Thursday, May 19, 2005


Dragons leave the
Lunas dragging

Honokaa played a nearly flawless second quarter, posting 17 points and holding Lahainaluna scoreless en route to a 53-43 victory in the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Girls Basketball State Championships yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The 53-43 win avenged the Dragons' 19-point loss to the Lady Lunas in the first round of last year's tournament and put them in tonight's semifinals against top seed Punahou.

The second quarter helped the Dragons eventually go up by as many as 20 points in the third before the Lady Lunas made one last push in the fourth.

"We're consistent in being inconsistent," Honokaa coach Daphne Honma said. "We've still got a lot to learn. It's been like that all season long."

Holding a 36-21 lead going into the final period, the Dragons seemed to have the win easily in hand. But after struggling from the perimeter, shooting 1-for-13 in the first three quarters, the third-seeded Lunas finally got a few breaks, nailing four-straight treys. Tasha Pagdilao brought the Lunas to within five with her 3-pointer, her only field goal of the game.

"I'm proud of the effort they gave," Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard said. "In the state tournament, we needed to play the way we played in the second half. You gotta play well all four quarters. I know my team can play better than that."

As players on the Honokaa bench implored their teammates on the court to hold on to the lead, the Dragons squashed the Lunas' comeback attempt, breaking Lahainaluna's fullcourt pressure and getting a few baskets in the post.

Sophomore Keisha Kanekoa followed up her 13-point performance in the first round with 19 points in yesterday's semifinal to go along with five assists and six rebounds in 32 minutes. She shot 8-for-11 from the free-throw line and scored all of Honokaa's eight points in the first quarter.

"We have yet to see her play her best basketball," Honma said. "She's growing, she's coming into her own right now. She's also proven to be a great leader."

Kari Heers added 14 points and two blocks in the win, and Wila Lavea contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

Both teams got off to slow starts, with the Lunas able to get four steals in the first 4 minutes. But cold shooting by the Lunas allowed Honokaa to take an 8-7 lead going into the second quarter. Lahainaluna shot 25 percent from the field in the first quarter, 10 percent for the half.

The Lunas suffered a huge blow with 3:30 left in the first quarter when senior forward Monique Blando picked up her third foul, forcing her to the bench. She picked up her fourth early in the second quarter, then fouled out in the third. Blando was one of three Lady Lunas to foul out of the game.

The Dragons also struggled with foul trouble. For a stretch in the fourth quarter, Honokaa had four players with four fouls on the court at once.

At Stan Sheriff Center
Honokaa (13-2) 8 17 11 17 -- 53
Lahainaluna (8-1) 7 0 14 22 -- 43

HONOKAA--Kari Heers 14, Alyssa Souza 6, Jerrika Lorenzo 4, Keisha Kanekoa 19, Wila Lavea 8, Joliese DeMello 2, Jessika Lorenzo 0, Chelsey Souza 0.
LAHAINALUNA--Tasha Pagdilao 6, Kelci Fushikoshi 14, Jessica Maielua 4, Monique Blando 3, Alise Hatch 11, Tekiri Rickard 4, Tahni Domingo 0, Casey Bartolome 1, Lovelee Tagudin 0, Piilani Uyeda 0, Mapu Pali 0.
3-point goals -- Honokaa 1 (Kanekoa), Lahainaluna 5 (Hatch 3, Pagdilao, Rickard).

Punahou 59, Roosevelt 41

Shawna-Lei Kuehu showed no signs of nervousness in her first state-tournament game, scoring a team-high 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds as No. 1 Punahou rolled past Roosevelt 59-41.

The 5-foot-10 freshman forward scored four or more points in each quarter to lead the Buffanblu (20-1) to a state semifinal matchup against Honokaa today.

"I thought we came out and were aggressive," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "We moved the ball pretty well against their zone early on, hitting our open shots."

At Stan Sheriff Center
Roosevelt (8-10) 7 12 8 14 -- 41
Punahou (11-0) 20 8 12 19 -- 59

ROOSEVELT--Dianna Zane 0, Tati Beasley 16, Larisa Nakasone 2, Nicole Yoshimoto 5, Shannon Miyashiro 18, Chelsie Kadota 0, Dasha Kawakami 0, Kaitlynn Simmonds 0.
PUNAHOU--Shanna-Lei Dacanay 4, Shawna-Lei Kuehu 17, Tessa Sonobe 0, Sophie Merrifield 8, Christine Takara 6, Ciana Aiwohi 5, Elizabeth Abe 0, Stacy Brossy 3, Lauren Tompkison 5, Dara Tompkison 0, Melanie Feldman 0, Mahina Macfarlane 2, Shaena-Lyn Kuehu 9, Whitney Kim 0, Devon Yamauchi 0.
3-point goals -- Roosevelt 1 (Yoshimoto), Punahou 1 (Brossy).

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