Lady Lunas Fall to Iolani in Semifinals, 66-56
In the end, Lahainaluna High School’s demise was two-fold.
The Lady Lunas had no answer for Iolani’s low-post attack and were unable to hold the Raiders off the boards, suffering a 66-56 defeat in Thursday’s Division I semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships at Blaisdell Arena.
Maui Interscholastic League champion Lahainaluna fell to 25-4 overall and will play Kahuku to determine third place today at 3 p.m.
Second-seeded Iolani, the ILH champion, will face BIIF champion and top-seeded Konawaena in tonight’s finals at 7. Both teams have won four state titles. Konawaena is the defending champion, while Iolani last won in 1996. The Wildcats defeated Kahuku in Thursday’s other semfinal, 60-42.
Five ties and four lead changes highlighted a 35-31 first half that favored Iolani, thanks to its 17-8 advantage in rebounds.
In the second half, Iolani’s guards — Saphyre Rezentes, Kylie Maeda and Adrianna Johnson-Edwards — kept finding open players Taimane Passi (10 points), Alyssa Liilii (8) and Jade Botelho (4) in the paint.
The Raiders, who pressed the entire game, managed to score points in bunches at the start of the third quarter and then again early in the fourth period, scoring eight straight during one two-minute stretch. Many of Iolani’s transition points were triggered by steals when the Lunas were trying to break the press.
Iolani would eventually build a 12-point cushion, 55-43.
Rezentes had a game-high 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 assists to lead the Raiders. Maeda added 15 and Adrianna Johnson-Edwards had 10.
Lahainaluna fought back midway through the fourth quarter, executing an 11-2 run that ended with Jade Chihara’s layup off a give-and-go play from Ana Lauese that cut the Raiders’ lead to 57-53 with 3 minutes, 13 seconds to play.
Iolani, however, continued to dominate the boards (29-13) and made its free throws (15 of 19) to close out the contest.
Lahainaluna shot 21 of 47 (45%) from the field, with six 3-pointers and 8 of 16 (50%) free throws. Princess Lauvao led the scoring with 15 points, while Lauese and Paige Casil had 10 apiece.
Lauese, Chihara and Erlanda Basques fouled out in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
The Raiders shot 50% from the field (24-for-48) and committed 21 turnovers to the Lunas’ 20.
At Neal Blaisdell Center
Lahainaluna 14 17 12 13 56
Iolani 20 15 12 21 68
LAHAINALUNA: Haley Nakamura 6, Glelynn Casil 10, Jade Chihara 4, Taylor Bates 3, Amanda Matsuda 5, Erlanda Basques 3, Matafolau Hafoka 0, Lindsay Bates 0, Ana Lauese 10, Princess Lauvao 15, Leimoana Hafoka 0. Totals 21 8-16 56.
IOLANI: Kylie Maeda 15, Sheyla Kahalehoe 3, Saphyre Rezentes 16, Klein Masutani 0, Katie Tom 2, Abrianna Johnson-Edwards 10, Aylssa Liilii 8, Taimane Passi 10, Jade Botelho 4. Totals 25 15-20 68.
3 point goals: Lahainaluna, 6 (Casil 2, Lauvao 2, Bates, Matsuda); Iolani, 3 (Maeda, Kahalehoe, Rezentes).