(Here’s the longer story on last night’s triple-overtime thriller between Waiakea and Roosevelt. The slightly shorter print version is online at staradvertiser.com)
Ciera Pacheco scored 15 points, including four in the third and final overtime, as Waiakea outlasted Roosevelt 56-55 in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships.
“Oh my gosh! It was so intense,” Pacheco said.
“It was crazy,” Waiakea coach Grant Kauhi said.
Pacheco’s free throws with 18 seconds left gave Waiakea what appeared to be a safe lead at 56-52 in the final overtime. However, Roosevelt’s Kira Arruda swished a 39-foot bomb from near halfcourt to bring cut the lead to one point, and coach Hinano Higa called timeout immediately with 5 seconds remaining.
Roosevelt’s man defense then smothered Waiakea on the inbounds pass to force a 5-second violation. The Rough Riders worked the ball inside to Tatiana Mariano, but she was tied up by at least two Waiakea defenders for a jump ball as the buzzer sounded, ending the game.
“We wanted to go inside and get a foul. We had the bonus,” Higa said. “Waiakea’s a tough team. Their bigs can handle the ball.”
A frazzled crowd of about 500 at Moanalua saw the Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up advance to the quarterfinals. Waiakea (22-5 overall, 10-1 league) will face No. 3 seed Lahainaluna in a 5 p.m. game today at Moanalua.
Pacheco, a senior guard, also had seven rebounds and six steals, and guard Alyssa Ferreira had 13 points and five steals. Junior center Daven Namohala-Roloos had a team-high 16 points.
Pacheco was a steadying force, hitting four free throws in the first overtime.
“She’s my clutch free-throw shooter,” Kauhi said.
“We’ve been getting into condition all season and it pays off,” Pacheco said. “I tried to block out the music and the crowd so I could concentrate.”
Chelsea Wong led Roosevelt (14-9, 10-6 OIA) with 16 points and added seven rebounds. Arruda finished with 13 points, nine boards and three steals.
Despite being outrebounded 34-25, Waiakea forced Roosevelt into 26 turnovers without using its fullcourt press. The Warriors junked the press after the Rough Riders broke it easily early on.
Waiakea pounded the ball inside to Namohala-Roloos for eight points in the first half and had control, but Roosevelt drilled four treys in the second quarter to take a 26-25 lead into the lockerroom.
Waiakea switched out of a 2-3 zone to a man defense to counter the 3-point attack, and Namohala-Roloos managed to stay out of foul trouble. The lead changed hands eight times in the second half.
Waiakea had a 47-43 lead in the first overtime, but Wong scored on a layup and Arruda drove for a game-tying layup with 6 seconds left.
Pacheco’s last-second 28-foot bank shot barely missed at the buzzer.
Waiakea had the final possession in the second extra period, but Pacheco drove and missed a tough shot in traffic. She gathered her own rebound, but turned the ball over on a pass as time ran out. That scoreless second overtime set up a busy third extra period.
Now, stamina could be an issue for Waiakea, which used just seven players in last night’s 44-minute contest.
“That’s a very good question,” Kauhi said. “We had practice plans (for today), but not anymore.”
Senior swingman Tricia Amuimuia, who rehabbed ACL and meniscus injuries this season, normally plays 18 to 20 minutes per game. She saw extensive minutes last night.
Roosevelt shot 7-for-16 from 3-point range and 23-for-46 overall (50 percent). The Rough Riders were 2-for-8 from the foul line.
Waiakea shot 32 percent from the field (16-for-50), but were 14-for-20 at the line (70 percent).
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser