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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveDecember 15, 2018, 11:01pm
Sat, Dec 15, 2018 @ Kamehameha
KAPALAMA HEIGHTS — Kiara Young scored seven of her team-high 11 points in the fourth quarter to lift No. 7 Punahou to a 44-41 win over No. 2 Kamehameha in Interscholastic League of Honolulu girls basketball Saturday.
An afternoon crowd of about 300 fans at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium saw the Buffanblu (8-1 overall, 3-1 league) knock off the previously-unbeaten Warriors (8-3, 3-1) to force a three-way tie atop the ILH Division I standings.
Punahou put on a defensive clinic for much of the contest. It held a 25-17 lead at the end of three quarters of play — its largest of the game.
However, Kamehameha went on a 12-3 run to open the fourth quarter and took its only lead at 29-28 on a steal and layup by Noelle Sua-Godinet with 2:42 left to play.
Caitlyn Andrade-Tomimoto drained a straightaway 3-pointer on the next Buffanblu possession to reclaim the lead for good.
"What it does say is that these guys, that's what they do every day," Punahou interim coach Gary Pacarro said. "They compete at practice, they compete against each other every day and they're not afraid to take the shot and our game, everybody is a shooter. Everybody is a shooter."
The Warriors refused to go quietly. They were within one possession of the Buffanblu several times in the closing minutes, but the visitors fended them off each time by hitting 11 of their final 14 from the charity stripe.
"We practice that a lot and today it showed that we were just calm under pressure," said Young, who shot 5 of 6 on free throws — all coming in the final quarter.
Camille Feary hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull Kamehameha with 42-40 with 7.7 seconds left, but Young sealed the victory by making both free throws on the other end.
Young, one of just two seniors on the roster, said she emphasized staying cool under pressure to the rest of her teammates while the Warriors were making their run.
"I mean, I just said ‘we have to stay calm, there's no use in getting flustered and then turning over the ball. We just have to stay calm under pressure,' and I think we did that well," Young said.
The Buffanblu, who overcame a game-high 23 points from San Jose State-bound Kalina Obrey, utilized a distinct size advantage in the post to record 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 10 second-chance points.
"This is huge for our team. We've been working on chemistry and I think it showed," Young said. "We were able to just play well with each other and we fed off of this energy, but hats off to Kamehameha, they played a strong game against us and Kalina Obrey gave our bigs some trouble, but they worked their (butts) off."
Obrey, who is averaging 17.8 points per game in ILH play this season, was hampered by foul trouble for much of the second half. After being called for a pair of first-half fouls, she drew her third and fourth fouls in the first 1:19 of the third quarter and was immediately taken out of the game. She did not return until the 6:42 mark of the fourth quarter.
Obrey had 11 points by halftime, was shut out in the third quarter, but netted 12 of her team's 23 points in the final stanza.
Kalina Obrey (left) was hampered by foul trouble by much of the second half but still surpassed her season-average by putting up 23 points in the Warriors' loss. CJ Caraang | SL
Punahou led at halftime, 20-15.
Young said it was the best defensive performance this season for the Buffanblu.
"We've been slowly improving on our defense and I think it showed out there today. We work hard against each other in practice so that we're prepared for games like this," Young said.
The Warriors were 18-of-25 free-throw shooting, with Obrey going 11 of 12 from the line.
The Buffanblu rebounded nicely from a rough start to the week. They suffered a 15-point loss at home to No. 2 Iolani Monday, but came back with a 21-point victory over Mid-Pacific Wednesday. They entered Saturday's game in third place in the six-team ILH D1 standings.
"This was huge. Kamehameha and Iolani definitely are the (top) teams in this ILH and it feels good that we can compete with them," Pacarro said. "We played ball with them. I'm just proud of the way our girls played. I keep telling them that our best basketball is yet to come. We have six sophomores, four juniors, two seniors, so we're learning and we're just got to keep learning, keep staying together and we'll be fine. I'm really excited."
Both teams return to the court Tuesday. Punahou will visit No. 4 Maryknoll, while Kamehameha will travel to Sacred Hearts.
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