The last time the Kamehameha girls water polo team saw official action, it was a 12-6 loss to Punahou for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship.
If the Warriors are to make it five straight finals appearances in this week’s Stanford Carr Development/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships, and threaten their first state title since 2006, they’ll have to shake off whatever disappointment remains from that game — and every other loss to the dynastic Buffanblu over the last decade-plus.
Monday was an encouraging start in the 2019 tournament, as the Warriors rolled Kapolei of the OIA 14-2 in the comfort of their own pool. It’s the second straight year Kamehameha’s hosted.
“Obviously the comfort level, with us hosting the tournament, it’s awesome for us,” first-year Warriors coach Anthony Carbrera said. “We don’t have to go anywhere. We go straight from school (to) here. We don’t have to travel. All those kinds of things are really nice. It’s a good pool, so we’re lucky to be able to host.”
The host Warriors steamrolled the Hurricanes from the outset.
Lori Char, Samantha Nakagawa, Shaye Story, Makela Riordan and Kala‘i Terada scored two apiece for Kamehameha, while Keanuenue DeSoto, Reaves Dayton, Liana Wong and Kyra Kahahawai put in one.
“Everyone was able to get in and get minutes,” Cabrera said. “We’ve got some younger players, so it’s good to give them some playoff minutes. Those game-time situational things that are hard to get in practice. We got a lot of those in, so that was really good.”
Now Kamehameha faces third-seeded Baldwin in the quarterfinals Thursday. The teams met in ‘Iolani’s preseason tournament and played a close match.
“They gave us a pretty good game. I would imagine it’s going to be a tough battle for us again on Thursday,” Cabrera said. “I think we’ve gotten better and they’ve probably gotten better as well, so I expect a good battle.”
Taylor Quereto-Medeiros and Ryleigh Gates scored for coach Dex Lee’s Kapolei team, which saw its season come to an end.
In other first-round games Monday:
Kahuku 6, Leilehua 2
In an all-OIA first-round battle, the Red Raiders advanced to the semifinals after negotiating their first pre-quarterfinal match in 10 years.
Kaylee Vendiola and Siitia Cravens each scored a pair, and Kayla Smith and Jade Paranhos-Lopes completed Kahuku’s scoring. The Red Raiders, who sport no seniors, next face fourth-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii in a 2:45 p.m. matchup Thursday back on the Kapalama hillside.
Roosevelt 9, King Kekaulike 2
Adoria Lee scored a hat trick to lead the Rough Riders past Na Alii in a regional game at Kihei Aquatic Center, and into a quarterfinal matchup with 11-time defending state champion Punahou on Thursday.
Princess Gimeno and Lauren Croll added two scores apiece, while Margaret Lonborg and Hailey Oyadomari also found the net. Louisa Buckingham and Montana Disegna scored for King Kekaulike.
Hawaii Prep 5, Moanalua 4
Ka Makani seized upon home-island advantage to stun Na Menehune at Kamehameha-Hawaii’s campus, and advanced to face OIA champion Kaiser on Thursday.
Nora Healy and Jackie Payne scored two times each for HPA and Chloe Hughes once.
Isabella McRae and Marissa Halim split the scoring for Moanalua.
STATE WATER POLO
|1||April 29||King Kekaulike vs. Roosevelt||Roos, 9-2||Kihei|
|2||April 29||Kahuku vs. Leilehua||Kah, 6-2||Kamehameha|
|3||April 29||Hawaii Prep vs. Moanalua||HPA, 5-4||Kamehameha-Hawaii|
|4||April 29||Kamehameha vs. Kapolei||KSK, 14-2||Kamehameha|
|5||May 2||(4) KS-Hawaii vs. Kahuku||KSH, 9-8||Kamehameha|
|6||May 2||(3) Baldwin vs. Kamehameha||KSK, 12-8||Kamehameha|
|7||May 2||(2) Kaiser vs. Hawaii Prep||Kais, 9-3||Kamehameha|
|8||May 2||(1) Punahou vs. Roosevelt||Pun, 15-5||Kamehameha|
|9*||May 3||Baldwin vs. Hawaii Prep||HPA, 7-3||Kamehameha|
|10*||May 3||Kahuku vs. Roosevelt||Roos, 7-4||Kamehameha|
|11||May 3||Kamehameha vs. Kaiser||KSK, 9-4||Kamehameha|
|12||May 3||KS-Hawaii vs. Punahou||Pun, 18-4||Kamehameha|
|13*||May 4||Hawaii Prep vs. Roosevelt||Roos, 6-4||Kamehameha|
|14*||May 4||Kaiser vs. KS-Hawaii||Kais, 10-5||Kamehameha|
|15||May 4||Kamehameha vs. Punahou||Pun, 11-3||Kamehameha|
|* — consolation|