HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Punahou holds off Iolani
A dominant effort by Jamie Smith wasn't quite enough to undo the solid all-around play of the Punahou Buffanblu.
Smith, a 6-foot senior, tallied 27 points and 15 rebounds to rally the No. 2 Raiders to within four of the top-ranked Buffanblu with 1 minute, 41 seconds left. But Punahou held Iolani scoreless the rest of the way to win 48-38 at Hemmeter Fieldhouse and remain unbeaten in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play at 3-0.
Iolani fell to 1-1 after the first of three ILH regular-season meetings between the teams.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu, the two-time Star-Bulletin Player of the Year, worked herself into a good game by the end of the night with 15 points and eight boards, while point guard Rebecca Lau helped ease the absence of injured playmaker Janelle Nomura with eight of her 11 points in the first quarter.
Smith outscored Punahou 10-2 to start the fourth, and Chanel Hirata made an awkward catch in the corner, regained control and nailed a high-arching 3-pointer to pull the Raiders to within four.
After a missed Punahou free throw, Smith had a chance to cut the lead to a single possession, but she missed perhaps her easiest shot all night inside and Iolani's ensuing possessions were a series of badly missed 3-pointers, turnovers and overall frustration at the hands of the Buffanblu fullcourt press.
"I think we exerted a lot of energy just catching up," Iolani coach Glenn Takara said. "You gotta give credit to Punahou too, they executed what they had to do. We play everybody three times, so I don't think we're out of it yet. It just makes it a little harder, but I think we'll be all right."
Kuehu converted five of six free throws in the final minute to pull the lead back to double digits. She and twin sister Shaena-Lyn are working their way back into form after missing last year with knee injuries.
"Shawna's a warrior. She's getting better day by day, week by week," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said. "All we want from her is a steady effort. Shaena played a great second half tonight. Unfortunately we lost her to fouls. But that's what it's all about, getting something from everybody, and we did that."
Eight Buffanblu players had a basket, while only four who suited up scored for the Raiders -- but Smith's play was almost enough anyway. She nearly had a double-double by halftime with three blocked shots, and hit all three of her 3-point attempts in the second half. She also kept Shaena-Lyn Kuehu in foul trouble for most of the game, and knocked down 12 of 13 attempts at the free-throw line.
"Jamie always gives a superb effort on both sides of the court," Taylor said. "She's the heart and soul of that team, one of the top players in the entire state. She's really worked hard on her game and you can tell, with her step-back 3-point shot and handling the ball. When you compete against her she's going to keep her team in it no matter what."
Punahou jumped out to a 17-6 lead and settled for a 25-16 halftime advantage.
Smith, an All-State first-team selection last year, was Iolani's only answer. She scored 11 of Iolani's 16 points in the first half, and grabbed eight rebounds. She helped saddle both Kuehus -- her cousins -- with two fouls before halftime.
It was her second double-double in as many games, but Smith deflected praise to her teammates for helping claw back in the second half.
"I was proud of my team in the third and fourth quarters. We definitely didn't play our sharpest ball at the beginning," Smith said. "If (we did) it would have been a closer game when we made that run."
At Hemmeter Fieldhouse
IOLANI--Kylie Ahlo 4, Chanel Hirata 6, Dayna Jandoc 0, Jamie Smith 27, Raechele Takara 0, Tami Konishi 0, Lori Yamashita 0, Lahela Usui 1, Hailey Maeda 0.
PUNAHOU--Rebecca Lau 11, Dara Thompkison 4, Shawna-Lei Kuehu 15, Shaena-Lyn Kuehu 2, Tiera Jenson 2, Tressa Torres 8, Ashley Satterwhite 4, Anna Merrifield 2, Brittnie Lau 0, Janet Li 0, Jenny Ching 0.
3-point goals--Iolani 5 (Smith 3, Hirata 2). Punahou 4 (R. Lau 2, Thompkison, Shawna-Lei Kuehu).
No. 5 Kamehameha 50, Mid-Pacific 38
Lindsey Wong scored 14 points to lead the Warriors over the Owls.
At Kekuhaupi'o Gym
MID-PACIFIC--Paige Young 0, Ashley Yamachika 6, Johnelle Kapua 7, Kristin Yama 0, Shanon Nishimura 0, Kelli Shibata 0, Alyssa Kau 0, Jordan Kealoha 14, Keaton McFadden 4, Jenna Savusa 7.
KAMEHAMEHA--Pualei Furtado 6, Zayne Apiki 0, Pomai Kalakau 2, Shaleese Javillo 6, Lindsey Wong 14, Tiana Abbley 9, Rhani Kanealakala 2, Mara Mukai 0, Kylie Roy 2, Casey Lum 9.
3-point goals--Mid-Pacific 2 (Kapua, Kealoha), Kamehameha 2 (Wong, Abbley).