Mid-Pacific puts it together in road win over Kamehameha


POSTED: Wednesday, January 07, 2009

After a wretched practice session on Monday, the Mid-Pacific Owls took things into their own hands.

Jenna Savusa and Keaton McFadden took charge, combining for 22 points and 17 rebounds as No. 5 Mid-Pacific rallied past seventh-ranked Kamehameha 53-45 before about 400 fans at Kekuhaupio Gym. The win was key for MPI (12-2), which improved to 2-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and moved into second place ahead of No. 1 Punahou, which lost at 'Iolani.

“;It's a huge win for 'Iolani, but we knew coming into the season that any of the five teams could take it,”; Owls coach Byron Cheng said. “;It just shows the parity in our league.”;

The Owls coaching staff cut practice short on Monday.

“;It was a horrible practice. So frustrating,”; Cheng said.

The team returned and practiced on their own—a positive sign of taking ownership in Cheng's eyes.

“;We played loose tonight, to have fun, not so mechanical,”; he added. “;That's when we play our best.”;

Kamehameha fell to 1-2 in league play despite 14 points from Kylle Roy. Lindsey Wong added 12 points and Pualei Furtado tallied 11 for the Warriors, who saw an eight-point first-half lead dissipate.

McFadden had 11 points and 10 boards, and Johnnelle Kapua scored a team-high 15 points, including 3-for-4 shooting at the foul line in the final quarter. Jordan Kealoha, who finished with nine points, hit all four of her foul shots in the final stanza to continue her clutch play.

The Owls trailed 20-12, but finished the first half with a 9-0 run. McFadden's putback with 1 second left gave MPI a 21-20 lead, and the Owls never looked back.

“;In that second quarter, we realized we've gotta pick it up. Any one of us is a leader,”; Cheng said.

Savusa, who had 11 points and seven boards, had two of her three steals in a pivotal third quarter. Savusa and McFadden combined for 10 points and nine rebounds—five on the offensive glass—as Mid-Pac surged to a 41-29 lead.

The lead stretched to 14 early in the fourth quarter before the host Warriors rallied. Two steals by Furtado, including one that led to a three-point play, helped Kamehameha close to 43-39 with 3:44 left. After that, however, it was Mid-Pac's game.

Kamehameha shot just 38 percent from the foul line (6-for-16) and failed to take advantage of eight turnovers by the visitors in the fourth quarter. In addition, Roy was hampered by an injury to her shooting (right) hand in the second half. She managed to finish with five boards and two blocks.

Mid-Pac shot 75 percent from the line (15-for-20), including 8-for-11 in the final quarter. The Owls outrebounded Kamehameha 34-21.

Mid-Pacific (2-1)
Kamehameha (1-2)

MID-PACIFIC—Paige Young 0, Ashley Yamachika 3, Johnnelle Kapua 15, Jacqueline Donovan 0, Shannon Nishimura 2, Jordan Kealoha 9, Taylor Babbitt 2, Keaton McFadden 11, Jenna Savusa 11.

KAMEHAMEHA—Pualei Furtado 11, Sanoe Keliinoi 4, Noe Mikami 0, Tia Perreira 0, Lindsey Wong 12, Mai Kalakau 0, Kala Crowell 1, Piikea Kalakau 3, Makana Borden 0, Kylle Roy 14.

3-point goals—Kamehameha 3 (Wong 2, Furtado), Mid-Pacific none.