‘Iolani’s confidence riding high with runaway win

Iolani guard Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu (23) drove to the basket around South Medford forward Sierra Logue on Saturday. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com

There are a few bumps and bruises after three games in three days, but the top-ranked ‘Iolani Raiders have no regrets.

After nearly upsetting the nation’s No. 18 team, Mater Dei, on Friday, the Raiders took out their frustration on South Medford (Ore.) with a 75-52 win. The Panthers normally do plenty of running, but they ran out of gas against the Raiders, who showed no showed no signs of fatigue after the 60-57 loss to Mater Dei.

Defending state champion ‘Iolani improved to 11-1 with their highest single-game scoring output of the season.

“I thought we had a little bit of a speed advantage on (South Medford). I felt we could get some transition points. I think switching our defense in the second half, we stayed out of foul trouble the rest of the game,” ‘Iolani coach Dean Young said. “It’s more like a 2-3. My four years at Syracuse, I picked up some Jim Boeheim 2-3 zone. We don’t do it almost not at all so we had to make some adjustments on the fly. For not practicing it, I thought we ran it pretty well.”

It was high-speed traffic for ‘Iolani, which pulled away late in the first quarter and stretched the lead bit by bit. Lily Wahinekapu led with 19 points, adding eight rebounds and four steals. Jovi Lefotu tallied 13 points and 11 boards with three steals and two blocks. Kyra Tanabe blazed on the fastbreak for 14 points, and Alexsandra Huntimer tallied 10 points. With Kylie Yung (eight points), Lefotu and sister Alexis Huntimer (nine), the Raiders clogged the paint and constantly leaned on the Panther’s 6-foot-2 sophomore, Sierra Logue.

Logue finished with 10 points, six caroms and six steals, but she was always the focus of attention. Alexsandra Huntimer and her teammates were bruisers all tourney long. On one play during the semifinals on Friday, she laid out, parallel to the ground, diving for a loose ball.

“Especially for Alexsandra, I’m not surprised. She was a captain last year as a sophomore. There’s a reason for that. It’s because she’s playing for the team and not worrying about anything for herself. Do all the dirty work and be glad about it. She’s a captain,” Young said.

The Raiders get a brief respite before resuming a grueling ILH schedule.

“We play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Maryknoll, Punahou and Kamehameha,” Young said.


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