HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Raecha-Ann Kauahikaua of Sacred Hearts went to the hoop against Campbell's Vai Confer and Jenny Sweeney.
Sacred Hearts and KS-Hawaii to play for D-II championship
In order to play faster, Sacred Hearts figured it needed to get a whole lot slower.
The Lancers forced a larger Campbell team to adjust to a stall game by extending the Sabers' defense the length of the court, and won 53-37 last night in the semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Division II Girls State Championships.
Sacred Hearts will play Kamehameha-Hawaii at 6 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center for the Division II title.
If Campbell wouldn't budge out of its favored zone defense, coach Alan Matsui's team would hold the ball at halfcourt -- for minutes at a time -- as the Lancers demonstrated when they held the ball the final 4 minutes of the first half. That resulted in a 2-0 scoring period in favor of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champions.
"They were just too big. If they didn't want to come out, that was fine with us," Matsui said. "(When they did) we knew our precision offense and patience would take over."
Campbell employs a front line of two 6-foot players and two at 5-foot-9. Sacred Hearts' tallest player is 5-foot-8.
Initially, Campbell coach Nathan Macadangdang ordered his players not to move up to halfcourt and check the Lancer guards. But by the second half, he had no choice but to pick up Sacred Hearts with a fullcourt defense.
"They woulda probably done it the whole game," Macadangdang said. "That was kind of" -- the coach paused -- "interesting tactics."
When the third quarter started, the Lancers employed the same tactics. Macadangdang had seen enough and had his players switch to man-to-man and move up to guard the length of the court.
This played into Sacred Hearts' hands. The Lancers got by the slower Sabers and found their way in for layups; they gained a 20-point lead in the middle of the third quarter.
The teams exploded for 26 points apiece in the fourth, as it turned into a free-throw parade late. The closest Campbell got was with Oli Kila's running 3-pointer to come within 16 at the final buzzer.
Nalani Bayne and Raecha-Ann Kauahikaua scored 12 points apiece to lead the Lancers (15-0).
Oli Kila and Aloha Dias-Kekahuna had nine apiece to lead Campbell (14-3), the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Division runner-up.
Kamehameha-Hawaii 73, McKinley 53
Kanisha Bello finished with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists and Tabitha Eseroma added 11 points and seven boards as the Warriors knocked off the second-seeded Tigers.
Chelsie Sato finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three steals and Kaitlyn Ikehara nailed four 3-pointers and added 14 points for the Tigers, who shot just 20-for-42 from the free-throw line.
Kamehameha-Hawaii shot 64 percent from the field, while McKinley finished just 13-for-47.
McKinley's freshman duo of Jackie Tihano and Kylie Sato combined on just 3-for-14 shooting.
The Warriors outscored the Tigers 42-27 in the first half.