Rodrigues sparks Roosevelt to win
Iwalani Rodrigues and her Roosevelt teammates were not about to take the Kahuku Red Raiders lightly again.
The junior guard poured in 21 points and Tiyana Nakasone came off the bench to score 13 as the third-ranked Rough Riders severely outplayed Kahuku 61-38 last night in the quarterfinals of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs.
Roosevelt, the East's top seed, advanced to the semifinals to play Farrington and had the bonus of clinching a state berth.
Tiana Sugui added 12 points and point guard Dianna Zane chipped in eight for the Rough Riders, who pushed the tempo throughout the game.
"We brought them to play our kind of (up-tempo) game," said Rodrigues. "I thought that loss (earlier in the season to Kahuku) was pretty good for us. It brought us down to earth."
If there was some measure of revenge to be had for Bobby Keanini and his Riders (12-1), the coach didn't show it. Keanini focused on the positives, instead.
"We had a really good week of practice. That's where it starts off," Keanini said. "The last game against Kahuku, they were really outstanding. We applied what we practiced to the game tonight. Tiyana Nakasone had a big game, Dianna Zane with her passing. It all comes together when they make shots."
Roosevelt shot 43 percent from the field, and Rodrigues made her first four shots to extend the lead to 27-10 after one quarter. The Rough Riders maintained a 20-point advantage for much of the second half.
Kahuku coach Peni Latu remained reserved after last week's 62-60 upset of previously unbeaten Roosevelt, an approach similar to the underdog attitude of coach Don Nelson of the NBA's Golden State Warriors during this week's series win over the Dallas Mavericks.
"I kept everything in perspective; that game meant nothing to them," Latu said of Roosevelt, which already had locked up the OIA East. "And I knew that when we came back to this game, we had to step up our game or else.
"Reality set (in) for us. They just came and ran us off the court."
He was most impressed with the play of Rodrigues, who grabbed seven rebounds.
"She's so outstanding that it kind of takes away (advantages) when you can't match up with her. We fought and that's the best we could do. The better team came out to win it tonight and there's no doubt Roosevelt is for real."
At Roosevelt H.S. gym
KAHUKU--Taeja Afalava 15, Brittney Fesolai 5, Kelcy Latu 0, Krystle Manguba-Glover 0, Vaimalama Tito 5, Nicole Nautu 4, Keisha Moeai 4, Alayna Galeai 2, Tania Latu 0, Kenra Moe 3.
ROOSEVELT--Dianna Zane 8, Tiana Sugui 12, Iwalani Rodrigues 21, Jayna Tasaka 3, Shandree Armstead 2, Tiyana Nakasone 13, Tasia Kamakawiwoole 2, Kaui Kuehu 0.
3-point goals--Kahuku 2 (Tito, Nautu), Roosevelt 6 (Nakasone 3, Zane, Sugui, Tasaka).
Farrington 50, Aiea 40
C'ani Kealoha and the Farrington Governors were not to be denied in the OIA Red playoff semifinals.
Kealoha scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Govs past Aiea, clinching a state playoff berth in the process.
Farrington went on a 12-2 run to break open the fourth quarter and turn a three-point deficit into a 41-34 lead. After three quick Aiea baskets, the Govs went on a 7-1 run at the free-throw line -- capping a 21-point quarter -- to seal the game.
"It was just a fun effort to play everybody ... together," said Farrington coach Jenic Tumaneng. "(C'ani) looked for it offensively and that woke up the rest of her teammates. If she can score, they look to pick up the rest."
Natasha Helsham scored 16, and Capri Holiona added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Na Alii.
At Roosevelt H.S. gym
FARRINGTON--Jorell Telefoni-Sablan 7, C'ani Kealoha 23, Elane Leaupepe 6, Macilee Moi 2, Deja Bryce 8, Honour Stone 0, Valerie Lesu 4, Polohiva Folaumahina 0, Angie Gasio 0.
AIEA--Jennifer Yuen 0, Natasha Helsham 16, Michelle Shiroma 0, Nohelani Fonoti 3, Capri Holiona 13, Carrol Sio 2, Tierra Tauanuu 2, Emily Tausaga 4, Natasha Fong 0, Tasha Johnson 0.
3-point goals--Farrington 3 (Kealoha 3), Aiea 0.