Angel Asaah’s rough night has a heavenly finish for Radford in win over Nanakuli

Angel Asaah tied for the team lead in points despite dealing with foul trouble against Nanakuli. Photo by Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Sometimes the 1-3-1 zone can look like a Rubik’s cube.

Other times, it unlocks and great shooters cash in. Earlier in the week, Punahou’s Ryder Hsiung was on the receiving end of perfect passes by his teammates and the result was 6-for-6 shooting from the arc for 22 first-half points in No. 3 Punahou’s 59-49 win over No. 7 Saint Louis.

On Thursday, Radford’s girls weren’t so opportunistic, shooting just 3-for-14 from 3-point range against a similar 1-3-1 look in a crucial quarterfinal game with upset-minded Nanakuli. The Lady Rams got the Golden Hawks to chase out of the paint just enough, and Radford grabbed 18 offensive rebounds en route to a tough 47-42 win.

Radford went 10-0 in the OIA West during the regular season, including a 44-37 win over Nanakuli less than two weeks ago. Angel Asaah sat for more than 12 minutes in the first half with foul trouble, then picked up a third personal to start the second half and sat again.

Radford stayed even with its leading scorer and rebounder stashed on the pine, and when Asaah returned, she pulled down four offensive caroms in the final quarter. That included a putback for an and-one play that gave the Rams the lead for good, 41-38, with 1:56 to go.

It began, however, with ball movement against Nanakuli’s sticky 1-3-1 and man defenses.

“That was one of the key things we worked on. Passing the ball and making passes to people who had good openings and good shots,” said Asaah, who finished with nine points, including 5-for-7 at the foul line, and seven rebounds.

With long arms and active feet, she is a formidable challenger in the post. Sometimes, she takes her share of punishment.

“I feel like as long as it benefits my team, it’s going to be rough, in the end we’re all playing together,” Asaah said. “In these kinds of games, the energy is always up. Anything can happen. We have to keep pushing. We can’t think it’s over until the end. We had to keep sticking on (Lyxc Liana) and lock down. It’s one of those things where you have to trust your teammates.”

Nanakuli was 6-4 in the regular season, and the postseason isn’t done yet. The Golden Hawks ousted Roosevelt on Wednesday, and even with the loss at Radford, they can qualify for the state tournament with a win over Kalani on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Radford (15-8 overall) will host Moanalua, which defeated Kalani on Thursday. The semifinal matchup will be on Saturday. Radford has not lost to an OIA team since preseason in a 54-49 loss to Kahuku during the ‘Iolani Classic.

“I’m excited to play with them, excited to play with the seniors,” Asaah said. “It’s their last year. We’re all doing this for them, so that their last ride is the best ride they’ve had here.”

OIA Playoffs

Updated: Jan. 29
First round
1/22Leilehua (W4)Kaiser (E5)Kais, 48-45 (OT)
1/22Castle (E3)Kapolei (W6)Kapo, 37-33
1/22Waipahu (W3)Kalani (E6)Kaln, 50-39
1/22Roosevelt (E4)Nanakuli (W5)Nan, 48-39
1/23Kahuku (E1)KaiserKah
1/23Mililani (W2)KapoleiMil, 37-21
1/23Moanalua (E2)KalaniMoan, 51-38
1/23Radford (W1)NanakuliRad, 47-42
Consolation semifinals—at Higher Seed
1/25KaiserKapoleiKais, 48-41
1/25NanakuliKalaniKaln, 57-53
Semifinals — At Radford
1/25KahukuMililaniKah, 57-26
1/25RadfordMoanaluaMoan, 42-37
Fifth place—At Higher seed
1/29KaiserKalaniKaln, 43-41
Third place—At Higher seed
1/29MililaniRadfordMil, 41-40
Championship — At Radford
1/29KahukuMoanaluaKah, 47-27
1/22Pearl City (W2)McKinley (E3)McK, 46-37
1/22Kalaheo (E2)Waialua (W3)Wail, 53-52
1/23Farrington (E1)McKinleyFar, 47-20
1/23Campbell (W1)WaialuaCamp, 49-24
Third place—At Higher seed
1/25McKinleyWaialuaMcK, 53-43 (OT)
Championship— At Radford
1/29FarringtonCampbellFar, 41-28


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