(Here’s a slightly longer piece on another close opening-round game at the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships last night.)
Mililani 56, Kaimuki 54
Nayla Long’s putback at the buzzer gave the Trojans an opening-round win over the Bulldogs. The Trojans missed two shots in the final 6 seconds before the ball bounced to Long, who put her shot up just before time expired.
“It ricocheted off Summer (Bolibol) and came to me,” said Long, who had 21 points. “I knew I had to get it out of my hands quick.”
Kapili Amamalin added 15 points, mostly in transition, to help the Trojans overcome Kaimuki. They lost to the Bulldogs 45-43 in the OIA playoffs last week.
“We wanted to push the pace. Kaimuki likes to get after it, too, so I wanted to see who’s the last man standing,” Mililani coach Patrick Basilio said.
The big production of Long and Amamalin was key after Mililani guard Taylor Babbitt went down with a knee injury in the first half.
“The girls stepped it up when Tayor got hurt,” Basilio said.
Mililani (15-8, 11-3 OIA) will meet No. 2 seed ‘Iolani in today’s quarterfinal at Moanalua (7 p.m.).
“We played them in preseason and one word: deep. They bring army after army,” Basilio said.
Ashley Savusa led Kaimuki (21-7, 16-2 OIA) with 28 points. Dejah Fa‘asoa added 14 and Canny Aikau had 12.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser