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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, September 23, 2000

P R E P _ S P O R T S

Punahou off to fast
start in ILH boys’
water polo

By Ben Henry
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Punahou's water polo team got the breaks it needed against Iolani last night -- the fast breaks.

The Buffanblu used their speed to take a 12-7 victory over the defending Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Raiders.

An overflow crowd of about 400 at Punahou watched the Buffanblu's quick reactions on changes of possession make the difference.

After turnovers, Punahou would sprint to the ball and get open, creating several one-on-one opportunities and catching Iolani off-guard several times.

Punahou's five goals on fast breaks amounted to the difference in the final score.

"One of our strengths this year is our speed," Punahou head coach Ken Smith said. "And what good is it if you don't utilize it?

Tied at 4 with 1:54 left in the half, Punahou raced in front with an 8-1 run that lasted until 3:27 left in the game, when Iolani's Paul Helfer scored from point-blank range.

"We didn't do what we had to do defensively or offensively," said Iolani coach Mark Cornish, who made his head coaching debut (Iolani's previous coach, Aaron Chaney, recently moved to the mainland). "We were basically lazy."

Iolani only managed five shots in the third period, none of which reached goal.

But more importantly, Iolani had difficulty feeding the ball to Helfer, who is water polo's equivalent to a basketball center, typically posting up just in front of the goal.

Punahou used a smothering packed-back defense and occasional double-teams to slow down Helfer.

Helfer was held to just three goals -- not enough for him to make a serious impact on the game. And Smith slowed the pace after halftime.

"We talked a lot about clock management," he said. "The more we control the ball on offense, it gives them less time to get the ball."

That adjustment seemed to work, as only seven goals were scored in the second half.

"We just broke down," Cornish said. "We fell asleep during halftime."

Both coaches said it's too early to tell if Punahou -- which has won 24 of 27 ILH championships with Smith as coach -- has re-captured momentum in this heated rivalry.

"Normally we have more games until we play Punahou," Cornish said. "It's early in the season, and I didn't really know what to expect from either team."

Iolani (1-1) 2 3 0 2--7
Punahou (2-0) 2 5 2 3--12

1st period -- Pun: Grant Allison 5:28; Iol: Paul Helfer 3:00; Iol: Helfer 2:06; Pun: Aviv Grill 1:10.

2nd -- Iol: Mark Oda 4:54; Pun: Allison 4:21; Pun: David Pietsch 3:19; Iol: David Graner 2:32; Pun: Forrest Schwartz from Pietsch 1:54; Pun: David Kowen 1:05; Iol: Daimon Jones from Helfer :41; Pun: Nick Borreca from Pietsch :17.

3rd -- Pun: Schwartz from Kyle Morgan 4:33; Pun: Pietsch from Kowen 1:32.

4th -- Pun: Grill 5:45; Pun: Pietsch 5:09; Pun: Grill 3:48; Iol: Helfer 3:27; Iol: Jones from Granar 1:40.

Total shots -- Iol: 21; Pun: 26. Saves -- Iol: 5; Pun: 6.

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