'Iolani advances in water polo with second-half surge


POSTED: Thursday, May 06, 2010

In the words of 'Iolani coach Ian Kusao, “;We just had first-half jitters.”;

Unfortunately for Kapolei, the Raiders got comfortable in the second half and came back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Hurricanes 14-7 last night in the first round of the Local Motion/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.

Sophomore Nicolette Silva scored five goals and Skye Kusao added four for 'Iolani (5-4), which won its first state-tournament game in three years to advance to today's quarterfinals against third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii at 4:30.

“;Sounds simple, but we needed to settle down, execute our game plan, relax and put the ball in the cage,”; Ian Kusao said.






        Quarterfinals at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center


        » Lahainaluna vs. Roosevelt, 3:15 p.m.
        » KS-Hawaii vs. 'Iolani, 4:30 p.m.
        » Mililani vs. Kahuku, 5:45 p.m.
        » Punahou vs. Leilehua, 7 p.m.




The Hurricanes (8-6) got three goals from Nicole Talion and two from Kiana Callejo.

The Raiders led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter, but four different Hurricanes scored in the second while 'Iolani was held without a goal.

Senior Bethanie Salas-Selem scored with 36 seconds left to cap a span of three Kapolei goals in 63 seconds, sending the Hurricanes into halftime with a two-goal lead.

“;We had to pick up our intensity and play our best no matter who we were playing,”; Skye Kusao said. “;We couldn't put our shots away and finish things, but eventually we picked it up.”;

Silva scored all five of her goals in the second half to help 'Iolani outscore Kapolei 10-2 after halftime.

Silva and Kusao each scored in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter to tie the game at 5-all, and Silva's goal with 3:33 left gave 'Iolani back the lead.

“;We pushed harder physically and mentally,”; Silva said about 'Iolani's second-half success.

The Raiders kept Kapolei goalie Summer Reyes busy. Reyes finished with nine saves, but couldn't stop the Raiders down the stretch as 'Iolani put the game away with four goals in the final 1 minute, 14 seconds.


Leilehua 11, Hawaii Prep 4

Mckenna Shounk and Brooke Sweeney scored three goals apiece and Maxine Cowper added two to lead the Mules (11-3) past Ka Makani (6-7).

Leilehua will play No. 1 seed Punahou (8-0) in today's quarterfinals at 7.


Roosevelt 15, Kealakehe 2

Kailiponi McGee scored five goals and Rachel Gomes added four as the Rough Riders (13-1) shut out the Waveriders (7-6) in the first half on the way to victory.

Nicole Mitsunaga scored three times and Tiffany Tran added two goals for Roosevelt, which plays No. 4 seed Lahainaluna today at 3:15.


Mililani 12, Kaiser 9

Kanani Mazzone scored five goals and four different Trojans scored in the fourth quarter to hold on and beat the Cougars (6-8).

Anela Alunbaugh scored three fourth-quarter goals to lead Kaiser.

Mililani (8-6) plays regular-season OIA champion and second-seeded Kahuku today at 5:45.