By Paul Honda
Some post-game notes from last night’s opening-round Roosevelt-Mililani game at Radford in the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships.
The Rough Riders, runners-up from the Oahu Interscholastic Association, won 62-49 and will play second-seeded Lahainaluna tonight at Radford.
• Mililani tried to attack Roosevelt’s primary weapons, particularly Mikela Thoemmes, but had limited success. Thoemmes wisely avoided picking up cheap fouls despite active Mililani posts like Darcey Goulsby and Pomai Grube-Hose.
“Fundamentally, Roosevelt is very sound, but they’re not deep” Trojans coach Patrick Basilio said. “We didn’t attack their key people. We were too passive.”
• Leading scorer Amber Ogata (10 points, 3-for-12 shooting) didn’t get untracked in the first half, then suffered a bloody nose just before halftime during a midcourt collision. It took five minutes to clean blood off the court. Ogata took just four shots in the first half and hit a 3. She wasn’t quite herself in the third quarter, but the effort was there and she had four open looks. She hit two buckets in the final quarter, including another trey, but it was a long night for her and backcourt mate Kellie Sakai (four points).
Roosevelt’s man-to-man defense, with Kelcie Namba, Abcde Furuto-Harada, Shana Kawakami and Charisse Tanabe swarming on Mililani’s guards, was excellent. Mililani shot 35 percent (18-for-52) and had 24 turnovers.
• Kawakami, a sophomore with Energizer rabbit-level energy, has been a defensive menace all season. Last night, though, her 3-point prowess was on display. She was 3-for-4 from deep in the first half, raining her treys from the corner against Mililani’s 2-3 zone.
“I’ve been practicing a lot with Dianna Zane,” she said of the former Roosevelt standout guard. “She’s helping me a lot. We did a lot of shooting the past few days. A lot of getting ready to shoot.”
The opportunities will continue to be there for Kawakami, Namba and Nicole Ramirez. Defense usually key on Thoemmes, doubling and tripling on her. Ramirez was 2-for-4 from the arc and Namba was 2-for-3. As a team, Roosevelt was a stealth 7-for-15 from deep. Overall, the Rough Riders shot 52 percent (22-for-42).
Ramirez: 6-for-8 from the field, 4-for-5 at the line, six rebounds, three assists and just two turnovers. In terms of plus-minus, she probably had the best efficiency of any player.
• Normally, a positive assists-to-turnovers ratio tells the story better than most statistics. Roosevelt had 17 assists and 24 giveaways, both high numbers. But the Rough Riders also had 11 steals, including four by Thoemmes.
• Goulsby, a sophomore, is a point guard in a low post’s body. Her ability to handle pressure — Roosevelt’s fullcourt traps — was a big plus for the Trojans.
• As a team, Mililani’s ballhandling wasn’t up to par against the pesky Rough Riders. The Trojans had eight assists to go with the 23 turnovers.
• Roosevelt’s ball movement was a big factor. Thoemmes got touches on the low post and shot 6-for-13 to finish with 14 points. It would’ve been more if not for 2-for-8 shooting at the line, where she’s normally a solid shooter. She also had 12 rebounds — five offensive. She had eight turnovers, mostly unforced. Namba had seven, giving the two 63 percent of their team’s giveaways.
Overall, a good performance, but Roosevelt hasn’t played its best basketball yet. That could happen tonight against powerful Lahainaluna.