'Iolani tops Kapolei to gain spot in final


POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2009

Despite reaching the state championship final in five of the past six years, the 'Iolani boys soccer team is still searching for that elusive state crown.

The Raiders moved one step closer to claiming their first state title since 2000 with a dominant 3-1 victory over Kapolei in the Division I semifinal round of the JN Automotive Group/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships last evening at a wind-whipped Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.

Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion 'Iolani advances to tonight's championship match against Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Mililani at 7 in the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex's main stadium.

“;We're hoping that tomorrow is our night,”; said 'Iolani coach Chris Lee. “;Every season, we come in and the team sets their goals to win the ILH, and to win the state championship, so I don't think (coming up short in recent championship finals) is a burden. It's just the goal that you set for yourself every season.”;

The Raiders (13-0-1) took a 1-0 lead as senior midfielder Brock Granger scored from 25 yards out on a free kick in the match's 12th minute.

Kapolei (12-6-1) attempted to answer in the 35th minute as Kainoa Ke-a took one of Kapolei's rare shots in the match, but the ball went directly to goalkeeper Chris Otani.

'Iolani dominated the first half, outshooting the Oahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Hurricanes 10-1, and wound up with a 20-3 shot advantage.

“;'Iolani's a really good team, and they move the ball well,”; Kapolei coach Bryce Kaneshiro said. “;I don't think we've ever faced a team that moved the ball that efficiently. Their touches are good, and they're a hard team to match up with. We didn't get to manufacture our offense, and we were concentrating so much on defense that we couldn't counter-attack what they were giving us.”;

In the 51st minute, 'Iolani senior Keith Lum corralled a loose ball off a corner kick. After maneuvering to within 10 yards of the goal, he unleashed a shot that flew past a diving Cody Kamei to put the Raiders up 2-0.

Souichi Wood added an insurance goal from just inside the 18-yard box in the 63rd minute on a low, line-drive shot to put Iolani up by three.

But Micah Uehara answered just two minutes later for Kapolei, punching in a loose ball in the goal area after Otani couldn't squeeze an earlier Hurricanes' shot attempt. While the Hurricanes pulled to within two scores, 3-1, the deficit proved too large to overcome as the Raiders milked the clock with their superior ball control.

The teams dealt with steady winds in the 15-25 mile-per-hour range that gusted directly from the mauka to makai sidelines, along with intermittent showers. The wind gusts picked up in the second half, and became so strong at one point that some spectators' umbrellas were bent back, and nearly flew away.

“;The weather wasn't a factor, we've played in this before,”; Kaneshiro said. “;In fact, I thought it was pretty nice weather, the wind didn't bother us. We just ran into a good team, and hats off to them, you can't take anything away from that.”;

No. 2 Mililani 2, Punahou 1, PK
Trojans' goalkeeper Preston Miyashiro stopped four shots in the shootout to give Mililani a chance to win its first state title since 2004.

Westin Alcover put the Trojans up with a goal in the first half, but the Buffanblu tied it in the 70th minute on a score by Lucas Lam.


Division I Consolation

Roosevelt 1, Kamehameha-Maui 0, PK

The Rough Riders (10-5-3) knocked off the Warriors (9-5) on penalty kicks, advancing to today's fifth-place match against Kealakehe.

Kealakehe 2, Kalaheo 0
A scoreless game until the 61st minute ended in favor of the Waveriders (16-1) as Kealakehe shut out Kalaheo (11-5-2), a day after suffering its first loss of the season.

Denton Langer and Mikihana Minamishin scored for Kealakehe.


Division II

Kapaa 1, Seabury Hall 0, PK

The fourth-seeded Warriors (9-0-1) advanced to the final, denying the top-seeded Spartans (11-2-1) a title shot. Neither team scored in regulation and two overtime periods before it was decided in a shootout.

Hawaii Prep 2, Mid-Pacific 1
A scoreless game after over an hour of play quickly turned around.

Joey Oh and Korey Tsubota scored for Ka Makani (14-3) within 10 minutes of each other. Ryan Shimabukuro pulled the Owls to within one with a goal in the 75th minute.


Division II Consolation

Waialua 2, Kamehameha-Hawaii 1, PK

The Warriors (7-6-5) took a 1-0 advantage on an Elijah Pung goal in the 25th minute, but the Bulldogs (13-1) had other plans.

Honokaa 2, Kailua 1, PK 5-4
Jake Shiraki scored eight minutes into the game for the Dragons but the Surfriders' Cheyne Tribbey answered with a score in the 79th minute. The Dragons converted all five shots in the shootout to pull out the win.


State Swimming and Diving

Punahou's Christel Simms swam the fastest 100-yard backstroke in the history of the Local Motion/HHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championships yesterday at Central Oahu Regional Park.

Simms' time of 56.34 seconds was the highlight of the first day of the meet, which continues today with the finals.

Her time broke last year's record of 56.51 set by fellow Buffanblu Rachel Cote. The two were part of a Punahou relay team that holds the state record in the 200-yard medley relay.