The setting was casual, but when the team in black got serious, there was no stopping it.
Down 16-0, Dallas Martinez and Kaelyn Espinda sparked a comeback as Team Black rallied past Team Blue for a 41-33 win in the final of the high school division of the 25th Annual Mufi Hannemann Basketball Jamboree at Manoa District Park gym.
Martinez (Sacred Hearts) and Espinda (Kaimuki), both juniors, entered with the second group and got the rally going. Team Black led 17-16 at the half, and Moe Notoa (Maryknoll) helped her team pad the lead. The senior scored seven of her team-high 11 points after the break. Rhianne Omori (Maryknoll) and Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu (‘Iolani) added seven and six points, respectively.
Dominique Pacheco (Waiakea) chipped in five points, all in the second half.
Gieani Balino (Campbell) and Kelsie Imai (Waiakea) led Team Blue with 11 points apiece. Balino scored all of her points before halftime. Dahlis Sablay added five points and Isabella Cravens dominated the glass with 10 rebounds.
“It’s good playing with new people, being able to work with their abilities,” said Omori, who will graduate in June. “We’re just having fun, no coach to tell you to do this or that, playing with a lot of freedom. As a senior, this year is your last chance ad you want to have fun.”