‘Iolani rallies past Lunas at Black & Gold

Lahainaluna attacks ‘Iolani's defense during the first half at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Nov. 9, 2017)

The latest incarnation of ‘Iolani girls basketball is deep and fresh.

Fresh as in freshman Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, who poured in 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Lady Raiders wore down Lahainaluna for a 49-45 victory on Thursday night at the McKinley Black and Gold Classic. The 5-foot-7 wing was an energizer on both ends of the floor, and Coach Dean Young went 10 deep.

Kellie Okamura scored 10 points and added five rebounds, two steals and two assists. Tori Maeda and Kayla Malta added seven points each.

Longtime Lunas coach Todd Rickard was less than pleased.

“I’m disgusted. There was not a single plus tonight,” he said. “There was no effort, no hustle, no execution.

Normally, it’s the fullcourt pressing Lady Lunas who grind opponents into dust. Lahainaluna opened the game flat as ‘Iolani opened an 11-3 lead. The defending Maui Interscholastic League champions then went on a 14-0 run to take a 17-11 lead. However, the Lunas suited up just eight players — two starters were out with injuries — and the Raiders began to win the battle of endurance.

‘Iolani went on an 8-3 run to close the gap to 20-19 by halftime. In the third quarter, the Lunas seemed to have no legs left, and the Raiders stormed ahead to a 37-26 lead. Lefotu Wahinekapu seemed to be everywhere with four points, three boards, two assists and a steal during the third.

Lahainaluna caught its second wind and chipped away. Braeanna Estabillo (14 points) hit a trey as the Lunas went on a 10-2 run. After Rachael Balagso (10 points) drained a corner 3 and Estabillo scored off a steal, the lead was down to 39-36. ‘Iolani got a three-point play from freshman Alexsandra Hunter, and after Okamura and Lefotu Wahinekapu hustled for layups, the Raiders had a 48-38 lead with 2 minutes left.

The Lunas chipped away and brought the lead down to 48-45 after two free throws by Erin Ho‘okano (nine points, 11 rebounds), but they got no closer. Long-range shots by Tori Tihada and Estabillo would’ve tied the game, but missed in the final minute. Maeda’s free throw with 16.9 seconds remaining gave ‘Iolani its final four-point margin of victory.

Konawaena 59, Sacred Hearts 28
In an earlier contest, Kawena Kaohimaunu drilled five three pointers to finish with 17 points for the Wildcats. Guards Mikayla Tablit and Cherilyn Molina hustled for 15 points apiece as the Wildcats’ man defense stifled the Lancers. Caiyle Kaupu patrolled the post and added 10 points for the defending state champions.

Dallas Martinez paced SHA with 12 points. Tehiwa Medeiros added 10 points.

In the last game of the night, Kamehameha led McKinley 29-8 at halftime.

Kamehameha 55, McKinley 26
Kiana Vierra scored 15 points, all on treys, as the Warriors overpowered the host Lady Tigers. Just one day since signing a letter of intent to play at UC Santa Barbara, Vierra came out firing from long range and splashed two trifectas in the opening quarter as Kamehameha opened a 15-1 lead.

Kalina Obrey, who recently completed volleyball season with the state-champion Warriors, scored added 10 points. Another force in the paint, Kaylee-Brooke Manuel, scored six of her eight points in the second quarter. Coach Joseph Cho emptied his bench early. Point guard Jewel Pa‘aluhi-Caulk did not play, but is expected to return soon.

Colby Lane led McKinley with seven points and Kloe Lum added five.

Friday’s games
McKinley Girls Basketball Black and Gold Classic
>> Lahainaluna vs. Maryknoll, 1 p.m.
>> Farrington vs. Sacred Hearts, 2:30 p.m.
>> Kalani vs. Kamehameha, 4 p.m.
>> Konawaena vs. ‘Iolani, 5:30 p.m.

Hanalani Lady Royals Challenge
>> King Kekaulike vs. Hanalani, 10 a.m.
>> Molokai vs. Punahou II, 11:30 a.m.
>> Pearl City vs. Kamehameha II, 1 p.m.

Moanalua Peek Tournament
>> Maryknoll vs. Kaiser, 9:30 a.m.
>> Mililani vs. Mid-Pacific, 11 a.m.
>> Punahou vs. Moanalua, 12:30 p.m.
>> Radford vs. Lahainaluna, 2 p.m.

Saturday’s games
McKinley Girls Basketball Black and Gold Classic
>> Maryknoll vs. Konawaena, 1 p.m.
>> Kamehameha vs. Lahainaluna, 2:30 p.m.
>> ‘Iolani vs. Farrington, 4 p.m.
>> Punahou vs. Kalani, 5:30 p.m.
>> Sacred Hearts vs. McKinley, 7 p.m.

Moanalua Peek Tournament
>> Maryknoll vs. Radford, 9:30 a.m.
>> Moanalua vs. Mililani, 11 a.m.
>> Punahou vs. Lahainaluna, 12:30 p.m.
>> Mid-Pacific vs. Kaiser, 2 p.m.


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