilovo hit a layup on a nice pass from Kelci Naihe to make it 51-47.

Kalena Hatori, a senior, iced the game for Kalaheo with a huge defensive rebound and 4 of 6 free throws.

"The thing about Kalena is that she plays with confidence. She doesn't always make great plays and score, but she plays with confidence. Those two times (at the end) she wanted the ball."

Wily, a sophomore, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Six of the rebounds were offensive. Hatori finished with eight points and Fritzsche had 10 points and three blocked shots.

Wily helped Kalaheo get off to a quick start, grabbing three offensive rebounds and scoring two baskets in the opening moments. The Mustangs turned the ball over five times in the first four minutes of the game, though.

Carla Tailele gave Kahuku a brief 8-7 lead, but Wily drew a double team and kicked the ball out to Natasha Lagapa, who drained a 3-pointer to put Kalaheo up 10-8.

After Kahuku tied it, the Mustangs went on a 12-2 run to take a 22-12 lead with 3:30 left in the half. Kalaheo went into halftime with a 25-15 lead. Wily scored 10 points in the first half.

Kahuku used a pressing defense to score two quick baskets and get within seven midway through the third quarter. Naihe and Lewenilovo both scored on fast breaks after Kalaheo turnovers to make it 31-24. It was only the third shot of the game for Naihe, Kahuku's best shooter.

Lewenilovo scored on consecutive possessions to bring Kahuku within five, but Kalaheo responded by scoring the final seven points of the third quarter.

Wily made 3 of 4 free throws and Brandi Benson scored a basket to put the Mustangs up 42-30.

Kahuku 10 5 15 20 -- 50

Kalaheo 14 11 17 13 -- 55

KAHUKU: Mereani Lewenilovo 19, Lesina Funaki 2, Carla Tailele 13, Charlotte Leitupo 4, Michelle Peters 7, Kelci Naihe 5.

KALAHEO: Bre Carson 6, Kalena Hatori 8, Brandi Benson 6, Natasha Lagapa 6, Brina Fritzsche 10, Latoya Wily 19.

3-point goals -- Kahuku 2 (Naihe, Tailele). Kalaheo 0.

Moanalua 45, Pearl City 35: Kepua Lee scored 15 of the Menehunes' final 21 points, including six straight in two different spurts. Lee finished with a season-high 21 points.

Lee tied the game at 27 with a basket at the end of the third quarter. She then hit a pair of free throws and a bucket off an offensive rebound to give Moanalua the lead for good.

The Menehunes hit 8 of 12 free throws down the stretch to hold off the Chargers.

Marci Lobendahn scored 11of her 15 points in the second half for Pearl City.

Pearl City 8 8 11 8 -- 35

Moanalua 13 6 8 18 -- 45

PEARL CITY: Jillan Soria 0, Joni Yoon 2, Chalice Kaapuni 6, Kelli Yuen 4, Marci Lobendahn 15, Darcie Hamamoto, Amy Fujihara, Christie Ayers, Jamie Iwata, Kristin Lai 2, Kamill Riego De Dios, Tatum Higdon, Frances Mabalay, Tina Questel 6, Kellie Nishikita, Lusia Kleinschmidt.

MOANALUA: Christina Sierra 9, Alice Ra, Jessica Moran, Jen Light, Jessie Kamakura, Sasha Silva 2, Joy Matsukawa, Patti Hardimon 9, Ashley Kaono, Kepua Lee 21, Marleen Leautu, Brittany Brie, Ronnie Keliihoomalu 4.

3-point goals -- Pearl City 0. Moanalua 1(Sierra).

ILH basketball

Iolani 60, Maryknoll 44: Ginger Gravelle had a game-high 18 points as the Raiders claimed the third and final ILH berth into next week's state tournament. Trisha Nishimoto added 16 points for the Raiders,14 of them coming in the second half.

Shannon Riley led the Spartans with 14 points.

At McCabe Gym

Iolani (9-7) 9 16 15 20 -- 60

Maryknoll (11-5) 10 12 9 13 -- 44

IOLANI -- Trisha Nishimoto 16, Raeceen Wolford 0, Jackie Sasaki 0, Lana Young 11, Ginger Gravelle 18, Fabriann Gin 11, Kiani Wong 0, Patricia Wong 2, Diana McClain 2, Chelsea Wong 0.

MARYKNOLL -- Michelle Baduria 9, Janna Castillo 2, Stacey Doran 8, Sela Fisilau 4, Jessica Ho 0, Cheryl Lee 5, Shannon Riley 14, Diana Samson 0, Whitney Wong 2.

3-point goals -- Iolani 3 (Gravelle 2, Nishimoto), Maryknoll 21 (Baduria 2).

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