HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Iolani's Carla Watase was upset by Samantha Batoon of Farrington in the 108-pound weight class final. It was only Watase's third loss in her career.
Farrington trio grabs the gold
Farrington's formula for another state crown at the Chevron/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships was rather simple: new coach, higher bar, a return to the top.
Up close, however, the school's second state championship in girls wrestling had more to do with willpower than circumstance. Farrington amassed 144 points to easily outdistance Kahuku (117) and Iolani (113.5).
Three Governors -- Samantha Batoon, Tani Ader and Ashlee Lilo -- powered the Govs to their first title since 2004, when the late Sandy Obra was in charge.
Batoon, who quit the team last year, had the comeback of comebacks, and it was only fitting. She gave her team and a frenzied Blaisdell Arena crowd a shocking jolt early on with a 3-2 upset of three-time defending state champion Carla Watase.
Two overtime losses to Watase in preseason tournaments made Batoon hungrier.
"She's the only person I wanted to beat," Batoon said. "Today, I told myself to be aggressive, to be mad."
The duel was knotted at 1-all when Watase escaped the hold of Batoon for a 2-1 lead with 1:14 left. Batoon, relying on shoot moves to set up her throws, got Watase on a throw to take a 3-2 lead with 33 seconds left.
Watase had two opportunities to get a tying point, but was unable to escape the clutches of Batoon as time expired.
"Judo helped a lot. My takedown was a judo throw," Batoon said. "I (usually) do a head and arm, but I knew she would expect that."
Kamehameha senior Randolyn "Hoku" Nohara became a four-time state champion by outlasting rival Olivia Fatongia 4-3 in the 220 class final.
"She's tough, and she's only a sophomore," said Nohara, who likely wrestled her last match. She accepted a softball scholarship from UH-Hilo recently, ending one of the greatest careers of any Hawaii wrestler.
"I don't love the pressure. I only love winning," she said.
Nohara's brute strength helped midway through the match, when she picked up Fatongia and threw her for two key points. Fatongia was relentless in the final minute.
"I just kept wrestling my hardest," Nohara said. "I always have to earn everything. Eight years of hard work paid off."
Ader anchored the Govs with memories of the '04 team. As an eighth-grader, she trained with them and learned the meaning of persistence.
"I'm surprised we won, but we've worked hard," she said.
Last year, Reyes noted, Farrington ruled the regular season, only to come up short in the postseason as Kahuku won the title. This year, the tables turned.
"It's sweet revenge," said Ader, a junior.
Work is what Batoon learned to embrace in the past year. Her road to the title in the 108 class was paved with plenty of bumps. She didn't wrestle until her sophomore season, then was pinned by Watase in a preseason meet during the next campaign.
After quitting the team for personal reasons as a junior, Batoon made a pact with coach Darren Reyes, who is also her coach at Hawaii Tenri Judo Club.
"I told her to make me a promise to work with me, and I promised that she would become a state champion," said Reyes, who was an assistant coach for a decade.
Ader, who won her second state title with a pin of Cianah Hee, set the bar. Reyes asked Batoon to work even harder than Ader, and she responded.
Watase, 137-3 in her storied career, gave Batoon her due.
"She's a really good wrestler," she said.
1. Farrington 144, 2. Kahuku 117, 3. Iolani 113.5, 4. Punahou 99, 5. Kamehameha 97, 6. Kapolei 75, 7. Waianae 63, 8. Baldwin 59, 9. Aiea 54.5, 10. Pearl City 51, 11. Mililani 48, 12. Kealakehe 43.5, 13. Molokai 36, 14. Hilo 34, 15. Campbell 32, 16. Moanalua 31, 17. Kalaheo 28, 18. Konawaena 26, 19t. Kailua 25, 19t. Lahainaluna 25, 21t. Castle 23, 21t. Hawaii Baptist 23, 21t. Kamehameha-Hawaii 23, 24t. Mid Pacific 22, 24t. St. Anthony 22, 26. Roosevelt 16, 27. Kamehameha-Maui 15, 28. Waiakea 11, 29. Kohala 8, 30t. Honolulu Waldorf 7, 30t. Leilehua 7, 32. Waialua 4, 33t. Keaau 3, 33t. Maui 3, 33t. St. Francis 3, 33t. Waipahu 3, 37. Word of Life 2.5, 38t. Lanai 2, 38t. Sacred Hearts 2, 40. Nanakuli 1.
Def. Taylor Ibera (Farrington) 4-3
Michell, seeded third, led from the start against top-seeded Ibera. Michelle was the aggressor and led 3-0 midway through the second period before Ibera cut the lead to one point entering the third.
Michell added an insurance point with 17 seconds left, but Ibera hustled for a point with 7 seconds remaining.
Michell edged Macy Yonamine (Kamehameha) in the semis 7-5.
Kelsie-Ann Mita (Mid-Pacific) def. Erin Uehara (Punahou), pin
Macy Yonamine (Kamehameha) def. Heather Omori (Mililani), 3-1
Def. Alexandra Aoki (Konawaena), tech 15-0
Top-seeded Akamine dominated the match, nearly pinning third-seeded Aoki midway through the first period. Akamine had an 8-0 lead and extended it to 15-0 with 1:06 left in the second when the match was stopped.
Akamine, a sophomore, placed second in the 103 final last year. She overpowered Brandie Dela Rama (Mililani) 15-0 in the semifinals.
Aoki, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, was seeded third.
Brandie Dela Rama (Mililani) def. Ren Yamashita (Aiea), pin
Briana Delos Santos (Pearl City) def. Alyssa Santos (Castle), pin
Def. Carla Watase (Iolani) 3-2
The upset of the night was well-earned by the third-seeded Governor over the top seed. After a forearm blow gave Batoon a point -- and awarded Watase a penalty point -- to start the match, Watase went ahead 2-1 after escaping Batoon's grip midway through the second period.
Batoon scored a 2-point move with 33 seconds left in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Twice, Watase had opportunities to escape from Batoon's mount position, but ran out of space as time expired.
Kalae Johnson (Kahuku) def. Kira Hagi (Kapolei) 7-4
Tehani Ibarra (St. Anthony) def. Jaydene-Kailin Curran (Campbell) 8-6
Def. Chaelyn Tan (Kapolei) 5-0
Morisada controlled this matchup against the unseeded Hurricane. Tan, unseeded, was down only 2-0 entering the third period.
Morisada, the top seed and ILH champion, captured her second straight 114 state crown.
The top-seeded Raider edged fourth-seeded OIA champ Joy Yamashita 5-3 in the semifinal round.
Victoria Milanio (Lahainaluna) def. Shina Tohara (Kealakehe), pin
Reiko Campos (Kamehameha) def. Joy Yamashita (Aiea) 4-2
Def. Cianah Hee (Kahuku), pin
Ader captured her second state title by pinning Hee with 1:09 left in the second period. She had a 6-0 lead at the time against the unseeded Red Raider.
Ader, the OIA champion and top seed, won the 114 class crown last season. She pinned her first two challengers and blanked Jada Antolin (Pearl City) 7-0 in the semifinals.
Risha Mishima (Hawaii Baptist) def. Courtney Kinimaka (Kapolei) 4-0
Jada Antolin (Pearl City) def. Tamra Takeshita, pin
Def. Ariella Ing (Moanalua), pin
Auna, the top seed, was ahead 4-1 with 52 seconds left in the second period when she pinned Ing.
Auna was the runner-up at 108 last year. She was Kahuku's only individual champion last night. She defeated Mary Brzezowski (Kamehameha-Hawaii) by pin in the semifinals.
Kaleolani Souza (Aiea) def. Mary Brzezowski (Kamehameha-Hawaii), pin
Cheryse Sana (Waianae) def. Kiana Parilla (Kamehameha), pin
Def. Punahele Luafalemana (Molokai) 7-3
The showdown between MIL rivals turned out to be somewhat one-sided. Kalalau was in control with a 4-0 lead after two periods.
Kalalau, the top seed, and Luafalemana were sidelined at times with injuries during the season.
Kalalau pinned her first three opponents, including Kelia Parilla (Kamehameha) in the semifinals.
JT Ojerio (Punahou) def. Robyn Teruya (Roosevelt) 9-8
Amanda Keliihoomalu (Kahuku) def. Kelia Parilla (Kamehameha) 4-3
Def. Stephanie Geltmacher (Kalaheo) 14-4
Takasaki had another dominant performance at states. She pinned two of her four opponents, including semifinalist Jillian Fontanilla (Pearl City), and defeated her quarterfinal foe 13-0.
Last year, Takasaki pinned every opponent en route to the crown.
Kuuipo Badayos (Waianae) def. Jillian Fontanilla (Pearl City) 2-1
Jaime "Hoku" Kubota (Kamehameha-Maui) def. Keala Baricar (Farrington) 7-5
Def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (Punahou) 7-2
The battle of runners-up from the OIA and ILH went the Surfrider's way.
Dilliner defeated Campbell's Chelsea Cabebe by pin, then upset top-seeded Lindsey Tufono 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
None of the division's seeded wresters made it to yesterday, leaving the field wide open. Dilliner trounced Crystal Kalakau (Farrington) 10-1 in the semifinals.
Amanda Soliai (Kahuku) def. Crystal Kalakau (Farrington), default
Taisha Santiago (Kamehameha) def. Barbara Kekaualua (Waiakea), pin
Def. Kailee Andrade (Baldwin), pin
Lilo, the top seed, rallied from a five-point deficit to topple the MIL champion. Giving away several inches in height, Lilo brought Andrade down consistently from the start, but was unable to score until the late going.
Leading 7-4, Andrade was almost out of bounds when she spun on Lilo.
Down 13-11 with less than a minute to go, Lilo pinned Andrade.
Leya-Justina Luafalemana (Molokai) def. Shenna Cabasag (Mililani) 7-1
Ariel Moniz (Hilo) def. Ashley Abalos (Waianae), forfeit
Def. Olivia Fatongia (Iolani) 4-3
Nohara frustrated Fatongia for a second year in a row with the narrow victory.
Fatongia, who lost in last year's final to Nohara 11-8, is only a sophomore.
Nohara pinned Hilo's Naoli Weller in her only match leading into the final.
Naoli Weller (Hilo) def. Vicky Green (Waianae), pin
Jasmine Ahmow-Moeava (Farrington) def. Pamela Higa (Pearl City), pin