DIVISION I GIRLS FARRINGTON BRACKET
Konawaena survives opener
There's no substitute for experience, which is why the Konawaena Wildcats have reached the state quarterfinals.
Senior Mana Hopkins amassed 27 points and had two big blocks down the stretch as the unseeded 'Cats rallied past Moanalua 52-48 last night in opening-round play of the Girls Basketball State Championship.
A raucous crowd of about 600 at Richard Kitamura Gym saw coach Bobbie Awa's defending state champions improve to 19-4 overall. Third-year guard Kara Hanato-Smith directed traffic through Moanalua's fullcourt press and delivered four clutch free throws in the late going.
"We learned to relax on free throws," she said. "Just like practice."
Britni Ronolo paced Moanalua (9-16) with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Hoku Dela Cruz added 11 points and Qwineysha Wheeler had all eight of her points in the final quarter as Na Menehune tried to rally.
It was a similar battle to the one back in December, when Konawaena won by a point in overtime at Moanalua's preseason tournament.
"For three quarters, that was the best we've played," said Ronolo, who also plays softball for two-sport coach Kristie Morikawa. "Mana's really good and they just never gave up. That's why they've gone this far."
The game went through five lead changes in the third quarter before Moanalua took a 34-29 lead on consecutive baskets by Ronolo.
Konawaena, ranked sixth in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, opened the fourth quarter with a halfcourt trap that reaped instant rewards. Hopkins scored on a low-post move and Hanato-Smith fed Misilosa U'ulopa for a fastbreak bucket to give Kona the lead for good, 35-34. Hopkins, a 5-foot-9 forward, scored eight straight points to spark the Wildcats.
Free throws by Hanato-Smith and Malia Tanaka stretched Kona's lead to 49-40 with 1:08 to play. Na Menehune rallied behind a fullcourt press and pulled within 49-46 on a pair of foul shots by Wheeler, but got no closer.
Hanato-Smith sliced through the press and found Tanaka open for an easy layup and a five-point lead with 52 seconds left. Moanalua got no closer.
Moanalua fed Ronolo in the low post often early on.
"It was always a mismatch. We had three guards and they had three posts," Hanato-Smith said. "We had to try something new."
That turned out to be a tough halfcourt press that Hopkins thrived in, as well as a renewed mind-set.
"Auntie Bobbie said, 'Everyone has to attack,' " she said. "We had to work hard and play our game."
At Farrington H.S. gym
MOANALUA -- A.J. Verdida 0, Hoku Dela Cruz 11, Amanda Selvey 0, Janelle Uncangco 0, Qwineysha Wheeler 8, Britni Ronolo 21, Indah Widyakusuma 2, Justine Aguas 4, Joanna Nicolas 2.
KONAWAENA -- Staysha Galigo 0, Malia Tanaka 6, Thea Hanato-Smith 0, Kara Hanato-Smith 11, Kimberly Brown 2, Anuhea Wall 2, Mana Hopkins 27, Misilosa U'ulopa 4, Lucy Brown 0.
3-point goals: Moanalua 0, Konawaena 1 (K. Hanato-Smith).
Radford 60, Roosevelt 46
Marlena Malepeai had 19 points and seven rebounds as the Lady Rams overcame the loss of center Ta Nitra Byrd. Bui Baravilala and Brittini Fuller added 12 points each for Radford (20-7), which played the final three quarters without Byrd. The 6-foot sophomore was ill with the flu and sat after scoring six points in the first quarter.
The Lady Rams outrebounded the Rough Riders 29-20.
At Farrington H.S. gym
ROOSEVELT -- Dianna Zane 5, Tiana Sugui 4, Samantha Murakami 0, Kathleen Nakata 2, Jayna Tasaka 5, Tiyana Nakasone 3, Kelcie Namba 0, Keely Bitanga 7, Tasha Kamakawiwo'ole 12, Cierra Kapea 2, Mikela Thoemmes 6.
RADFORD -- Melanie Alofaituli 0, Itali Lindsey 2, Bui Baravilala 12, Antoinette Carradine 0, Disa Brown 1, Marlena Malepeai 19, Brittini Fuller 12, Chelsea-Ann Villanueva 4, Ja'Kira Leggett 0, Marsharen Dupont 4, Jasmine Mailo 0, Ta Nitra Byrd 6.
3-point goals: Roosevelt 3 (Tasaka, Zane, Nakasone), Radford none.
Division I girls tournament
» Konawaena 52, Moanalua 48
» Radford 60, Roosevelt 46
» Maui 63, Farrington 59, OT
» Iolani 59, Aiea 48
» Lahainaluna vs. Radford, 6 p.m., at Farrington
» Punahou vs. Konawaena, 8 p.m., at Farrington
» Waiakea vs. Maui, 6 p.m., at Kaimuki
» Kalani vs. Iolani, 8 p.m., at Farrington