McKinley players celebrated after escaping with a 42-39 win over Kalaheo yesterday in the OIA playoffs.

Carson ends
Kalaheo’s season

The former Lady Mustang is
good from the line to keep McKinley
alive in the OIA playoffs

To knock out Kalaheo, it took a former Lady Mustang to deliver the punch.

Bre Carson scored 14 points, including eight in the final quarter, to lead McKinley over Kalaheo 42-39 last night in the semifinals of the Oahu Interscholastic Association girls' basketball playoffs.

A crowd of about 500 watched on a humid evening at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium.

McKinley (10-3) meets Kahuku for the OIA championship Friday at 8 p.m. Kalaheo (10-3) plays Kaiser in Friday's third-place game, which tips off at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Tigers last won the OIA crown in 1997, the third of three straight under current coach Jesse Victorino.

"I'm excited. We haven't played in the championship game in a while," said Carson, who still gets butterflies playing against her former school. "I was pretty nervous and frustrated."

Chantal Yadao added 11 points and six rebounds, and Meagan Miyasaka scored all eight of her points in the first half for McKinley.

"It feels great. We were waiting a long time for this," Yadao said, referring to a regular-season opening loss at Kalaheo.

"It's not all about scoring. If rebounding and defense are what I have to do, I'm going to do it," said Yadao, a senior guard who played post much of the night.

For seniors like Yadao and Miyasaka, Friday's title game is new territory.

"We've never been in that situation," Miyasaka said. "We've gotten better with finishing games. It was like our Kaiser game, but that time, we didn't make our free throws."

McKinley prepared for the semifinals by shooting free throws for 30 minutes at a time in two stints at practice. The Lady Tigers also scrimmaged against eight defenders, working exclusively on their spread offense.

"We know how talented Kalaheo is," Victorino said. "My assistant coach said, 'Strategy, strategy.' That's when we spread the court. I think after we had those mistakes in the first half, we took care of the ball pretty well afterward."

Shaina Siliga, who missed a 3-point shot with five seconds left that would have tied the game, led Kalaheo with 19 points. Randi Farstad added 10 points and eight rebounds.

"The bottom line is, they're shooting 3s, and we didn't make enough plays offensively to win," Kalaheo coach Chico Furtado said.

McKinley sank seven treys, including six in the first half.

"We scrapped out," Furtado said. "Our kids played hard. We had several opportunities. They made big shots."

Carson, who played her freshman and sophomore seasons at Kalaheo under Furtado, came through at the free-throw line. With McKinley ahead 33-32 entering the final quarter, the 5-foot-3 guard sank six of eight attempts from the line to help the Lady Tigers take a 39-35 lead with 4:50 remaining.

Kalaheo committed five of its 20 turnovers during the first four minutes of the fourth quarter.

McKinley then spread the floor and took time off the clock, but in a near duplicate of the first half, struggled to extend the lead. Chelsie Sato's free throw pushed the Lady Tigers' lead to 40-35 with 1:24 to play.

Farstad hustled for an offensive board and putback, and after a McKinley turnover, Kaiena Huihui scored on an inbounds pass to pull Kalaheo within 40-39 with one minute left.

Kalaheo, which never led, had its chances. Miyasaka missed a difficult fast-break layup try over Huihui, giving Kalaheo possession. Shanadee Canon missed a tough layup try, but recovered her own rebound on the floor. Moments later, after a Kalaheo time out, Farstad pulled up for a 12-foot jumper in the lane but missed with 27 seconds to go.

Carson, fouled on the ensuing rebound, went to the line and sank two free throws. McKinley led 42-39 with 25 seconds left.

"That was big," Furtado said. "If she makes just one, we only need a 2-point basket."

Kalaheo opted to go for a quick score.

"We told the girls, if you get the first look, take the shot," Furtado said. Farstad missed two tough shots in the key, and Yadao rebounded before falling to the hardwood. Yadao was whistled for traveling with five seconds to go.

Kalaheo set up a screen to free up Siliga, and she was wide open on the right wing. Her shot missed long, but McKinley batted the ball out of bounds with one second left. Canon's 21-footer from the right corner missed as time expired.

Yadao, guarding Siliga, didn't quite make it around a big screen on the wing.

"She grabbed me," Yadao said. "And (Siliga) got open. That was scary."

Victorino expected a swish.

"I thought that shot was going in," he said.

In all, Carson made eight of 12 from the line.

At McKinley H.S. gym
McKinley (9-3) 14 10 9 9 -- 42
Kalaheo (9-3) 9 10 13 7 -- 39

McKinley-- Chantal Yadao 11, Chelsie Sato 3, Meagan Miyasaka 8, Melody Ababa 4, Bre Carson 14, Janine Corpuz 0, Linda Fowler 2.
Kalaheo-- Hoku Kaiu-Denning 0, Shaina Siliga 19, Kandice Kinney 0, Randi Farstad 10, Shantel Marumoto 0, Kaila Samson 0, Shanadee Canon 6, Kaiena Huihui 4, Kaliko Kepa 0, Kamala Kau 0.
3-point goals -- McKinley 7 (Yadao 3, Carson 2, Miyasaka 2), Kalaheo 1 (Siliga).


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