Moanalua players celebrated after beating Farrington last night for the OIA title.

Moanalua works
hard for OIA crown

The Menehunes beat Farrington
49-31 for the league title

Four quarters of intensity is what the Moanalua Menehunes give, no matter the opponent.

With 1,037 in attendance last night at the Stan Sheriff Center, the Menehunes didn't let the Farrington Governors get in the way of their plans for an Oahu Interscholastic Association basketball championship. They jumped out to a quick lead and never relinquished it in a 49-31 victory for the title and the league's seed in next week's state tournament.

"I'm very proud of this victory for our girls. They work really hard and they deserve this win," Moanalua coach Roy Dias said. "As coaches, you can only teach so much. They have to go out and execute, and they executed beautifully tonight."

The Menehunes' fiery play started early, as they forced five Govs' turnovers for a quick 9-2 lead. Junior Kepua Lee's eight first-quarter points led the way to Moanalua's 13-6 edge at the first break.

Farrington (10-4), spearheaded by the staunch defense of Tanya Alualu and Meleane Mateaki, held the Menehunes (13-0) to four points in the second quarter to trail by seven, 17-10, at halftime.

"I felt great at the half, being down by only seven," Governors coach Jenic Tumaneng said. "And I was confident we could stay in the game. But we should have taken care of the boards better.

"Moanalua had a great game plan and played real well."

Farrington's Revelyn Cabaya and Moanalua's Patti Hardimon battled for a loose ball last night. The Menehunes won 49-31.

Heralded Farrington post Laosamoa Misa-Uli (who scored 21 in Wednesday's semifinal win over Kahuku) had two early fouls and scored only two points through three quarters.

"We started off real slow," Misa-Uli said. "We had a lot of turnovers and they beat us badly in the transition game. We just couldn't stop them."

Lee was at it again in the third quarter, scoring seven of her game-high 16 points as the Menehunes built a 31-20 advantage heading to the final eight minutes.

"Coming in, I wanted to do everything in my power to win for our team," Lee said. "I'm so happy for the coaches, the seniors, the fans, everybody.

"I knew Farrington would come out and play hard, but it was really hard for them against us. We have so much of an advantage --shooting, speed, size. The odds were on our side."

The fourth quarter was classic Moanalua. Despite a hefty lead, the Menehunes kept pushing and senior Patti Hardimon scored nine of her 14 points in the period.

Hardimon, Lee, point guard Amy Kotani and post Marleen Leautu didn't rest until less than two minutes remained.

"Yes, definitely," Dias responded when asked if playing his starters for nearly the whole game was a way for his team to prepare for the states. "They have to be able to close out games. These girls have played every quarter together for three years, so it's no surprise to them. They know when to go hard and when to rest."

The OIA title is Moanalua's fourth, and first since 1993.

Both teams will be back on the Sheriff Center court Tuesday through Friday for the states.

"This was a big accomplishment for us," Farrington's Tumaneng said. "No one expected us to be in the OIA championship game. I'm proud to be part of this and I'm really happy for our nine seniors. We accomplished our goal by making it to the states, so this game was a bonus for us."

Lee's idea of what a team needs to be successful at the states sounds like it came from Dias' notebook: "Whatever team can come out and be ready to play from beginning to end for three games in a row, that's going to be the state champion."

Kahuku 61, McKinley 54: The Red Raiders (11-2) held off an inspired comeback by the Tigers (10-4) to capture third place in the tournament.

Kahuku led 38-19 midway through the third quarter, but McKinley chipped away. With under 10 seconds left, the Tigers' Bre Carson hit two free throws to make it a four-point game, 58-54, but the Red Raiders' Mona Ale went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe to end it.

Kahuku's Latoya Wily scored nine of her 16 points in the first half, boosting the Red Raiders to their big lead. Ale was a sparkplug on defense and off the boards for Kahuku and added 14 points.

McKinley's Chantal Yadao notched a game-high 21 points, including 13 of her team's 31 points in the fourth quarter, when the Tigers roared back. Post Amber Lee, who is heading to the University of Hawaii on a basketball scholarship, was held to two points and was benched for most of the second half.

At Stan Sheriff Center

McKinley (10-4) 7 5 11 31 -- 54

Kahuku (11-2) 4 18 18 21 -- 61

MCKINLEY -- Chantal Yadao 21, Rayna Isaki 3, Kauai Quartero 2, Kelli Fukumoto 1, Meagan Miyasaka 0, Melody Ababa 5, Bre Carson 13, Kimberly Ehia 1, Maria Lievan 0, Ceslie Ma'afala 6, Amber Lee 2.

KAHUKU -- Camilla Ah-Hoy 6, Tuli Peters 5, Mona Ale 14, Artevia Wily 4, Karla Tailele 6, Aisha Ale 8, Terina Oto 2, Latoya Wily 16.

3-point goals -- McKinley 6 (Yadao 3, Carson 2, Ababa), Kahuku 4 (Oto 2, Ale, Ah-Hoy).

Oahu Interscholastic Association

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