Iolani and Kahuku in water polo final
Iolani overwhelmed Lahainaluna at yesterday's Local Motion Hawaii High School Athletic Association girls water polo state championships.
The semifinal match held at Central Oahu Regional Park featured a spirited Iolani squad that dominated every phase of the game.
The 16-2 victory earns Iolani an opportunity to play in the championship match against Kahuku today.
STATE GIRLS WATER POLO
All games at Central Oahu Regional Park
Seeds: 1. Iolani. 2. Kahuku. 3. Hawaii Prep. 4. Lahainaluna.
Game 5: KS-Hawaii 8, Kapolei 6
6: Roosevelt 9, Leilehua 3
7: Kahuku 9, Hawaii Prep 7
8: Iolani 16, Lahainaluna 2
9: Seventh-place game--Kapolei vs. Leilehua, 10:15 a.m.
10: Fifth-place game--KS-Hawaii vs. Roosevelt, 11:30 a.m.
11: Third-place game--Hawaii Prep vs. Lahainaluna, 12:45 p.m.
12: Championship game--Kahuku vs. Iolani, 2 p.m.
The Red Raiders, champions of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, held on to beat Hawaii Prep 9-7 in the other semifinal yesterday.
Ashley Nickie put her offensive skills on display for Iolani, scoring an incredible seven goals. Teammate Dara Tawarahara also put on an offensive show with four goals.
Iolani fired the ball into the net 10 times in the first half, then went into cruise control the rest of the match. Lahainaluna didn't score until the 1:06 mark of the third quarter.
"We had our game plan and the girls followed it. They executed. I think they played well today. They are excited to play in the championship. This is what they worked for," said Iolani coach Linda Look.
Added sophomore Lea Masatsugu, "It has been our goal from the beginning of the season to get to this next game. I never played on such a good team. We are playing a lot better than we did at the start of the season."
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu champions improved their record to 9-1 and will attempt to continue the winning tradition that the ILH schools have had in winning the state title. During the tourney's short history, Punahou captured the first two state titles and Kamehameha won in 2006.
Kahuku 9, Hawaii Prep 7
The Red Raiders withstood a strong challenge from Ka Makani to extend their unbeaten streak to 15.
The Red Raiders' last defeat was a year ago in the state title match to Kamehameha. They'll get another shot at the state title today vs. Iolani.
Kahuku got off to a good start to lead 3-1 after one quarter. But Hawaii Prep wouldn't fold. The Big Island team came roaring back into contention in the second quarter on the strength of four goals to take control.
Down 5-4 at halftime, Kahuku stepped up its level of play and reclaimed the advantage with three goals in the third quarter. Rosie Jaffurs tied the score at 6-all at the 2:01 mark, then Rebecca Fonoimoana netted the go-ahead goal with 1:11 left in the quarter to give the Red Raiders the lead once again.
Kahuku went on to score two more goals in the final quarter and withstood a late comeback attempt by Hawaii Prep.
"We came out strong and we were clicking," said Kahuku coach Aukai Ferguson. "We got off to a 3-1 lead, then I felt we kind of let up a little bit thinking it would be easy the whole game. (Hawaii Prep's) Alex Eason was having a great second quarter."
Gina Ahue led the Kahuku attack with three goals. Eason led Hawaii Prep with four goals.