McKinley hustles past Kailua to get back on winning track


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

It was hustle against muscle last night in McKinley's Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East girls basketball game at Kailua.

Hustle prevailed.

The swift Tigers outlasted the strong Surfriders 38-33 by collecting 13 steals among 16 total Kailua turnovers. It was enough to negate the Surfriders' solid play inside—a massive 40-23 rebounding advantage to go with an efficient post game.

McKinley (5-2) entered the contest on a two-game losing streak after starting off OIA Red East play 4-0. Tigers coach Abel Werner called it “;probably the biggest win of the season”; to this point, just as his team starts a stretch of several road games.

“;Just to get us on track,”; he said. “;I told the girls, all they gotta do is stay with each other and get motivated. If we play as a team, we're gonna be pretty much unstoppable.”;

Junior Kylie Sato led the Tigers with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. She extended Kailua's defense early by hitting her team's only two 3-pointers, and helped keep the Tigers on top late in the fourth quarter by calmly evading Kailua defenders as she dribbled out precious seconds.

“;We just had to regroup and play as a team,”; said Sato, who missed the whole preseason with a wrist injury. “;Tonight we worked better together than we did before (in losses to Farrington and Roosevelt).”;

The Surfriders (1-5) were coming off their first league win of the season and hung with the Tigers through second-chance opportunities. They tallied 17 offensive rebounds, but couldn't buy a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter (0-for-6) when Kailua needed to make up ground.

McKinley was successful in disrupting Kailua's offense all night long with fullcourt pressure and opened up their biggest lead at seven points with 2 minutes, 37 seconds left on a Brenda Walker basket.

From there the Surfriders had to go to fouling, but the Tigers eluded them enough in the final 2 minutes to sweep the season series.

Senior Ashley Jacobs led Kailua with 14 points. Forwards Anu Ah Yun and Sola Williams combined to grab 18 rebounds.

“;This is a team we feel we know a lot about, just from playing them a lot of times in the last two years (in the OIA White),”; first-year Kailua coach Zach Stephens said. “;These guys are as savvy and as aggressive and hard-working as any good team out there. A lot of credit to McKinley for playing some tough defense, and making us work for everything out there.”;

McKinley was up 19-16 at halftime.

McKinley (5-2) 7 12 13 6 38
Kailua (1-5) 6 10 11 6 33

MCKINLEY—Jackie Tihano 2, Kylie Sato 15, Ashley Gravely 5, Tatiana Dinson 7, Jorina Faletoi 5, Hanna Yoo 0, Emerenciana Reyes 0, Brenda Walker 4, Tawnzyna Spencer 0.
KAILUA—Sola Williams 4, Zsalei Kamaka 2, Ka'u Kohatsu 2, Anu Ah Yun 7, Ashley Jacobs 14, Tia Navarro 0, Teuila Afele 4, Tawny Kiko 0, Jayna Hanawahine 0.
3-point goals—McKinley 2 (Sato 2), Kailua 2 (Jacobs 2).
Junior varsity—Kailua 53, McKinley 34