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Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveJanuary 9, 2019, 1:48am
Tue, Jan 8, 2019 @ Mililani
MILILANI — Dahlis Sablay scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the second half and No. 10 Mililani downed visiting Leilehua, 47-33, Tuesday night to clinch the Oahu Interscholastic Association West girls' basketball title in the regular season finale.
The Trojans (10-0) earned a first-round bye for the 12-team OIA Division I tournament, which begins Monday. The Mules (8-2) needed to win to force a three-way tie for first and a tie-breaking coin toss that would have included Radford (9-1), which will be the West's second seed. The top two seeds from each division draw first-round byes. The Mules dropped to third.
"We knew that," Trojans' first-year coach Michael Oyama said of possible scenarios of the outcome. "I didn't tell the girls that. I knew this was win, or roll the dice."
Leilehua's Kaylen Kamelamela led all scorers with 22 points, including six 3-pointers. She helped the Mules nearly erase a 15-point halftime deficit with a 13-point second half. Her sixth 3-pointer of the game pulled the Mules to within 39-33 with less than two minutes left. But the Mules were forced to foul in the closing minutes to regain possession; the Trojans made 8 of 10 free throws in that span to hold off the Mules.
"Unbelievable game by her," Oyama said of Kamelamela. "All guts. Her shot from NBA range maybe? Outstanding game by her."
"She's a shooter, she's a gamer," Leilehua coach Elroy Dumlao said of Kamelamela. "She has that will to win. She came out, she knew what she had to do. I told her, ‘if we're going to lose just go out shooting. Go out and do your thing.'"
The difference came in the first half when the Trojans blew out to a 28-13 lead at the half. Turnovers by the Mules led to 13 points for the Trojans.
"They came out with a lot of energy," Dumlao said of the Trojans' first half. "We couldn't match that. We played a little bit slow; the passes were slow. It just didn't work out. Bad chemistry, when somebody plays with energy and somebody's not ... We cannot win with that much turnovers."
The difference for the Trojans?
"Composure," Sablay said. "Before the game, I walked into the locker room and told the girls ... actually we agreed to it that composure was going to be the key tonight. If we keep our composure, we'll be all right."
The Trojans kept that poise even when Kamelamela was single-handedly rallying the Mules.
"Kaylen Kamelamela is a really great player," Sablay said. "So either way, we just had to keep communicating with each other on defense and we'd be good."
Kylie Bagay contributed 10 points off the bench for the Trojans. Madison Ayers led Mililani with nine rebounds.
The top six teams from the West advance to the Division I tournament. They finished in this order: Mililani, Radford, Leilehua, Kapolei, Waianae, Nanakuli, Campbell and Nanakuli each finished 4-6, but the Golden Hawks have the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The West title is Mililani's eighth and first since 2017.
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