Maui Races Past Waiakea to Post First Victory
By Josh Pacheco via Big Island Now
Maui High School girls basketball coach Jimmy Tanaka described his team as a little scared after Thursday’s loss to Hilo.
The Sabers responded with a second half comeback to pick up their first win of the season, a 59-50 victory over Waiakea, the host of the Waiakea High School Girls Basketball Tournament.
“We just adjusted to the environment,” Tanaka said after the game. “They got scared yesterday. It was our first game in a long time.”
Maui (1-1) lost to the Vikings 65-41 a night earlier, giving the ball away 32 times while shooting just over 26% from the field. The Sabers cut their turnover number down to 19 Friday while improving their shooting percentage to 42.4%.
Waiakea (1-1) controlled most of the first half, taking a 31-27 lead into the locker room. Things took a turn when Jennica Tamura got a pass from Liana Tanaka and finished a fast break with a layup to give Maui a 36-35 lead with 4:52 remaining in the quarter.
About thirty seconds later, Waiakea’s Nicole Antonio picked up a clean steal and took it down the court for a layup to give the Warriors a 37-36 advantage. The junior finished with eight points.
Maui took the lead back with 1:27 remaining in the quarter when Jordyn Vega finished a fast break with a layup and was fouled by Kryssie Okinaka. Vega, who finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds, converted the free throw to give the Sabers a 41-39 lead.
“Jordyn can have 30 points and 30 rebounds every night if she wanted to,” said Tanaka of his junior standout. “She’s one of my best players and for her, it’s all about bringing out the potential.”
Waiakea took the lead back early in the fourth quarter when Kaydee Rapozo completed a three point play on a transition layup and a foul. Shaila Apele got the play started by blocking Tanaka’s shot attempt, helping to push Waiakea ahead 44-42 with 6:59 remaining.
Maui immediately stormed back, taking the lead for good with an 8-0 run over the next 2:35, charged by three layups from Tamura to lead 50-44.
Tanaka credited his team’s conditioning as a main reason why they pulled out the victory. “I always feel like we can out run and out gas a team. I let my girls run for four quarters, and it’s usually in the third or fourth quarter where we pull away when the other team gets tired.”
Those opportunities were led in part by Waiakea’s 11 second half turnovers. Maui also succeeded in breaking the Warriors’ 1-2-2 full court zone press.
Jennica Tamura led all scorers with 17 points on 8-for-15 shooting. She added four rebounds and three assists. Emma Hanlon added 10 points and four rebounds.
Waiakea shot 26.3% (15-for-57) from the field and made just two of its seven three-point attempts. Apele led the way with 16 points and five rebounds. Rapozo added 14 points and six boards.
Waiakea 15 16 10 9 – 50
Maui 9 18 15 17 – 59
Waiakea High Girls Basketball Tourney schedule
Waimea 47, Hawai`i Preparatory Academy 42
Mililani 58, Kea`au 18
Maui 50, Waiakea 50
Hilo 66, Kamehameha-Hawai`i 30
10:00 a.m. – Waimea vs. Kea`au
11:30 a.m. – Hawai`i Prep vs. Waiakea
1:00 p.m. – Mililani vs. Hilo (JV game)
2:30 p.m. – Mililani vs. Hilo
4:00 p.m. – Maui vs. Kamehameha-Hawai`i
5:30 p.m. – Waiakea vs. Mililani (JV)
7:00 p.m. – Waiakea vs. Mililani
Kaiser High School Preseason Basketball Tournament
Honoka`a 55, Moanalua 48
Kamehameha-Kapalama 46, Konawaena 44
Lahainaluna 87, Kaiser 38
Punahou 69, Roosevelt 57
2:30 p.m. – Moanalua vs. Punahou
4:00 p.m. – Roosevelt vs. Konawaena
5:30 p.m. – Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha-Kapalama
7:00 p.m. – Honoka`a vs. Kaiser
Ka`u Varsity Basketball Tournament
Pahoa 64, Laupahoehoe 15
Ka`u 36, Kealakehe 35
9:00 a.m. – Ka`u vs. Laupahoehoe
10:30 a.m. – Kealakehe vs. Pahoa
12:00 p.m. – Ka`u vs. Pahoa (JV game)
1:30 p.m. – Laupahoehoe vs. Kealakehe
3:00 p.m. – Pahoa vs. Ka`u