HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bui Baravilala of Radford converted a fast-break opportunity against Kaimuki last night at the Lady Rams Mini-Tournament.
Radford represents West well vs. Kaimuki
The East has always been a beast in the eyes of West-side basketball teams.
For the young Lady Rams of Radford, there is no such fear. Freshman Ta Nitra Bird tallied 16 points and eight rebounds as Radford muzzled the Kaimuki Bulldogs 50-30 last night in the Lady Rams Mini-Tournament at Jim Alegre Gym.
Bird, a 6-foot center, controlled the paint against the smaller Bulldogs. Radford outrebounded Kaimuki 32-20 and used a relentless pressure defense to force the 'Dogs into 19 turnovers.
Kaimuki saw its four-game win streak come to an end. Radford is now 9-2.
"We've been looking to get sharper. Early in preseason, we had a lot of turnovers, but we've been cutting it down," Radford coach David Lane said, crediting guards Brittni Fuller and Itali Lindsay. "This is the best we've run our (press) breaker."
Radford started strong and never let up. Marlena Malepeai scored a pair of buckets to help the Lady Rams to an early 14-3 lead. Bui Baravilala scored six points in the opening quarter as Radford took a commanding 21-7 lead shortly before the second quarter.
Kaimuki moved within 13 on a layup by Ashley Fortson, but got no closer. The Lady Rams will have the rest of the weekend off, as the Oahu Interscholastic Association regular season looms ahead.
The Lady Rams have plenty of athleticism, which is why Lane mixes up defenses from fullcourt man-to-man to halfcourt zone. Bird's strength and agility are a major plus. "She's well-coached. Her mom played college ball," Lane noted.
Chelsea-Ann Villanueva and Malepeai finished with eight points apiece.
Olivia Phommachanh led Kaimuki (5-4) with 10 points. Both teams are in Division I this season.
Iolani II 54, Molokai 40
Elisa Asato and Kimberly Hashiba scored nine points each as the Raiders fought off the Farmers in the early game. Molokai had rallied from a 12-point deficit to tie the game at 31 on a jump shot by Danna-Lynn Hooper.
Iolani took command after that, however, with a deep bench and a swarming fullcourt press.
Kristan Forsberg led Molokai with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting, along with six rebounds. Amber Sterner grabbed seven boards.