Kamehameha faces elimination in ILH playoffs

'Iolani guard Tori Maeda, left, is one of the top returning point guards in the state. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

The ILH playoffs are humming and Kamehameha is in potential elimination mode.

The Warriors will travel to ‘Iolani today in second-round action of the playoff tournament. A win by Kamehameha plus a win by Maryknoll against Sacred Hearts would be good news for the Warriors.

Since Kamehameha lost to ‘Iolani in a tie-breaker game for second place in the regular-season standings on Thursday, the Warriors need a first- or possibly second-place finish in the league playoffs to claim the league’s second state-tournament berth. (Regular season winner Maryknoll has already earned the first state berth.)

With a consistent stream of adversity, mostly due to injuries, the Warriors are relatively healthy now. Seniors Kiana Vierra (UC Santa Barbara signee) and Jewel Pa‘aluhi-Caulk have junior center Kalina Obrey back. Obrey returned from a hand injury on Jan. 3, just four weeks after suffering the injury.

A win by ‘Iolani over Kamehameha tonight, plus a Maryknoll victory over Sacred Hearts would seal second place (or better) in the ILH for the Raiders. That would result in a state-tourney berth.

The Raiders have been on a roll, aside from a lopsided loss to No. 1 Maryknoll. Tori Maeda has been superb and efficient, while senior guard Kellie Okamura provides speed in transition offense and strong halfcourt defense. Swingman Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu has stepped up as one of the top freshmen in the state. The return of Taylor Wu has been a significant addition. Wu scored 18 points in the Raiders’ win over Kamehameha last week.

The Kamehameha-‘Iolani game tips off at 6 p.m. at Father Bray Athletic Center.


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