There was no stifling the joy on senior night, even after a loss.
Melody Lum and Shania Moananu led Punahou (12-10, 2-10 ILH) with seven points apiece in a down-to-the-last-minute 51-46 loss to No. 5 Kamehameha. The sixth-ranked Buffanblu celebrated their seniors after the game. They’ll have four practices to prepare for first-place and No. 1-ranked ‘Iolani.
Punahou will visit ‘Iolani on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m., according to Buffanblu coach Gary Pacarro. In their four previous matchups, ‘Iolani won 41-32, 65-48, 63-52 and 43-35.
“We’ve been close with everybody we’ve played. It’s a matter of maturity,” Pacarro said. “I love my kids. We’ve got a ways to work and we’ll get there.”
With senior-night festivities over and families lingering, he didn’t mean to look too far into the future, but he’s optimistic.
“With Sia (Liilii) and Lucky (Rose Williams), the future looks good for these guys,” he added. “The future is bright. We’ve just got to keep it together.”
In 15 matchups with Top 10 teams, Punahou is 6-10. Those 10 losses came against four teams — Konawaena, ‘Iolani, Kamehameha and Maryknoll — all ranked in the Top 3 at one point this season. Against unranked teams, Punahou is 6-0.