‘Iolani, Punahou play for the crown

‘Iolani and Punahou struggle through the semifinals and will clash for the state championship. Photos by Jamm Aquino.

[showtime]

.


By Paul Honda

A little tight on space in the print edition, so here’s some extra goodies on Punahou’s 3-1 comeback win over Kealakehe in the semifinals of the JN Automotive/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships.

• Punahou was scoreless for 57 minutes against a big, fast Kealakehe squad.

Quintin Love’s goal gave Punahou all the insurance it needed with a 3-1 lead late in the match. He charged in and got past a defender who nearly got his head with a high kick while trying to clear the ball.

• An injury to sweeper Raydan Bala in the second half altered Kealakehe’s chemistry.

“We had to move Brandon (Sawada), our center-halfback, to sweeper,” coach Urs Leuenberger said. “But overall, we got beat by the better team.”


• Kealakehe had more goal kicks, 16-4, but Punahou dominated shots on goal 21-7. Buffanblu keeper Charley Yamamoto had four saves, including a leaping tip that prevented a score early in the match.

See the other D-I semifinal story, an 2-1 overtime win by ‘Iolani over Kamehameha, here.

Some info on Honokaa, which ousted defending D-II champ Kapaa 2-0.

• Honokaa had long been a Big Island Interscholastic Federation power, but had often played second fiddle to Hawaii Prep until Miranda’s labor-intensive efforts yielded fruit. This is Honokaa’s fifth trip to the state tourney; two years ago, the Dragons missed a chance to face Miranda’s son, then-MPI coach Marc Miranda, after losing to Kapaa in the semifinals.

The younger Miranda is now coach at UH-Hilo, while his dad continues to develop young talent from Waimea to Pauuilo.

“These are kids I’ve coached since they were 8 or 9,” Miranda said. “We try to possess it. We’ve got a lot of good midfielders.”


Several Dragons play in the off-season when they travel off-island for tournaments like the Kirk Banks.

MPI and Kapaa (9-4-1) met in Hawaii Prep’s preseason tourney. Mid-Pac scored two late goals for a 3-1 win.

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*