Kailua had a rough go at it earlier in the week at Maryknoll, losing 60-35. That game was fairly close for about a half, but Maryknoll’s trapping defense wore the Surfriders down. It won’t get easier here at ‘Iolani.
The Raiders ran and launched threes when I last saw them play Kaiser two weeks ago. They hit nine treys that night, and if Kailua gets tired, the home team will rain more treys. Last year, Tau Williams scored 44 points in an OIA game. Whether she and center Patria Vaimaona have improved this year is tough to gauge after just one game. I think Williams, who was a sophomore last year, has the athleticism to progress and become a Division I player.
In a lot of ways, ILH teams have that advantage over OIA teams. ILH teams will go at it in man defense and man offense every day. Depth is on their side. OIA teams often struggle against that man defense. You could point to the ILH’s intermediate programs and league as another big edge. But the one factor that I will always wonder about is this: every OIA team has a gym. Talk about resources of the private schools, but I still wonder why many OIA basketball programs don’t maximize that one huge asset.
I know Mona Fa‘asoa of Kaimuki practically lives in her gym during the summer. She’s a saint for girls basketball as far as I’m concerned.
Tip-off was supposed to be 4 p.m., but this ‘Iolani-Maryknoll boys intermediate game is running late. Girls game will start at around 4:45.
Intermediate boys: ‘Iolani 56, Maryknoll 49.
The Raiders’ fullcourt press is causing problems for Kailua. The Raiders have scored at least three buckets off steals, and Cami Aguinaldo hit back-to-back rainbow threes as they opened a 12-4 lead.
When Kailua gets set, ‘Iolani has a tough time stopping Williams and Vaimaona down low. They do a nice job of looking for each other under the basket. The Raiders committed their seventh foul with 1:09 to go. They’re going deep, using about 10 players already. But they’re racking up fouls.
Williams scores on a fastbreak and hits the foul shot. Surfriders within 17-11.
Raiders get a 3 from Emily Nomura and lead 20-13 after one quarter. That’s four treys for IOL: two by Aguinaldo, one each by Nomura and Skylar Nakata.
The bonus helped Kailua, which hit some free throws and got a 3 from Christine Atonio to pull within 18-16. Since then, fatigue hit the Surfriders. The Raiders are fresh as the rotate a lot of players and fresh legs into the game. ‘Iolani on a 10-0 run for a 28-16 lead.
Time out by Kailua and coach Mandy Llamedo has another talk with her team. They respond with an 8-0 run. Williams had a beast rebound, sending a Raider flying as they both hand their hands on the ball. That was one of these game-changing moments. Kailua is down to just eight players today, so they’ve had to really grind this out. Vaimaona beat the defense downcourt to catch a pass for a layup, then PG Tara Takata scored on a twisting, high-off-the-glass reverse layup to bring Kailua within 30-28.
Sierra Buscher‘s putback pushed ‘Iolani’s lead to 32-28 at the buzzer. Good first half. This is the Kailua team I remember from last year.
Surfriders play much more efficiently, moving the ball patiently against ‘Iolani’s fullcourt press. ‘Iolani has also gone ice cold from the arc, missing roughly 12 attempts from the arc. The game was tied at 32 after Vaimaona led the fastbreak, dished and followed up a teammate’s miss for a three-point play, landing on her back. She was gimpy after that. Still, the Raiders were in position to make a run with a 40-35 lead.
Kailua scored four points in a row, including a fastbreak layup by Williams. She’s playing with confidence now. Takata’s missed layup at the buzzer ends the quarter.
Kailua was in the bonus with 1:26 left in the third. Fouls have hurt ‘Iolani momentum in each half.
Nomura hits a 3, her team’s first since the first quarter, then scores on a layup off a steal by Buscher for a 46-41 lead. Williams then lead the break and hits Vaimaona in stride for a layup.
Brooke Maeda‘s 3 from the top has ‘Iolani up 51-45 with 6 minutes left.
Turnovers really hurt for Kailua as ‘Iolani went on an 11-1 run. Maeda and Aguinaldo hit wide-open 3-pointers, no defender within 5 feet on those off-ball screens. Nicely executed by the Raiders. The turnover issues against ‘Iolani’s press left Vaimaona and Williams with hardly a touch during the run.
Surfriders starting to foul with 1 minute left.
Great effort by both teams. Surfriders couldn’t match ‘Iolani’s depth, but kept it close by getting Vaimaona and Williams involved. It’s going to be an interesting season for Kailua. They’ve got two strong candidates for all-state. To get deep into the OIA playoffs, they’re going to have to clean up the turnover problem.
Final score not indicate of how close this was for three-plus quarters.
FINAL: IOL 65, KAIL 49. That’s a 14-3 run to close out the game.