GIRLS DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP
Medlin’s putback lifts Sabers in OT
Most cat fights end with a whimper. This one ended with a full-blown howl.
Ariel Medlin, one of the younger Sabers, hustled for a putback as time expired in overtime to lift Campbell to a thrilling 57-55 win over McKinley last night in the Division II final of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships.
The trophy is the first in girls basketball for Campbell.
A raucous crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center saw Campbell withstand two amazing comebacks by the Tigers. In the end, it was Medlin who came up with a huge play to send her senior teammates off in style.
"I knew this was our last time playing with the seniors," the 5-foot-8 junior said.
The Sabers had the ball with the score tied at 55 and just 14 seconds left. Coach Nathan Macadangdang called time out, telling his team to attack the rim rather than settle for a perimeter shot.
Aloha Dias-Kekahuna, who had a team-high 15 points, found a seam on the baseline and missed a 12-footer. She went after the offensive board, but her follow shot was too strong.
Medlin was in position for the rebound and let go of her shot, which floated straight up and found all net, as the horn blew.
"I didn't even know what the clock was," Medlin said. "I just threw it up and thought, 'Please go in!' Usually, it wont go in unless I used the backboard."
Dias-Kekahuna also had nine rebounds, while Medlin finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kaitlynn Simmonds came off the bench and added 10 big points and eight boards, while Vai Confer had nine rebounds.
The Sabers fell in the OIA White Conference semifinals to Kailua, but never lost confidence.
McKinley struggled against the fullcourt press of the taller, longer Sabers and fell behind 35-22 midway through the third quarter after Dias-Kekahuna scored six points in a row, including a pair of midrange jump shots.
Tigers reserve forward Chelsea Taele provided a spark defensively, and Dinson scored three buckets in a row to keep their team close. But Campbell still led 44-35 midway through the final quarter.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Allyson Villanueva brought McKinley within three, and Sato hit a trey to tie it at 46. McKinley took its first lead of the game at 48-46 on Togiai's pull-up baseline jumper with 1:07 left in regulation.
Campbell answered with a low-post basket by Simmonds to tie it at 48-all with 55 seconds left.
Sato missed a running bank shot with 4 seconds to go, and Dias-Kekahuna's half-court prayer missed at the horn to send the game into overtime.
At Stan Sheriff Center
MCKINLEY -- Jackie Tihano 3, Kylie Sato 8, Pearly Togiai 14, Tatiana Dinson 15, Hanna Yoo 0, Jorina Faletoi 3, Chelsea Taele 2, Allyson Villanueva 10.
CAMPBELL -- Ama Lui 4, Jazmin Brown 2, Ariel Medlin 13, Vai Confer 5, Aloha Dias-Kekahuna 15, Amber Kaulia 8, Kaitlynn Simmonds 10.
3-point goals -- Campbell 0, McKinley 5 (Villanueva 2, Tihano, Sato, Togiai).
Kailua 49, Molokai 48
Kamehameha-Hawaii 48, Hawaii Prep 32