Subs help Punahou sink MPI


POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2009

This time, they avoided the drama.

Thanks to super subs Mysha Sataraka and Julia Brand, second-ranked Punahou took command in the third quarter for a surprisingly easy 60-43 win over No. 7 Mid-Pacific last night at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

Sataraka scored 16 points and Brand added 12 to lead the Buffanblu.

A crowd of about 300 saw Punahou improve to 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. Mid-Pac slipped to 13-6 and 3-5 in league play against a team that it nearly beat a month ago. Punahou won that contest 41-39 on a last-second putback by Jenny Ching.

Punahou was new at solving the 1-3-1 zone defense back then—it was the ILH opener for both teams. Since then, the Buffanblu have become surgeons of zone defenses, dissecting and carving efficiently.

Senior point guard Janelle Nomura finished with 12 points and 10 assists to anchor Punahou.

“;There were so many problems against Mid-Pac the first time. After that, every team started to zone us,”; Nomura said. “;Now we're moving the ball in and out, getting the zone to shift. We've collectively learned.”;

Brand, in particular, was a big beneficiary. Cutting into the gaps of MPI's 1-3-1 and 2-3 matchup zones, she went 6-for-10, all on mid-range shots in the key.

“;I just kind of concentrated on turning my game on,”; said Brand, a 5-foot-10 sophomore. “;I just took shots.”;

Sataraka was a swift thief on the other end. The 5-foot-9 freshman had four steals, scoring on breakaway layups almost every time.

“;She anticipates so well,”; Nomura said. “;You can't even teach that.”;

Punahou's defense forced 15 Mid-Pac turnovers, and the Buffanblu had 10 giveaways.

Punahou played a complete game, shooting 51 percent from the field (24-for-47) and stretching Mid-Pac's defense with the long-range shooting of Rebecca Lau, who hit four treys and finished with 12 points.

Ashley Yamachika led Mid-Pac with 12 points. Johnnelle Kapua and Keaton McFadden wound up with eight points each against Punahou's physical man and 2-3 zone defenses. McFadden hauled in a team-high nine caroms.

After three lead changes, Punahou took a 15-12 advantage on Lau's third trey of the first quarter—just 2 seconds before the buzzer. The Buffanblu never trailed again, opening an eight-point margin midway through the second quarter.

MPI stayed close (26-22) after one half thanks in part to a 14-8 edge on the boards. However, Punahou's depth wore down the Owls, who were outrebounded 16-6 after intermission.

Though the visitors were within 41-36 after Kapua's pull-up 10-foot jumper, they went cold for the next 8 minutes. With Mid-Pac forced to come out into a man defense, Punahou used a flex offense, among others, to go on an 11-2 run over a span of 8 minutes and 48 seconds.

Nomura's free throws pushed Punahou's lead to 52-38 with 2:04 left.

“;It's not executing as well as we want to. It's just us,”; Kapua said. “;It's frustrating because we know we can do it.”;

Mid-Pacific (3-5)121014743
Punahou (7-1)1511201460

MID-PACIFIC—Paige Young 0, Ashley Yamachika 12, Johnnelle Kapua 8, Shannon Nishimura 0, Jordan Kealoha 7, Taylor Babbitt 2, Keaton McFadden 8, Jenna Savusa 6.

PUNAHOU—Rebecca Lau 12, Julianne Nomura 0, Janet Li 0, Anna Merrifield 2, Brittnie Lau 0, Mysha Sataraka 16, Janelle Nomura 12, Jenny Ching 0, Julia Brand 12, Kysa Ludviksen 2, Tressa Torres 4.

3-point goals—Mid-Pacific 2 (Yamachika 2), Punahou 4 (Lau 4).

  Division II
St. Andrew's Priory 47, La Pietra 33

Leading scorers—StA: Minna Watanabe 19. LaP: Jennifer Moody 10.

  Junior varsity
'Iolani 39, Punahou Gold 34


ILH boys

Junior varsity Division II Championship
Hawaii Baptist Academy 45, University High 41
Leading scorers—HBA: Jun Fritz 24. UH: Ian Akamine



Varsity boys
Hawaii Prep 59, Ka'u 45
Late Wednesday
Kamehameha-Hawaii 50, Honokaa 37
Junior varsity boys
Ka'u 36, Hawaii Prep 24