HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Buffanblu girls wake up to rout Granada, Calif.
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A championship run is often sparked by defense, which is something No. 1-ranked Punahou has plenty of this season.
The Buffanblu improved to 4-0 in nonconference play with a decisive 59-30 win over Granada (Calif.) last night at the Iolani Classic. Other opening-round winners in the first girls tourney at the Classic were Redondo Union and Narbonne, both of California, and host Iolani.
Twins Shawna-Lei and Shaena-Lyn Kuehu combined for 28 points and 19 rebounds, but it was Punahou's relentless defense that dominated the game.
Granada, coached by former Oregon standout Carrie Mizusawa, committed 31 turnovers.
"Punahou is well disciplined and works hard," she said. "Their coach has a very good program over there."
The Kuehu twins continued to look strong after suffering ACL injuries last year. Shaena-Lyn, who had a team-high 11 rebounds, played without a knee brace.
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They looked just a wee bit rusty and a wee bit flat.
Fortunately, coach Mike Taylor had a way to wake up his Punahou Buffanblu in a 59-30 win over Granada (Calif.) last night in the opening round of the Iolani Classic.
Punahou, ranked No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Preseason Top 10, had balanced scoring from twins Shawna-Lei and Shaena-Lyn Kuehu. The senior sisters each scored 14 points and continued to look strong after suffering ACL injuries last year.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu, a two-time Star-Bulletin player of the year, had eight rebounds and seven steals. Shaena-Lyn Kuehu had a team-high 11 boards.
Guard Janelle Nomura had seven points, five assists and five steals. Tressa Torres tallied eight points and Dara Tompkison added seven. Punahou will play Narbonne (Calif.) in the 8 p.m. semifinal.
Iolani and Redondo (Calif.) Union meet in the other semifinal at 6:30 p.m.
"This isn't where we want to be. We just want to keep pushing ourselves," said Shawna-Lei Kuehu, who recently signed with California. "During the year I was out, a lot of players got better. I can't relax. I have to bust my butt to get back."
Punahou's swarming fullcourt press got a boost of energy after a talk by Taylor. Granada finished the game with 31 turnovers.
"My girls played hard. We talked about turnovers and shooting free throws," Granada coach Corrie Mizusawa said. "Obviously, shooting 8-for-24, you're not going to have too good of a game. It's going to be hard to beat anyone in California or Hawaii scoring 30 points."
Ali Westbrook led the Matadors with seven points. Katie Thralls added six.
Granada was within 13-9 when Punahou went on a 12-0 run. Tompkison's 3-pointer gave the Buffanblu a 25-9 lead with 4:22 left in the second quarter.
Redondo Union 44, Kamehameha 29
Atonye Nyingifa scored 16 points to lead the Sea Hawks (Calif). Casey Lum scored six to pace the Warriors.
Iolani 51, Moanalua 29
Jamie Smith dropped in 21 points for the Raiders. Britni Ronolo had 10 for Na Menehune.
Narbonne 88, Roosevelt 51
Reiko Thomas led the Gauchos (Calif.) with 21 points. Tiana Sugui had 17 for the Rough Riders.