HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ta Nitra Byrd scored 12 points and grabbed 19 rebounds last night for Radford in the Rams' overtime win against Aiea.
Radford overcomes free-throw woes for overtime win
They ought to know a bargain when they see one.
For the Lady Rams of Radford, 29 missed free throws didn't stand in the way of a clutch overtime win. Freshman Ta Nitra Byrd scored 12 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as No. 9-ranked Radford outlasted Aiea 44-39 last night.
The victory was crucial for Radford, now 6-1 in Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West basketball. The Lady Rams, 15-3 overall, avoided a potential three-way tie with Aiea and Pearl City.
Aiea (4-3) had won the first meeting between the teams at Radford, rallying in the final quarter. This time, however, it was Aiea that faltered down the stretch.
"They got us at home, so we just wanted to come back and get 'em," said Byrd, a 6-foot center.
The effort was nearly neutralized by Radford's generosity: 19-for-48 shooting from the foul line.
Trailing 42-39 with 15 seconds left in overtime, Aiea had its final chance to tie the game. However, Radford's Brittni Fuller stole the ball away from Natasha Helsham on the left wing and fed teammate Leslie Lazo for an easy layup to ice the win.
The Lady Rams played air-tight, man-to-man defense, limiting Aiea to 27 percent shooting from the field. Fuller drew the toughest assignment and smothered Aiea's shooting star, Helsham.
"I told my team, 'I'm so sorry, guys,' " Helsham said. "I picked it up too late."
The sophomore guard finished with just eight points on 3-for-19 shooting.
"That was a battle between Brittni and Natasha," Radford coach David Lane said. "I'm so proud of her. This was a big win for us. We gutted it out."
For a time, though, it looked like fate was with Na Alii.
"We had the momentum," coach Mike Yen said. "The effort was there. This time, it bounced in their favor."
A subdued crowd of 200 came to life when Aiea reserve guard Natasha Fong came off the bench to bank in a game-tying 3-point shot with 11 seconds left in regulation.
"I was, 'Here, shoot it,' " Helsham said of the Fong's shot. "I was so happy."
With the score at 36-all, Radford threw away the inbounds pass, but Aiea's Emily Tausaga was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.
"The overtime was almost a gift for us," Lane said.
After Lazo made a free throw with 38 seconds left, Radford led 42-39.
Helsham missed four free-throw attempts in overtime, but Lazo missed two of her own to keep Aiea's hopes alive
Byrd shot 2-for-9 from the field and 8-for-16 from the foul line. She also had three steals and two blocked shots.
At Aiea H.S. gym
RADFORD-- Leslie Lazo 8, Itali Lindsay 2, Bui Baravilala 5, Celina Cruz 0, Brittni Fuller 6, Kiara Dykes 6, Chelsea-Ann Villanueva 5, Marsharen DuPont 0, Ta Nitra Byrd 12.
AIEA-- Tasha Johnson 4, Jennifer Yuen 5, Natasha Helsham 8, Natasha Fong 3, Michelle Shiroma 2, Chelsea Albrecht 2, Emily Tausaga 2, Carol Sio 6, Capri Holiona 7, Nohe Fonoti 0.
3-point goals -- Aiea 2 (Yuen, Fong), Radford 1 (Lazo).
Junior varsity-- Radford 46, Aiea 28
Leilehua 46, Kapolei 36
Ashley Gonzales scored 16 points and Brittaney Stafford added 14 as the Mules snapped a four-game losing streak by knocking off the Hurricanes.
At Leilehua H.S. gym
KAPOLEI-- Loleina Lapina 8, Danniel Tapat 0, Ashlee Dela Cruz 5, Tiffany Kasoga 0, Jasmine Gipson 0, Regina Simanu 4, Kesha Miller 4, Tamara Satcher 4, Jay Abbondanza 1, Cassidy Calio 4, Tahnee Foki 6, Hartley Marquez 0.
LEILEHUA--Ashley Gonzales 16, Alaina Johnson 7, Sabrina McBride 0, Cassey Borromeo 6, Ashley Momiyama 3, Brittaney Stafford 14, Claudia Veikune 0, Tete Moore 0, Mariah McCloud 0.
3-point goals -- Kapolei 4 (Lapina 2, Dela Cruz, Calio), Leilehua 1 (Johnson).
Junior varsity-- Leilehua 32, Kapolei 29
Hawaii Prep 30, Kohala 25
Leading scorers--HPA: Cecily Kimua 11. Koh: Kylie Gonsalves 9.
Junior varsity girls
Hawaii Prep 31, Kohala 17