By Paul Honda
Some extra notes on last night’s battle between No. 4 Punahou and No. 3 Mid-Pacific, a 58-39 win by the visiting Buffanblu.
• Punahou’s 8-0 run in the final quarter included a terribly easy inbounds pass from freshman Khaliyah Thompson to center Hailey-Ann Maeda immediately after Mid-Pac had subbed out posts Keaton McFadden and Jenna Savusa with guards. MPI has consistently played its entire bench, from the start of nonconference play through now, but subbing seemingly without regard to the situation? That’s a real commitment to the reserves.
• Coach Mike Taylor is a man-to-man proponent in a large way, but once Punahou expanded the lead to 51-36 with 2:02 left, it was all 2-3 zone. Mid-Pac, which shot 3-for-26 in the second half (1-for-15 in the fourth quarter), had no answer.
• The Owls were a nice 10-for-14 from the foul line in the fourth (71 percent), but went 11 minutes, 34 seconds in the second half without scoring a field goal.
• Punahou meets ‘Iolani on Tuesday with first place in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu at stake.
“We’ve got to get ready for ‘Iolani,” Taylor said moments after last night’s game. “That’s how I feel.”
• Thompson, who scored 10 points off the bench, was a crucial sparkplug, igniting Punahou’s transition game.
“She’s an aggressive player with poise, confidence and patience,” Taylor said. “That’s what we want our team to be.”
• All the verve and fire that came with the win at Punahou on Dec. 29 seemed to dissipate with this loss, Mid-Pac’s second in a row.
“We could’ve beat them,” McFadden said. “Our heart was there, but the shots weren’t falling. (Punahou) played smart defense.”
“Our team played as hard as we could,” said Savusa as her bruised knee was being wrapped with ice. “We came out harder than usual. We just gotta come back harder each game. We can’t dwell on anything. “