We are half an hour from tip-off at the Moanalua bracket of the OC-16/HHSAA Girls Basketball Division I State Championships.
Kaiser has had a unique, sometimes painful season because of the early-season suspension of Coach Simon Bitanga, who was investigated and then cleared by the DOE. It’s not the first time a coach has been forced to sit for a large chunk of the season only to be cleared eventually.
To his credit, Coach Bitanga doesn’t seem bitter or upset about it. His team is ready for its opening game in the state tourney. KS-Maui is the MIL runner-up and largely a mystery team to Oahu observers.
Media time out with 3:14 left and the Warriors lead 8-5. Two treys by Rebeka Revelle, a 5-foot-7 senior. Stone cold shooter. Both teams in 2-3 zones. For now.
Revelle hits another 3 on a scramble play off an offensive rebound, but Kaiser has cut the lead to 13-12 after one quarter.
Both teams getting sloppy with the ball. Media time out with 3:41 to go, KS-Maui leads 17-15. KS-Maui extended its zone pressure on top a bit, but both teams basically staying put in their zones. Not enough zonebusters in this one because there are a lot of open shots available on the arc.
Revelle sat out quite a bit of the second quarter, and when she returned, she committed her third personal foul with 33 seconds left. They don’t have a zonebuster with her on the bench, and Kaiser leads at the half, 23-20.
Shimaoka having a solid game in transition. The senior guard has 11 points and seven rebounds so far.
After Ashley Peralta goes coast to coast for a layup, Revelle gets free for her fifth trey of the game. The Warriors took a 25-23 lead, and at the TV time out, it’s 27-all, 3:32.
Revelle connects on another 3 and KS-Maui stands strong defensively even though shot-blocking machine Kimani Fernandez-Roy sat most of the quarter. Warriors lead 35-32 entering the fourth.
The Cougars tie the game on a 3, but KSM regains the lead on a 5-foot J in the paint by Peralta. Time out, KSM 37-35, 5:27.
TV time out with 3:41 left. KS-Maui leads 39-37. It’s really tough in the paint here, but Fernandez-Roy with NINE BLOCKS and she’s still holding down the fort for the Warriors despite four fouls. She also solved Kaiser’s halfcourt pressure by finding Kaylee Cambra for a layup to go up 39-35. CRUNCH TIME!
Huge heart by the Cougars, who hustle for three offensive rebounds in a row, then get an open 3 from Skylar Kimura to take a 40-39 lead with 2:35 left. Time out with 2:17 left.
Kaiser with opportunities to lock down a win, but Shimaoka missed two 1-and-1s. Can’t blame her. I think she’s played every minute and has to be exhausted. KSM unable to execute; Kaiser getting steals out of its man defense.
KSM ball with 1:21 left, Kaiser still up 40-39. Time out, KSM. Thrillerrr…
Fernandez-Roy fouls out with :56 left, huge blow, but the Warriors are in this. Chelsea Soong makes one of two for Kaiser, then Shimaoka misses two with :48 left. It’s 41-39 with :43.3 left. I wonder if Revelle gets open…
Kaiser plays great defense on the KS-Maui inbounds and Shimaoka steals the pass. Pass to Kimura, who is fouled with :40.3 left. Kimura hits the second for a 42-39 lead.
KS-Maui in panic mode against Kaiser’s man pressure. They throw it away and Kaiser gets possession. Kimura goes to the line with 22.8 seconds left and hits one of two for a 43-39 lead.
Revelle drives for a layup and KS-Maui calls time out with 15.1 seconds left. Shimaoka is fouled with :12.4 left and finally hits her first FT of the game to make it 44-41. KS-Maui with a chance to tie, but a 3-point shot appears to be partially blocked by Shimaoka and time runs out. Kaiser survives and advances to the quarterfinal round.