Byrd is Ram tough
For a night, youth was served.
The youngest of them, freshman Ta Nitra Byrd, powered her way to 18 points and 16 rebounds as No. 10 Radford edged Kalaheo 43-41 last night in the quarterfinals of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs.
"We talked this week about weathering the storm, the way Golden State did against Dallas," longtime Radford coach David Lane said, referring to Kalaheo's frantic rally in the final 2 minutes. "We knew they'd make a run."
Marlena Malepeai took command in the second half with some clutch shots off the dribble. With Kalaheo employing a box-and-one against Byrd, Malepeai finished with 14 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Radford (12-1) will play Kalani in the semifinals on Wednesday. Byrd, a 6-footer, made nine of her 12 field-goal attempts, but her youth showed with an 0-for-5 night at the foul line.
Kalaheo's savvy senior guard, Shanadee Canon, sparked a late rally. She scored eight points in the final 1:29 and nearly brought the Lady Mustangs back from a nine-point deficit.
Radford, the top seed out of the Red West, got the benefit of two timeouts midway through the final quarter.
"I wanted them to rest," Lane explained. That allowed the Lady Rams to extend the lead to 40-31 after Malepeai and Bui Baravilala scored buckets.
Down nine with less than 2 minutes left, Canon swished a 3-pointer from the corner, then hit another with 34 seconds left to bring Kalaheo within 43-39.
After Radford's Kiara Dykes missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 27 seconds left, Kalaheo had a golden opportunity. However, the Mustangs missed three shots in a row before Canon added a final basket with 1 second left for the final margin.
At Mililani H.S. gym
KALAHEO--Nicole Cobb 4, Delicia Wilson 4, Sola Williams 2, Angela Wozniak 2, Anu Ah Yun 4, Shanadee Canon 18, Kourtni Thomas 5, Kaua Cole 0, Aui Williams 2.
RADFORD--Leslie Lazo 0, Itali Lindsay 0, Bui Baravilala 5, Marlena Malepeai 14, Brittni Fuller 2, Kiara Dykes 2, Chelsea-Ann Villanueva 2, Ta Nitra Byrd 18.
3-point goals--Kalaheo 2 (Canon 2), Radford 0.
Kalani 78, Moanalua 41
The Lady Falcons, seeded second in the East, blew the game open with a 24-0 first-half run to earn a state tournament berth.
Megan Kamehiro scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to pace Kalani (11-2). Courtney Gaddis added 16 points and six rebounds, and center Rhianna Farm tallied 11 points and eight boards.
Ronolo didn't score her first basket until 6:43 was left in the game.
"We're looking to improve more on defense than offense, to put more pressure on the other team," said Kamehiro, who shot 3-for-4 from 3-point range. "We know it's a long way to go, but we welcome the challenge."
At Mililani H.S. gym
MOANALUA--Brianna Lagat-Ramos 5, A.J. Verdida 0, Hoku Dela Cruz 5, Michelle Hardy 10, Jalencia Brown 0, Janelle Uncangco 6, Jamie Ronolo 7, Indah Widyakusuma 4, Britni Ronolo 4, Tahirah Gibson 0.
KALANI--Chloe Martin 2, Brandi Yamaguchi 4, Kim Balsai 3, Violet Alama 6, Allison Neussl 4, Kim Cabuyadao 6, Chelsea Kimura 0, Megan Kamehiro 19, Tia Kobayashi 3, Kacie Gushiken 2, Rhianna Farm 11, Alisha Bonifacio 0, Courtney Gaddis 16, Chaude Bonifacio 0, Ashlyn Onaga 1, Jamie Higa 1.
3-point goals--Moanalua 2 (Lagat-Ramos, Uncangco), Kalani 3 (Kamehiro 3).