OIA Girls Basketball
Heimuli, Govs overpower Kalani, 60-45


 

Farrington's Molimau Heimuli puts up a shot attempt over three Kalani defenders in the second quarter of an OIA East contest Tuesday night. Michael Lasquero | SL

KALIHI — Molimau Heimuli's 35 points and 26 boards powered No. 7 Farrington past Kalani, 60-45 in an Oahu Interscholastic Association East Division matchup at Kitamura Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

The senior forward was unstoppable as she scored 23 of her 35 points in the first half and grabbed 26 rebounds (11 offensive, 15 defensive).

"Moli is Moli. We told our girls she's going to get her points, but we have to let others beat us," said Kalani coach Chi Mok.

"We spoke to her about the impact she has on the team and about taking a leadership role and stepping up. Today was the best she played and in best in terms of taking the ball in her hands and doing what she does best," said Farrington coach Caroline Tatupu.

Since losing to Kaimuki (7-0) on Dec. 15, the Lady Govs went on a five-game wining streak to improve to 7-1 in league play. The Lady Falcons (5-2), who play in the Division II East, dropped their second-straight game since starting league play at 5-0.

"I've seen improvements in certain areas of our game, I'm happy with that. There are other things we still have to work on, but for the most part I'm happy where we're at and I'm looking forward to our girls improving, said Tatupu.

Farrington outrebounded a smaller Kalani squad by a 51-19 margin.

The Lady Falcons hung with the Lady Govs in the first quarter, despite Heimuli scoring 12 of Farrington's 14 quarter points. Farrington started pulling away in the second quarter as Heimuli worked the paint and Chantal Mailou drained a 3, as the Lady Govs went up, 35-20.

A late surge by Kalani helped trim it to a 10 point deficit, 35-25 going into halftime.

"Overall, of course there were several plays where we weren't looking for those things. At any given point, we had three sophomores and a freshman in there, so that's going to be expected," said Mok.

The perimeter shots kept Kalani in the game as Kristin Kouchi drained back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Lady Falcons within four, 35-31 as Farrington called timeout. The team finished 8-for-18 for the game.

"When they came off and scored the first 3's, we had to stop the bleeding and take a breather and stress our defense. That's what kept us in the game, we had lapses here and there, but for the most part I'm pleased," said Tatupu.

The Lady Govs overcame three Kalani double-figure scorers: Kaylie Espinas led the team with 13 points with three 3's, Logan Luke added 11 points, seven rebounds and Kouchi with 10 points, three 3-pointers.

The smaller, but scrappy Kalani defenders turned up the pressure to force Farrington turnovers as the Lady Falcons tied it up at 37 after a pair of free throws from Kandyce Woods. However, Kalani could not convert the steals into points, despite outscoring the Lady Govs in the quarter.

"We knew Kalani is one of those teams that won't give up no matter what the score was. They were capable of making a comeback," said Tatupu.

"We depend on pressure defense—full court and half court. We didn't capitalize on a lot of key turnovers where we could've taken the lead or pulled even. That's been our issue. We get a lot of turnovers, but we don't score off of them. Sometimes we get turnovers but give it right back. Effort is there, but we have to be smarter," said Mok.

Farrington started on a 12-0 run in the fourth to pull away for good and outscored Kalani, 17 to 7.

"We stressed to the girls about running with our girls. If we can outrun the other team, that's an advantage," said Tatupu.

Farrington travels to McKinley (2-5) on Jan. 7, while Kalani hosts another Division I foe in Kahuku (6-1) on the same night.



Reach Brandon Ching at brandon@scoringlive.com.


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