Analee Viena-Lota carries the Warriors to a win
The first time Kamehameha and Punahou met on the hardwood this spring, the Warriors got a key shot from Analee Viena-Lota late in overtime for a one-point win.
The second time, she had "only" 10 points in a four-point loss at Punahou.
The third time? Viena-Lota took a load on her shoulders to catapult her Warriors into position for a state-tournament berth. She scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as second-ranked Kamehameha outlasted No. 6 Punahou 49-44 last night at Kekuhaupio Gym.
Viena-Lota shot 9-for-11 from the field despite Punahou's air-tight defense.
"A lot of those shots, she had to work for," Warriors coach Clay Cockett said. "She's just a hard matchup for anyone."
While Kamehameha (10-2) will square off with Iolani (10-2) for the league title tomorrow, Punahou will chase a state berth in the postseason tournament.
"Every game's a championship game now," Buffanblu coach Mike Taylor said. "We're guaranteed one game. If we win, we get the privilege of playing one more game."
For three years, she was a star in the making.
This year, Analee Viena-Lota is shining brightly. Last night, the senior swingman poured in 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as No. 2 Kamehameha fought off sixth-ranked Punahou 49-44 before a raucous senior-night crowd at Kekuhaupio Gym.
The victory sets up a winner-take-all showdown between Kamehameha (10-2) and Iolani (10-2) tomorrow at McCabe Gym. One team will take home the Interscholastic League of Honolulu crown and an automatic state berth. The loser will enter the league tournament in a battle for the remaining state berth.
The Warriors can thank their low-key playmaker.
"It's senior night. It's my last game in this gym," said Viena-Lota, who will play at Cal State Northridge next season. "Punahou is very intense. We had some mental breakdowns, but we believe in each other."
She scored from all over the floor against Punahou's swarming man-to-man defense, nailing tough pull-up jumpers when the rest of her team was out of options.
"We fought and gave ourselves chances," said Punahou coach Mike Taylor, whose team rallied to within 39-37 midway through the fourth quarter. "But credit Ana. She's the best player in our league, hands down."
Viena-Lota hit nine of her 11 field-goal attempts -- Kamehameha shot 13-for-35 as a team -- and after missing her first three tries from the free-throw line, sank eight in a row. She also had three steals and only one turnover.
"When you're 5-11 with long arms and can raise up like that, it's a tough matchup. When she's determined, she's just hard to stop," Taylor said.
Kylle Roy helped the Warriors (18-2 overall) win the battle of the boards. Roy had 10 points and seven boards, and Kamehameha outrebounded the visitors 29-20.
Kamehameha had a slight edge at the foul line, shooting 22-for-37. Punahou shot 16-for-26 from the stripe.
Dara Tompkison led Punahou (7-5) with 10 points, including two key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
After the Warriors took a 39-31 lead on Viena-Lota's baseline drive for a layup, they spread the floor. However, Punahou's trapping defense forced turnovers.
Chelsea Deptula had three of her five steals in the final quarter, and she hit three free throws during a Punahou run. Along with a clutch 3-pointer by Tompkison, the Buffanblu pulled within 39-37 with 3:21 remaining.
Cockett didn't call a timeout.
"I was a little surprised," Viena-Lota said.
But Cockett felt comfortable in that situation.
"I know these girls can do it," Cockett said. "I have to be confident that they can control the pace, when to step on the gas and when to step on the brake."
Kamehameha reversed the momentum by breaking Punahou's halfcourt press. Viena-Lota led the way, feeding Roy for an easy layup, then turning a steal into a breakaway basket. A 6-0 run gave the Warriors a 45-37 lead with 1:33 to play.
Tompkison hit another 3-pointer from the corner, and Tressa Torres scored on an inbounds pass to bring the Buffanblu to within 45-42 with 39 seconds to go.
Free throws by Lindsey Wong opened the lead to five, however.
Janelle Nomura's layup brought Punahou to within 47-44 with 3 seconds to play, but Casey Lum's long pass upcourt to Viena-Lota ended Punahou's chances. Viena-Lota finished the game off with a couple of free throws with one-tenth of a second left.
Now, all that stands between Kamehameha and a state berth is Iolani.
"Just because we beat them twice (in three games) doesn't mean we'll beat them again," Cockett warned. "Especially when they have Jamie Smith."
All three games between Punahou and Kamehameha were close in league play. Kamehameha won in overtime on April 7, 55-54. On April 19, Punahou won at home, 47-43.
At Kekuhaupio gym
PUNAHOU--Melanie Feldman 4, Ilima Macfarlane 0, Dara Tompkison 10, Ashley Satterwhite 3, Janelle Nomura 5, Chelsea Deptula 7, Devon Yamauchi 5, Taj'a Wong 1, Tressa Torres 9.
KAMEHAMEHA--Alexis Furtado 2, Analee Viena-Lota 27, Pomaikai Kalakau 0, Shaleese Javillo 0, Lindsey Wong 6, Tiana Abbley 0, Pualani Kalakau 0, Alexandres-Joan Akana 0, Kylle Roy 10, Casey Lum 4.
3-point goals -- Punahou 2 (Tompkison 2), Kamehameha 1 (Viena-Lota).
No. 4 Iolani 55, Mid-Pacific 39
Jamie Smith scored 25 points and Alana Matayoshi added 11 as the Raiders earned a date with Kamehameha for the league title.
Iolani held the Owls without a scorer in double figures, but three Mid-Pacific shooters hit 3-pointers.
Iolani will play Kamehameha for the ILH regular-season championship tomorrow.
At Mid-Pacific Institute gym
IOLANI--Chelsea Unemori 6, Tami Konishi 2, Kylie Ahlo 4, Alana Matayoshi 11, Chanel Hirata 0, Dayna Jandoc 2, Jamie Smith 25, Raechele Takara 0, Sarah Turgeon 5.
MID-PACIFIC--Paige Young 0, Kayla Gomes 2, Johnnelle Kapua 6, Shanon Nishimura 9, Erin Nishimura 0, Jordan Kealoha 9, Keaton McFadden 7, Jenna Savusa 6.
3-point goals--Iolani 2 (Unemori), Mid-Pacific 3 (Kapua, S. Nishimura, Kealoha).
Division II varsity
Christian Academy 48, Le Jardin 33
Punahou 40, Kamehameha 37
Sacred Hearts 46, La Pietra 32
St. Andrew's 43, Hawaii Baptist 37
University 40, Hanalani 38
High scorers--CA: Ashley Medcalf 22. LJ: Ryann Kurahara 14. Kam: Nue Apiki 12. SHA: Nalani Bayne 17, Kuhina Luis 10. LP: Leah Kaina 12, Megan Gilles 11. StA: Kellee Tom 16, Maile Tua 10. HBA: Carissa Onuma 12, Ashley Salado 12. UHS: Brittany Copp 13. Han: Janelle Fetui 21.
Lutheran 60, St. Andrew's 49
Sacred Hearts 34, Maryknoll 30
University 36, La Pietra 32
Junior varsity playoffs
Kailua 45, Waianae 39
McKinley 40, Campbell 28