Fa'asoa family brings Kaimuki a title


POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

Every time Kaimuki faced a new challenge in the postseason, coach Mona Fa'asoa had the right recipe.

This time, her strategy brought Kaimuki a state championship.

With 20 points from Dejah Fa'asoa and 11 from Letishah Fa'asoa — both daughters of the coach — the Bulldogs toppled defending champion Molokai 41-32 in the final of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball Division II State Championships last night at Blaisdell Arena.

It is the first girls basketball state crown for Kaimuki, which placed third last year.

“;Molokai's a great team. We just tried to work off their mistakes and not rush anything,”; coach Fa'asoa said. “;We wanted them to come out and play 'D' on us. We have a lot of scoring factors.”;

“;They were the better team tonight,”; Molokai assistant coach Mike Hooper said.

The Bulldogs (19-5 overall) used a triangle-and-two defense to smother Molokai's major weapons, Kalei Adolpho and Danna Hooper-Juario. Adolpho, a 6-foot-1 junior who has already committed to the University of Hawaii, finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks. However, the constant double- and triple-teams by Kaimuki — the 'Dogs collapsed on her often before she even got the ball — limited Adolpho to six field-goal attempts. It was a calculated risk by the Bulldogs, leaving perimeter shooters open all night.

“;We're risking someone else scoring,”; said coach Fa'asoa, whose team unveiled a 1-3-1 zone for the first time in the OIA playoffs to upset Kahuku two weeks ago.

“;That's kind of what they do in the MIL,”; Adolpho said. “;We didn't have our best game. I guess we're disappointed, but what's done is done.”;

Molokai finished 17-4, suffering its first loss since nonconference play.

Hooper-Juario, who had 33 points in a semifinal win over Kahuku, managed just four points (2-for-10) with Kaimuki's pesky Puanani Akaka covering most of the night. In addition, the Farmers simply didn't hit enough wide-open shots: 14-for-45 (31 percent) from the field.

“;We did it as long as we could,”; Hooper said. “;We needed a couple more shots that could've turned the game around.”;

Things got spooky for Kaimuki when center Leti Mikaele picked up her fourth foul with 3:39 left in the third quarter. Keana Paez entered, giving Kaimuki a lineup with no defender taller than 5-7.

Molokai responded with a turnaround jumper by Jamie Duvauchelle and a layup by Taisha Kawamae for a 28-27 lead.

Kaimuki responded with a 3-pointer from the top by Dejah Fa'asoa and never trailed again. The Bulldogs got another trey from Akaka and spread the floor for the final 5:30.

Dejah Fa'asoa hit all six of her free-throw tries down the stretch as Kaimuki opened the lead to 11 en route to victory.

Kaimuki shot just 28 percent (12-for-43) against Molokai's tough man-to-man defense and was outrebounded 39-26. However, timely 3-point shooting — 3-for-6 by Letishah Fa'asoa and a pair of treys by Dejah — were crucial. So was the turnover count: 20 by Molokai and just 10 by Kaimuki.


BULLDOGS (16-1, 3-0 HHSAA)

Fa'asoa, L.3-72-441110432
Fa'asoa, D.5-188-1271204332
TEAM  1      


FARMERS (12-1, 2-1 HHSAA)

Duvauchelle, Jo.2-80-04242132
Duvauchelle, Ja.2-110-07441232

Key — fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime — Molokai 18, Kaimuki 17
3-point goals — Kaimuki 7-19 (Fa'asoa 3-6, Fa'asoa 2-7, Akaka 1-1, Pologa 1-5), Molokai 0-2 (Hooper-Juario 0-1, Duvauchelle, Ja. 0-1).
Steals — Kaimuki 13 (Akaka 4, Fa'asoa 4, Aikau 2, Pologa, Paez, Fa'asoa, L.), Molokai 4 (Duvauchelle, Jo. 2, Duvauchelle, Ja., Adolpho). Blocked shots — Kaimuki 1 (Mikaele), Molokai 6 (Adolpho 4, Duvauchelle, Ja., Kawamae).
Officials — Brian Yamasaki, Ryan Sueoka, Alex Miguel. A— .