Iolani held a double-digit lead in the second half and weathered a late Lahainaluna rally to win, 49-45, on the second day of the McKinley Girls Basketball Black and Gold Classic sponsored by the Matsumoto Law Group at Student Council Gymnasium on Thursday night.
"This kind of competition is invaluable," said Iolani coach Dean Young. "You can't simulate that pressure and athleticism in practice. For us, to schedule a tough preseason is one of our goals. Even though they (Lahainaluna) were missing couple pieces, they are a tough team."
The Raiders broke in some new faces and were led by freshman guard Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, who poured in 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
"I thought she played really well," Young said of Wahinekapu. "She feeds off of our returnees so they are showing her how we want to play and she's fitting right in."
Braeanna Estabillo led the Lunas with 14 points, five rebounds, and six steals before fouling out. Rachael Balagso added 10 points and three steals, and Erin Hookano poured in nine points and 11 boards.
The Raiders held a 9-2 lead to force a Lahainaluna timeout at 3:04 in the opening period, but the Lunas rallied to go on a 7-2 run to trail 11-9 into the second quarter.
Lahainaluna tied up the game and took the lead on Balagso's free throw and the Lunas extended it off of Erin Hookano's points from the post, 16-11.
The Raiders got to the free throw line to shoot 6 of 8 in the quarter and trailed, 20-19 at halftime.
Iolani reclaimed the lead, 26-24 after Kellie Okamura's 3-point play. Okamura finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Balagso tied the game up at 26 off a backdoor feed from Hookano, but the Raiders responded with a 7-0 run capped by Tori Lynn Maeda's 3-pointer from the left corner. Alexis Huntimer added a layup to give Iolani their largest lead of the game, 37-26.
Lahainaluna brought it within three, 39-36 after Establlo's steal and layup, but the Raiders pushed it up to eight following Kayla Malta's shot plus the free throw and Wahinekapu's putback.
"This is a good field. It's going to make us better and to see what we need to work on," said Young.
The Lunas trailed by 10, 48-38, but crept back in it to trim the decifict all the way down to three, 48-45 at the 1:02 mark following a pair of free throws from Hookano. Estabillo fouled out with 16.9 seconds and Maeda made 1 of 2 free throws to close the game.
"This is a young group and it was good to get this game under our belt especially against good competition. We have four returnees. This is a really young team and it showed tonight. They made some errors and turnovers," said Young.
Iolani caps the Classic against defending state champion Konawaena on Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. and Farrington on Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. Lahainaluna plays state runner up Maryknoll on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. and finishes with Kamehameha-Kapalama on Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m.
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