By Fred Guzman
The second-seeded Lady Lunas squandered a lead that reached 12 points midway through the third quarter and suffered a 52-47 loss to Punahou in last night’s semifinals of the Division-I girls state basketball tournament at the Blaisdell Center on Oahu.
Senior guard Maiki Viela did her part for the Lunas, scoring a game-high 32 points, but unlike last season – when her team had more size – Lahainaluna lost the battle of the boards.
Hailey Ann Maeda exploited that advantage by scoring 17 points and collecting 14 rebounds as the Buffanblu went on a 17-2 run to overtake the Lunas and earned a berth in tonight’s title game against top-seeded Konawaena. The Lunas will face Iolani in the 3 p.m. third-place game.
The Wildcats from the Big Island continued to terrorize their opponents, improving their season rcord to 31-1 with a 60-29 rout of Iolani in the other semifinal.
Relegated to the D-II consolation bracket following a quaterfinal loss to Maryknoll on Wednesday, second-seeded Molokai High was soundly defeated by University High, 45-29, ending its tournament run.
Earlier, state tournament newbie King Kekaulike was two and done in D-I.