Kaiser's Nicole Lehner, left, Jaime Nerona, back, and the Dragons' Keisha Kanekoa tangled for the ball in the first half of last night's game.

Kanekoa’s free
throws give
Honokaa edge

The Dragons guard breaks
a tie with 7.4 seconds left in
a 42-39 victory over Kaiser

Keisha Kanekoa did everything well but shoot free throws for 31 minutes and 53 seconds.

Then, the Honokaa guard came through with two perfect foul shots with 7.4 seconds left to break a tie as the Dragons went on to a 42-39 win over Kaiser last night in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines Girls Basketball State Championships.

HHSAA girls basketball

At Stan Sheriff Center
Division I
Seeds: 1. Punahou. 2. Konawaena. 3. Kahuku. 4. Lahainaluna.
Game 1: Roosevelt 60, Kauai 33
2: Kalaheo 41, Baldwin 29
3: Honokaa 42, Kaiser 39
4: Iolani 66, Farrington 43
5: Kauai vs. Kaiser, 11 a.m.
6: Baldwin vs. Farrington, 12:45 p.m.
7: Lahainaluna vs. Honokaa, 2:30 p.m.
8: Punahou vs. Roosevelt, 4:15 p.m.
9: Konawaena vs. Kalaheo, 6 p.m.
10: Kahuku vs. Iolani, 8 p.m.

Wila Lavea had 14 points, while Kari Heers had 13 points and 11 boards to power the Dragons. Their floor general, Kanekoa, scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

A highly-charged crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center saw Honokaa take a 12-point lead early, only to lose it all in the final quarter. The Dragons made seven of their last eight free-throw attempts in the final 1:44 to hang on and advance.

Kaiser tied the game at 39-all on two free throws by Sharde Pratt with 19 seconds to play. Both teams were out of timeouts, and Honokaa broke Kaiser's fullcourt pressure as time ticked down. Honokaa got its break when Kaiser guard Jolie Yoshino slipped at midcourt and fouled Kanekoa with 7.4 seconds left.

Kanekoa, who was just 1-for-4 from the line at that point, swished both free throws for a 41-39 lead. Kaiser guard Jaime Nerona's pass to teammate Nicole Lehner sailed high and out of bounds in the left corner with 2.4 seconds left as Kanekoa played for a steal.

The Cougars fouled Kanekoa again with 1.2 seconds left. She made the first shot and retrieved the rebound after missing the second shot as time expired.

"It was a dogfight in the end. When things got crazy, the kids held it together and listened to us," longtime Honokaa coach Daphne Honma said. "I expected us to get a good start, but I didn't expect Kaiser not to play strong until the second half."

Eighth-ranked Honokaa (20-5) will face Maui Interscholastic League champion Lahainaluna in today's 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal matchup.

The Dragons, runners-up from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, were eliminated by Lahainaluna in a 19-point loss during last year's opening round.

With injured guard Charven Rodrigues sidelined, Honokaa needed all the help it could get.

"Joliese (DeMello) came up big for us," Kanekoa said of the ball-hawking reserve guard. "Our coach asked everyone to step up their game a notch."

Seventh-ranked Kaiser (17-9), runner-up from the Oahu Interscholastic Association, came out flat and didn't seem to find itself until the second half.

"We didn't come out ready to play in the first half," coach Lisa Mann said. "Intensity was the difference in the game."

Lehner led Kaiser with 16 points, making 12 of 14 from the line. The Cougars shot just 24 percent from the field (9-for-38) and were outrebounded 36-23 by the taller Dragons.

Honokaa shot only 25 percent from the field (11-for-44), but kept pace at the line by making 18 of its 27 tries.

The Cougars seemed to lack a spark from the opening tip. Honokaa's new defense -- a triangle under the basket with guards matching up on the perimeter -- seemed to hypnotize Kaiser's offense. Honokaa's 10-0 run opened up a 17-5 lead midway through the second quarter. Kaiser ended the half just 3-for-15 from the field with nine turnovers.

Kanekoa scored 10 of her team's first 12 points, mostly on mid-range jumpers off screens.

Kaiser pulled within 29-28, but free throws by Heers and DeMello helped the Dragons take a 38-33 lead with 55 seconds left.

"I had confidence in myself that I'd make it," said DeMello, a sophomore.

At Stan Sheriff Center
Honokaa (12-2) 7 10 10 15 -- 42
Kasier (11-6) 5 3 11 20 -- 39

HONOKAA--Kari Heers 13, Alyssa Souza 0, Jerrika Lorenzo 0, Keisha Kanekoa 13, Wila Lavea 14, Joliese DeMello 2, Jessika Lorenzo 0, Chelsey Souza 0, Whitney Acdal 0.
KAISER--Nicole Lehner 16, Jaime Nerona 4, Kehau Bangay 4, Sharde Pratt 7, Kilioe Aliifua 8, Jolie Yoshino 0, Renee Shitanishi 0.
3-point goals-Honokaa 2 (Kanekoa 2).

No. 3 Iolani 66, Farrington 43

Freshman Jamie Smith tallied 17 points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes to lead the Raiders. Hennasea-Sue Tokumura had 11 points and four steals, while center Keilyn Fujioka added 10 points and nine boards.

Tanya Sale led the Governors with 10 points.

Iolani (19-6), runner-up from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, will meet OIA champion Kahuku in today's quarterfinals at 8 p.m.

"They're gonna come out strong. We have to be ready for anything," said Tokumura.

Farrington, the fourth-place team from the OIA, led early but fell behind 27-20 by halftime.

At Stan Sheriff Center
Farrington (7-10) 11 9 12 11 -- 43
Iolani (11-2) 12 15 18 21 -- 66

FARRINGTON-- C'ani Kealoha 8, Tanya Sale 10, Shrilynn Tambua 0, Taulagi Alatasi 3, Kapio Alatasi 4, Malia Segundo 2, Janiene Sablan 0, Sandy Valdez 0, Joanna Montero 3, Elane Laupepe 5, Kirstyn Vaa 4, Bryanna Tatupu-Leopoldo 4.
IOLANI-- Hennasea-Sue Tokumura 11, Marci Kang 4, Alana Wall 6, Meilin Akamu 0, Keilyn Fujioka 10, Kaz Masutani 2, Chelsea Unemori 0, Alana Matayoshi 4, Chanel Hirata 7, Jamie Smith 17, Sarah Turgeon 5.
3-point goals--Farrington 3 (Kealoha, T. Alatasi, Leaupepe), Iolani 4 (Tokumura 3, Hirata).


defeats Kauai

One of two comeback stories had to end in the first game of the Hawaiian Airlines Girls State Basketball Championships.

For Kauai (8-2), the dream ended at the hands of Roosevelt (8-9), which crushed the Red Raiders 60-33 yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rough Riders, the state Division II champions a year ago, advance to the quarterfinals and take on No. 1 Punahou today at 4:15 p.m.

The Red Raiders started the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season at 1-3. They went on a 4-0 season-ending run, culminating in a KIF-clinching, double-overtime win over Waimea on May 9. But Kauai's run in the tournament ended abruptly as the Rough Riders overpowered the smaller and less-experienced Red Raiders.

"We had the chance to take advantage of different areas of the game," Roosevelt coach Bobby Keanini said. "We took care of some speed issues and were a little quicker. We gambled a little bit more than we usually do."

The gamble paid off for the Rough Riders, who continue on their postseason tear, which included a win over No. 5 Kalaheo and a third-place finish in the Oahu Interscholastic Association tournament after going 4-8 in the regular season.

The first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game as the Red Raiders committed 15 turnovers in the period.

"Normally, in the type of up-tempo game we like to play, we average about 10 to 12 turnovers a game. I think we had that in the first quarter," Kauai coach Dennis Aquino said with a laugh.

The Roosevelt defense collapsed on the ball, not allowing the Red Raiders and leading scorer Rachael Taira a clear shot. Taira didn't score a field goal until 3:20 remained in the fourth quarter, when she hit back-to-back 3-pointers. She finished with a team-leading 13 points.

"She's not used to the same two people grappling at her," Aquino said. "But she's only a junior, so hopefully she'll catch on. ... (Roosevelt) had a good defensive scheme on how to play us. I think they executed well and it showed with the outcome of the game.

"I think they were in awe of the facilities here. It's a learning experience. I ended up with seven new players and I was surprised that we came this far. ... Hopefully we can settle down and have a better game tomorrow."

Over the past seven years, teams from Kauai have lost by an average of 27.7 points in first-round state-tournament games. The last time a Kauai team won in the first round was when the Red Raiders defeated Nanakuli in 1998.

In the first period, all of Roosevelt's seven baskets were from inside the paint, something Keanini said is uncharacteristic of his team.

"First and foremost, we try to go to the outside, because we're not a tall team," Keanini said.

Junior forward Tati Beasley, who finished with a game-high 18 points, scored eight of the Rough Riders' 15 points in the quarter, all on layups.

With less than 2 seconds left in the period, the Rough Riders forced a jump ball that gave them possession.

After the inbounds pass, they immediately found freshman forward Kaitlynn Simmonds for a quick basket as time expired.

The Red Raiders finished with 41 turnovers, while the Rough Riders had 29 steals in the game.

At Stan Sheriff Center
Roosevelt (7-9) 15 16 19 10 -- 60
Kauai (8-1) 6 9 6 12 -- 33

ROOSEVELT--Tati Beasley 18, Shannon Miyashiro 9, Dianna Zane 3, Larisa Nakasone 0, Nicole Yoshimoto 8, Chelsie Kadota 10, Dasha Kawakami 2, Kaitlynn Simmonds 2, Melanie Nakatani 2, Noelle Kawelo 6, Kayleen Kaaiai 0.
KAUAI--Tahnee Shigematsu 2, Rachael Taira 13, Tamalyn Hasegawa 0, Sherri Gebauer 7, Darcie Allianic 1, Corey Arashiro 0, Starlene Kelekoma 8, Kassy Morishige 0, Hoonani Dennis 2, Kailee Andrade 0.
3-point goals--Roosevelt 4 (Yoshimoto 2, Kadota, Zane), Kauai 2 (Taira 2).

No. 5 Kalaheo 41, Baldwin 29

Despite holding Mustangs forward Taylor Smith to five points, the Bears could barely muster any points of their own in a first-round game.

Smith got into foul trouble early in the first quarter and didn't score a basket until there was 5:25 left in the third.

"From time to time she has that tendency to block shots or rebound over the top of people, but she's done a better job as of late," Kalaheo coach Chico Furtado said. "She's just got to be a little smarter in those types of situations."

Several players who had been injured during the season played for the Bears, including forward Jenna Mailou, who scored a team-high eight points in the loss.

"For the whole season, we got two knees, four ankles, so that doesn't help, when you're not playing healthy," Baldwin coach Angel Kalehuawehe said. "But Kalaheo did what they had to do."

Shaina Siliga, Shanadee Canon and Kathleen Kicks each scored eight points for the Mustangs.

At Stan Sheriff Center
Kalaheo (14-2) 11 14 10 6 -- 41
Baldwin (7-4) 4 6 6 13 -- 29

KALAHEO--Hoku Denning 1, Shaina Siliga 8, Shanadee Canon 8, Taylor Smith 5, Kaliko Kepa 6, Randi Farstad 2, Lohi Aweau 0, Shantel Marumoto 0, Kaila Samson 3, Brianne Villarosa 0, Katie Lintz 0, Kendra Fischer 0, Kathleen Hicks 8.
BALDWIN--Kai Sarmiento 0, Heidi Namau'u 7, Nichole Inciong 0, Jenna Mailou 8, Chelsea Davis 2, Rachel Leano 3, Erin Ichimura 0, Chelsie Kahalekai 7, Kaira Kaya 2.
3-point goals--Kalaheo 3 (Siliga 2, Canon), Baldwin 1 (Leano).

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