HHSAA GIRLS BASKETBALL DIVISION II
Firebrands get final Word on Kapaa
It can be daunting as the only freshman starting amongst four seniors in a school's first state tournament girls basketball game. But Piilani Mahoe more than proved she belonged by coming up big when her team needed it the most.
The freshman converted two crucial free throws with 29 seconds left and scored seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter as Word of Life defeated Kapaa 52-49 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball Division II State Championships yesterday at McKinley.
Careena Onosai added a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Firebrands advanced to play top-seeded Kalani.
"We've been in a lot of close games in the ILH this season," Firebrands coach Vance Chun said. "We've said from the beginning that it comes down to who wants to finish strong and to take it one play at a time, and that's what we did."
Poerava Gantt scored 14 points and Brittney Carvalho added eight points and 10 rebounds for Kapaa (7-3), which held the lead for most of the game, but never led by more than five points.
The Warriors led 37-33 entering the final quarter when Mahoe took over. The freshman scored the Firebrands' first five points of the quarter, including a 3-point play that pulled her team within one, and then assisted on a layup by Onosai that gave Word of Life its first lead since the first quarter.
"It all comes down to decision-making and when we make the right decisions, we do well," Mahoe said. "At the end of the game, your mind tends to slow down and force you into bad decisions, but we overcame it."
With a one-point lead, Mahoe calmly sank two free throws to give Word of Life a 52-49 lead with 29 seconds left. Kapaa had two shots to tie it, but Michelle Toy missed two 3-pointers, and Shayna Onosai stripped Toy as she attempted a trey with a second left to seal the victory.
"We're a pretty good team, and I told the girls that if it's not for a couple little things here and there, we would have won," Kapaa coach Gary Kodani said. "We lost by three points to a very good team and I was extremely pleased with how we played."
At McKinley H.S. gym
|Word of Life (11-5)
WORD OF LIFE--Samantha Khan 2, Krystle DeBorja 2, Jasmine Saquilon 0, Justine Sampaga 9, Rayane Alvarado 0, Piilani Mahoe 9, Kanani Sagon 0, Careena Onosai 22, Brittany Iwamoto 0, Shayna Onosai 0, Moani McBraun 8.
KAPAA--Diane Toy 0, Michelle Toy 3, April Johnson 4, Kennilyn Nakamura 6, Poerava Gantt 14, Danielle Creamer 5, Kieren Pond 1, Brittney Carvalho 8, Roselynn Ebinger 0, Mailika Napoleon 8.
3-point goals--Word of Life 2 (C. Onosai, Sampaga), Kapaa 1 (Nakamura).
Castle 44, Hawaii Baptist 41
The Knights pulled away in the final minutes to defeat the Eagles, despite a 22-point effort from HBA's Jodi Kamemoto.
Tihani Kekauoha and Shanyn Fafard-Kaaihue each posted a team-high nine points to help Castle (10-4) advance to play second-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii today in the quarterfinals.
After the game was tied at 35 in the fourth quarter, Fafard-Kaaihue made a layup and foul shot following a Kekauoha 3-pointer to put the Knights up by six at the 2:40 mark.
With under a minute left, Kamemoto brought the Eagles to within a point at 41-40 with a trey, but missed on her following attempt with 11 seconds remaining.
The Eagles (10-6) play Molokai in the consolation bracket tomorrow.
At McKinley H.S. gym
|Hawaii Baptist (10-6)
HAWAII BAPTIST--Jodi Kamemoto 22, Candace Yonashiro 0, Adrienne Kishimoto 0, Narissa Fujii 2, Ashley Salado 0, Angie Lee 0, Carissa Onuma 2, Stacie Sueda 3, Janine Diehl 10, Tiffany Chang 2, Leah Shizuru 0.
CASTLE--Kellsie Sasaki 7, Kori Berinobis 0, Candyce Ames 2, Nicole Kobashigawa 2, Sarah Phromisiri 2, Raquel Hoe-Pedro 0, Tihani Kekauoha 9, Tracie Kam 6, Marisa Ameperosa 0, Leighla Kalahiki 0, Fa'asa'osa'o Lefotu 0, Shanyn Fafard-Kaaihue 9, Kawekiu Kawainui 7, Rachel Gage 0.
3-point goals -- Hawaii Baptist 3 (Kamemoto 2, Sueda), Castle 2 (Kekauoha, Sasaki).