Aloha Akaka scored 15 points, including two key free throws with 34 seconds left, as No. 6 Maryknoll escaped with a 45-42 win over No. 3 Kamehameha on Friday night.
“I love our resiliency. I love the way we battled and grinded that out,” Maryknoll coach Chico Furtado said.
Free-throw shooting was a major difference. Maryknoll made six of its nine attempts in the final quarter. The visiting Warriors were just 5-for-14 at the foul line in the fourth period.
“Free throws killed us. We’ve been struggling with that all season,” Warriors coach Pua Straight said. “It’s more about playing smart. We’ve got the playing hard part down. If we played smarter, we wouldn’t have been in that situation.”
Serenity Moananu sat most of the first half with foul issues, but provided the go-ahead putback after a missed layup by Akaka with 47 seconds left. That pushed the Spartans ahead 43-42.
Kamehameha point guard Haley Masaki missed two tries from the charity stripe with 38 seconds to play.
With 34 seconds remaining, Akaka hit two foul shots for a three-point lead. Esther Naum, who scored 11 of her 12 points after halftime to spark a Warriors rally, missed a corner 3, but Kamehameha got the ball back when Mahalo Akaka’s long pass sailed over the Maryknoll bench with 8.8 seconds left.
Kamehameha’s Malie Marfil missed a contested, straightaway 3 before time expired.
Lilly Koki added 11 points for Maryknoll, which improved to 2-3 in ILH play (10-4 overall). Marfil led Kamehameha (10-7, 1-4) with 13 points. Lagi Sua-Godinet hustled for 11 rebounds, five points and four steals.
Though Moananu sat the second quarter, Maryknoll turned a two-point lead into a 25-15 halftime cushion. Kyla Neumann splashed two treys for the Spartans during a 15-7 run.
“We took care of the ball. We had just six turnovers before the half,” Furtado said. “I think we had 29 shot attempts (in the first half). Our percentage wasn’t good, but we want attempts because eventually things will start to fall.”
Taimane Faleafine-Auwae was effective without scoring. The Spartans center had four rebounds three blocks and two assists off the bench.
Maryknoll used a 2-3 matchup zone heavily in the final three quarters. Kamehameha shot 2-for-16 from the 3-point arc from the field for the game. Maryknoll was 4-for-20 from deep.
Neither team shot well in general after returning from mainland tournaments on Tuesday.
Kamehameha will host No. 5 Punahou next Tuesday. Maryknoll travels to No. 1 ‘Iolani, also next Tuesday.
At Clarence T.C. Ching Gymnasium
Kamehameha (10-7, 1-4) 8 7 20 7 — 42
Maryknoll (10-4, 2-3) 10 5 6 14 — 45
KS: Maddison Mangalao 0, Malie Marfil 13, Kylle Kamauoha Phillips 0, Haley Masaki 5, Camille Feary 7, Alize Pratt 0, Lagi Sua-Godinet 5, Esther Naum 12.
MS: Kira Kaopua 2, Lilly Koki 11, Mahea Choy Foo 0, Serenity Moananu 6, Aloha Akaka 15, Mahalo Akaka 5, Taimane Faleafine-Auwae 0, Brandie Tobin 0, Kyla Neumann 6.
3-point goals—KS 2 (Masaki, Feary), MS 4 (Neumann 2, Koki, A. Akaka).