HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Honokaa upsets No. 1 Roosevelt
Keisha Kanekoa leads the BIIF runners-up with 31 points as the Dragons win 53-45
Milton Lau Kong couldn't be prouder to be a Dragon.
The father of Honokaa coach Shawna Lau Kong underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery recently, and the Dragons gave him a fitting gift for his 58th birthday by upsetting No. 1-seeded Roosevelt 53-45 in the Division I quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships at the Stan Sheriff Center yesterday.
"I'm sure he's happy," the coach said.
"He was here (on Oahu) for three weeks, but he's back home and watching our games when they're on TV."
University of Hawaii recruit Keisha Kanekoa was on fire, scoring 31 points and grabbing nine rebounds to power the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up Dragons (16-3). She shot 9-for-15 from the field and 12-for-15 from the line as Honokaa took an early 14-point lead and held on for dear life.
"I just had to come back. Shooters keep on shooting," said Kanekoa, who had struggled with her shooting in the opening round against Moanalua. "It's a one-and-you're-out situation. Coach said you gotta go big or go home. We know they're the No. 1 seed, but Golden State knocked off the (top-seeded Dallas) Mavericks."
Roosevelt got 17 points and 10 rebounds from Iwalani Rodrigues, but shot 29 percent from the field against Honokaa's man-to-man defense (14-for-48), including 2-for-13 from beyond the arc.
The Dragons were nearly flawless in transition and on backdoor cuts, hitting layup after layup. They shot 55 percent from the field (17-for-31) and 75 percent from the line (18-for-24).
Honokaa took command of the game with an 18-0 run midway through the first half. Kanekoa, normally a pass-first point guard, imposed her will on the Oahu Interscholastic Association champions. She drove for a bucket to start the second quarter, blocked a shot by Dianna Zane, and fed her sister, Kaylene, for a layup.
After Jessika Lorenzo used a spin move in the post against Rodrigues for a bucket, Honokaa had a 25-11 lead.
Roosevelt chipped away and pulled within 33-29 after Tasia Kamakawiwo'ole scored under the glass with 5:03 remaining. Kanekoa sat for a spell after picking up her third foul, but returned to help the Dragons overcome a tough Roosevelt press. With Kanekoa drawing double teams for the first time, her teammates came through with more layups, and Lorenzo's free throws pushed Honokaa's lead back up to 44-33 with 2:49 to go.
Rodrigues tried to spark a comeback, scoring four points in a row to bring the Rough Riders within 46-41 with 1:58 left.
However, Kanekoa hit three foul shots and Lorenzo hit two more as the Dragons pulled away.
"We did enough of a job of blocking out," Lau Kong said.
Honokaa outrebounded Roosevelt 29-25.
"Tomorrow (against Punahou), we're gonna need a better effort."
Kanekoa is ready.
"Two times, we've made semifinals, and we're hungry for the state title," Kanekoa said. "I believe we can do it. We all believe we can do it."
Honokaa 53, Roosevelt 45
At Stan Sheriff Center
HONOKAA--Keisha Kanekoa 31, Kawehi Correa 0, Jessika Lorenzo 7, Jamaika Lorenzo 7, Kaylene Kanekoa 6, April Cano 2, Nicole Ancheta 0, Lauwa'e Ablao 0, Courtney Nickel 0.
ROOSEVELT--Dianna Zane 6, Tiana Sugui 3, Iwalani Rodrigues 17, Shandree Armstead 4, Tasia Kamakawiwoole 11, Kathleen Nakata 0, Jayna Tasaka 2, Tiyana Nakasone 2, Kaui Kuehu 0.
3-point goals--Honokaa 1 (Kanekoa), Roosevelt 2 (Sugui, Rodrigues).