Recap: OIA Red girls hoops semis

by Paul Honda on January 26, 2014

There are some missing elements in today’s online stories for the OIA Red girls basketball semifinals held on Saturday, so I’m posting the game stories and boxscores below.

Mililani center Sarah Liva scored 28 points to power the Lady Trojans over Moanalua. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Mililani center Sarah Liva scored 28 points to power the Lady Trojans over Moanalua. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

No. 3 Mililani 60, Moanalua 53
Sarah Liva shot 12-for-15 from the field and finished with 28 points as the Lady Trojans escaped with a narrow win over Na Menehune.

Mililani (20-2 overall, 12-0 OIA) faced a tough, fullcourt man-to-man defense by Moanalua and couldn’t feed the ball to Liva, their 6-1 post, with consistency. The lead bounced between four and eight points for the entire fourth quarter for coach Patrick Basilio’s Trojans put the game away.

“We did a lot of talking. It’s really loud, but we can kind of recognize each other’s voices. We kept our composure,” Liva said.

Shantel Appleby added 10 points and Summer Bolibol added nine.

LaChae McColor led Moanalua (11-7, 9-3 OIA) with 22 points. Point guard Ciera O’Brien scored 11 points and helped keep her team close in the final quarter with a series of tough drives for buckets.

The Trojans haven’t played Roosevelt all season.

“I know Roosevelt has really good guards and they’re really quick, just like Roosevelt,” Liva added. “Despite that, I’m very confident in my team. We can come out strong and give them a good game.”

Moanalua will host Kailua on Wednesday in the OIA’s third-place game. Both teams have already sealed state-tourney berths.

Mililani led 31-19 at the break, but Moanalua started the second half with steals for layups by by Jazmina Lafitaga and McColor. After McColor drove the lane for a tough layup, Na Menehune were on a 6-1 run and had the lead down to seven.

Mililani’s turnover problems against Moanalua’s tight man-to-man defense didn’t end. After another steal, Moanalua scored on fastbreak layup by O’Brien as she sliced through two defenders, cutting the lead to 40-34 just before the end of the third quarter.

A pair of free throws by McColor cut it to 40-36 with 7 minutes left, but the Trojans went inside to Liva and Appleby to extend the margin back to eight.

At James Alegre Gymnasium
Moanalua (9-3) 10 9 15 19 — 53
Mililani (12-0) 18 13 9 20 — 60
Moanalua: LaChae McColor 22, Sydnie Canencia 0, Ciera O’Brien 11, Keahi-lele Roy 3, Hokukealani Mateo 4, Jazmina Lafitaga 9, Cherie Bento 4.
Mililani: Jerika Dacuycuy 0, Kayla Torres 0, Kristen Tamagawa 0, Jamie Yuki 6, Mikaela Limper 7, Zyriana Davies 0, Shantel Appleby 10, Summer Bolibol 9, Sarah Liva 28.
3-point goals: Moanalua 3 (McColor, O’Brien, Roy), Mililani 1 (Limper).

Roosevelt vs. Kailua at James Alegre Gymnasium. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Roosevelt vs. Kailua at James Alegre Gymnasium. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Devyn Kauhi was big for Roosevelt in a semifinal win over Kailua. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Devyn Kauhi was big for Roosevelt in a semifinal win over Kailua. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

No. 7 Roosevelt 71, Kailua 48
It wasn’t flawless, but it was pretty darn close.

The Roosevelt Rough Riders swarmed all over Kailua, forcing 26 turnovers while getting a superb performance from senior Devyn Kauhi in a 71-48 win on Saturday at James Alegre Gymnasium.

The victory vaulted Roosevelt (14-2, 12-0 OIA) into the championship game of the Red Conference playoffs. The Rough Riders, ranked No. 7 in the Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Top 10, will meet No. 3 Mililani on Wednesday at Radford’s Alegre Gymnasium.

It’s a big step forward for Roosevelt, which was upset in the OIA Red quarterfinals last season by Kaimuki.

“It’s good. We’re one step closer to where we want to be,” Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa said. “It’s never comfortable just because you have a big lead.”

It was a decisive end to a Cinderella run by coach Mandy Llamedo’s Kailua squad, which was a Division II program just two years ago. The Surfriders beat Waianae and No. 10 Leilehua earlier in the week to qualify for the state tournament, but seemed a step slow against the ultra-quick Rough Riders.

Kauhi was a big factor. The 5-foot-10 post scored 16 points, well above her season average of 9 points per game, while hustling for nine rebounds and five steals.

“For Devyn, she’s been leading us in rebounding, getting steals, blocks out. Today was a bonus because she scored a lot,” Higa said.

The coach thought that maybe a senior luau on Friday helped get Kauhi especially motivated. Kauhi was just amped to play, period.

“Before the game, we always say a team prayer and that always gets us super pumped up and ready to go,” Kauhi said. “We were definitely hungry, to play at a time when it really counts.”

The Rough Riders went on a 14-5 run in the opening quarter to take command. A relentless fullcourt press by Roosevelt stifled Kailua, which committed 14 first-half turnovers and trailed 42-21 at intermission.

Roosevelt’s rapid transition game led to all kinds of easy scoring opportunities in the paint and from the 3-point arc. Junior Tatiana Mariano played big with 13 points, five boards, five assists and two steals, while another post, 5-11 sophomore Keala Quinlan, finished with 10 points and four caroms.

Roosevelt’s deep backcourt came through despite two fouls by starting guard Sharice Kawakami in the first 50 seconds. While Kawakami rode the pine, reserve guard Ashley Kiko stepped in and hit two early 3-pointers to set the tone. Kawakami finished with eight points while Starr Rivera tallied nine points and five assists.

“We’ve been working all season for all the girls to fill in and do their part. Ashley Kiko went out there and filled that spot,” Higa said.

Tara Takata led Kailua (12-6, 9-4) with 13 points and four dimes. Delcie Williams finished with 12 points and six rebounds, and Patria Vaimaona was under constant defensive pressure all night. She had five points, seven rebounds and three steals.

“I’ve heard that they’re tough,” Higa said of Mililani. “I haven’t seen them play. We’re just excited to play them (in the final).”

Roosevelt won its first girls hoops title in 1982 under coach Peter Haliniak. The came a White Conference crown in 2004 under Bobby Keanini, and Red titles under Keanini in ’06 and ’07.

Kailua has never won an OIA girls basketball title.

At James Alegre Gymnasium
Kailua (9-4) 10 11 11 16 — 48
Roosevelt (12-0) 18 24 16 13 — 71
Kailua: Delcie Williams 12, Keala Kaio-Perez 5, Kainani Peters 2, Leilani Lastimosa 6, Tara Takata 13, Kahea Makua 2, Tiani Lastimosa 1, Kawehi Perry 0, Bridget Pulusia 2, Patria Vaimoana 5.
Roosevelt: Ashley Kiko 6, Sharice Kawakami 8, Tavae Sina Sofa 2, Starr Rivera 9, Kaohi Kapiko 5, Devyn Kauhi 16, Keala Quinlan 10, Destiny Holani 2, Muna Cook 0, Tatiana Mariano 13.
3-point goals: Kailua 1 (Takata), Roosevelt 6 (Kiko 2, Kawakami, Rivera, Kapiko, Quinlan).

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