HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Punahou's Ilima Macfarlane, left, looked for an open teammate last night against the defense of Mid-Pacific's Paige Young.
Punahou fends off Mid-Pacific with big second half
For more than three quarters, the young Mid-Pacific Lady Owls played like one of the best varsity girls basketball teams in the state.
In the end, youth was served a tough loss. Fifth-ranked Punahou, with ample depth and savvy defense, rallied for a 47-38 win last night at Mid-Pac's gym.
Melanie Feldman paced the visiting Buffanblu with nine points, but it was a recommitment to defense that carried them past the spirited Owls. Punahou improved to 4-1 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play by forcing MPI into 28 turnovers.
Seventeen of those came on Punahou steals, including six by cat-quick Dara Tompkison. A swarming defense sparked a crucial 11-0 second-half run, making up for a first-half effort that left Mike Taylor underwhelmed.
"We were passive, giving up dribble drives, which is not our philosophy or style," the Buffanblu coach said. "In the second half, we attacked. I'm proud of our bench. They kept us afloat in the first half. Ilima (Macfarlane) really brought the defensive intensity."
Mid-Pacific led at the half, 26-25.
Punahou's defenders became more verbal after the break. "Our communication was lacking in the first half. We weren't matching up," Taylor said. "Once we communicate, we match up."
Tressa Torres hustled off a free-throw miss by Chelsea Deptula for a putback that gave Punahou a 33-32 lead.
After Ciana Aiwohi scored on a fast-break bucket and missed her foul shot, Deptula crashed the board and scored on a reverse layup for a five-point Buffanblu lead. Punahou, which had four steals in a 2-minute span to start the fourth quarter, got another steal from Macfarlane for a layup.
The Buffanblu led 39-32 with 5:46 to go and never looked back.
Sophomore guard Johnnelle Kapua and freshman center Jenna Savusa led Mid-Pacific (1-3) with 10 points apiece. Keaton McFadden had a team-high eight boards.
"Our last games against Punahou and Kamehameha, our girls were afraid to shoot," Owls coach Byron Cheng said. "Tonight, we were unafraid. Our girls attacked the basket."
A spirited crowd of about 200 saw the Owls soar early. Savusa had eight points and five rebounds in the first half as MPI broke Punahou's press with relative ease.
Punahou's fullcourt press began to wear down the Owls in the third quarter.
Mid-Pac took its biggest lead midway through the quarter.
Savusa's power move in the post netted a basket to give the Owls a 30-26 lead with 5:33 remaining in the third.
Tompkison helped Punahou chip away at the lead, tying the game with a 16-foot jumper from the wing. However, McFadden scored on a fast-break layup to give MPI a 32-30 lead entering the final quarter.
Savusa then committed her fourth personal foul and went to the bench. That allowed Punahou the opportunity it needed to control the interior.
"Our composure worked, and then it didn't work," Cheng said. "There were 4 minutes where we just crapped out, not boxing out on free throws. We gave up six points on that."
Torres hit a layup and a pull-up bank shot to push Punahou's lead to 45-34 with 2:59 left.
Mid-Pac, which didn't score a basket in the fourth quarter, committed 20 turnovers after halftime. Without a deep bench, the young Owls were 0-for-7 from the field in the fourth quarter.
"Mid-Pac came out with a lot of fire and intensity," Taylor said. "Tonight, we showed our depth, and our bench showed they're very hungry."
Punahou, which hauled down 22 offensive boards, outrebounded Mid-Pac 34-22.
At Mid-Pacific Institute Gym
PUNAHOU-- Ciana Aiwohi 2, Melanie Feldman 9, Ilima Macfarlane 2, Dara Tompkison 7, Erin Moon 2, Ashley Satterwhite 0, Janelle Nomura 2, Anna Merrifield 4, Chelsea Deptula 7, Devon Yamauchi 0, Taj'a Wong 0, Kysa Ludviksen 0, Tressa Torres 6, Tiera Jenson 6.
MID-PACIFIC--Paige Young 4, Kayla Gomes 4, Johnnelle Kapua 10, Erin Nishimura 3, Jordan Kealoha 5, Keaton McFadden 2, Jenna Savusa 10.
3-point goals -- Punahou 0, Mid-Pacific 1 (Young).
No. 1 Iolani 61, Maryknoll 31
Jamie Smith scored 15 points and Alana Matayoshi added 10 as the Raiders routed the Spartans by 30.
Sarah Turgeon added nine points as 10 Raiders scored.
Kristen Canencia had nine of her own to lead Maryknoll.
At Iolani H.S. gym
MARYKNOLL--Kristen Canencia 9, Nicole Lee 1, Nicole Fu 6, Amanda Macadangdang 0, Kiana Fuller 6, Tiana Marquez 1, Kimberly Henderson 1, Melissa Ching 0, Sam Chung 7.
IOLANI--Chelsea Unemori 4, Tami Konishi 6, Kylie Ahlo 5, Lori Yamashita 6, Alana Matayoshi 10, Chanel Hirata 2, Dayna Jandoc 0, Jamie Smith 15, Lauren Brown 2, Raechele Takara 2, Sarah Turgeon 9.
3-point goals -- Maryknoll 2 (Canencia, Chung), Iolani 3 (Konishi, Ahlo, Turgeon).