The final four of the Stanford Carr Development/HHSAA Water Polo State Championships is underway at Kamehameha today.
There are two familiar faces — Punahou and Kamehameha — and two neighbor island squads looking for a significant breakthrough.
The matchups at Kapalama’s Kalani‘opu‘u Aquatic Center are: No. 2 Baldwin vs. host Kamehameha, 5:45 p.m., followed by No. 1 Punahou (the 10-time defending champion) vs. No. 4 Kamehameha-Hawaii at 7.
No neighbor island team has made it to the championship game in 15 years of this event (and none has defeated an ILH team). The only other year two neighbor island teams made the semis was in 2007.
Punahou and Kamehameha are attempting to make it an all-ILH final for the fifth straight year.
UPDATE: It is indeed the two ILH powers in Saturday’s championship game, these two for the fourth straight year. The Buffanblu (11-0) swept the Warriors (9-4) in three close games the ILH regular season, followed by winning 9-1 in the league title game.
Said Punahou coach Ken Smith, “I like the way we’re playing. We’re bringing a lot of energy, and that’s one thing we talked about doing. We just have to bring that same kind of enthusiasm tomorrow. Now it’s a one-game season. Everything you’ve done in the past, you throw that all out the window. It’s basically who comes and plays well tomorrow.”
Kamehameha is banking on its grind-it-out wins over Kahuku and Baldwin to give it an edge that Punahou didn’t need in the Buffanblu’s comfortable wins over Kaiser and KS-Hawaii.
Said Kamehameha coach Randy Bart, “We’ve been tested, we’ve shown our resolve. That’s really going to pay off. I’d rather have the two kind of games we had last night and tonight, than two walkovers. So I like where we’re at. … We’ll see what happens.”
Game 2 — No. 1 Punahou vs. No 4 Kamehameha-Hawaii
FINAL: Punahou 8, Kamehameha-Hawaii 2
7:56: Kamehameha gets one more goal with four seconds left, and a loud cheer goes up from the KSH tent.
7:40 p.m.: Punahou takes an 8-1 lead going into the fourth.
7:24 p.m. — The Warriors are on the board! A strike from straightaway brings them back within 6-1 heading into halftime.
7:20 p.m. — Some expected separation has happened. Punahou now leads 6-0 late in the second.
7:17 p.m. — The Buffanblu strike on consecutive possessions to double their lead in a matter of moments.
7:10 p.m. — The Big Island Warriors play the 10-time defending champions tough at the outset, and trail only 2-0 after a quarter.
Here were the complete scorers:
Punahou: Christina Hicks 3, Nai‘a Young-Kingsbury, 2, Anuhea Ledesma, Dillyn Lietzke, Victoria Gacutan
Kamehameha-Hawaii: Lahela Rosario, Kukui Haumea
Game 1 — No. 2 Baldwin vs. Kamehameha
FINAL: Kamehameha 6, Baldwin 3
6:39 p.m.: Kamehameha strikes like lightning (twice) to clinch its berth in the finals. La‘a Dedrick scores on a power play and after a Bears turnover, Shaye Story puts one in from point blank on a counterattack.
6:31 p.m.: It’s still a tense one heading to the fourth quarter as the Warriors maintain their 4-3 lead on the Bears. Rebecca Gallimore, who scored seven goals in Baldwin’s quarterfinal win over Kalaheo, has so far been held to a single goal.
6:23 p.m.: Kamehameha goes back up 4-3 in the third quarter on a penalty shot by La‘akea Dedrick.
6:13 p.m.: The Bears get a goal from Jacsen Donohue with 13 seconds left in the half and it’s a good one here — 3-all at intermission.
6:08 p.m.: Kamehameha strikes back in the second quarter behind some steals and a goal from Lori Char, and the Warriors go up 3-2.
6:00 p.m.: The Bears, guided by their vocal coach Shawn Donahue, are off to a good start, taking a 2-1 lead on the host Warriors after a quarter.
Here were the complete goal scorers:
Baldwin: Jacsen Donohue 2, Rebecca Gallimore
Kamehameha: Lori Char 2, La‘akea Dedrick 2, Emma Kim, Shaye Story
|1||April 30||Kealakehe vs. Kalaheo||Kalh 10-9||Kona|
|2||April 30||Lahainaluna vs. Roosevelt||Roos, 8-5||Kihei|
|3||April 30||Kaiser vs. Kapolei||Kais 7-1||Kamehameha|
|4||April 30||Kamehameha vs. Moanalua||KSK 16-2||Kamehameha|
|5||May 3||(4) KS-Hawaii vs. Roosevelt||KSH 9-5||Kamehameha|
|6||May 3||(2) Baldwin vs. Kalaheo||Bal 16-7||Kamehameha|
|7||May 3||(3) Kahuku vs. Kamehameha||KSK 8-6||Kamehameha|
|8||May 3||(1) Punahou vs. Kaiser||Pun, 14-2||Kamehameha|
|9*||May 4||Kalaheo vs. Kahuku||Kahuku, 13-8||Kamehameha|
|10*||May 4||Roosevelt vs. Kaiser||Kaiser, 4-3||Kamehameha|
|11||May 4||(2) Baldwin vs. Kamehameha||KS, 6-3||Kamehameha|
|12||May 4||(4) KS-Hawaii vs. (1) Punahou||Pun, 8-2||Kamehameha|
|13*||May 5||(3) Kahuku vs. Kaiser||3:15 p.m.||Kamehameha|
|14*||May 5||(2) Baldwin vs. (4) KS-Hawaii||4:30 p.m.||Kamehameha|
|15||May 5||Kamehameha vs. Punahou||6 p.m.||Kamehameha|
|* — consolation|