OIA Girls Basketball
Castle wins first league crown in OT thriller


  



Thu, Jan 24, 2019 @ Radford


F/OT 1 2 3 4 OT  
Farrington (13-15, 7-10) 12 101017352
Castle (22-17, 15-13) 14 9 12 141463
Pts: Setita Prescott (FARR) 16 pts  Reb: Setita Prescott (FARR) 13 reb  Ast: Shayla Young (CAST) 4 ast

ALIAMANU — What's a Castle without a crown?

The Castle girls basketball team claimed its first-ever OIA title with a 63-52 overtime win over Farrington Thursday night in the league's Division II championship game at Radford's Jim Alegre Gymnasium.

The Knights led after the first three quarters of play, but trailed by as many as six points with 42.9 left in regulation. Helping to save Castle late in the game was Reilani Roller with two triples, including the game-tying three-point shot that sent the game into overtime.

Castle (15-11 overall, 7-6 OIA) took advantage of its second life in the game and dominated the extra period, 14-3, to win the league crown after falling short of the prize in last year's title game against Roosevelt by a score of 61-39.

"That motivated us a lot," said Roller. "During the year we kept watching that game, looking at the mistakes and how we can do better."

The turnaround ultimately came from the Knights' defense. Castle recorded 18 total steals and forced 38 Farrington turnovers utilizing a full-court press.

"We knew we could press them and give them a lot of trouble," said Castle coach Joe Lilio, whose team beat the Governors during the regular season, 51-47.

"Defense is key," added Shayla Young, who had eight of the Knights' 18 steals. "Defense wins championships, that's what we believed in this year."

Roller played the hero for Castle late in the fourth quarter and finished with a team-high 14 points, but she had help as three other Knights finished in double figures. Briarra Nakihei had 10 points and reserves Noelani Beard and Rajah Majit-Gorion finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Young was also solid with nine points, four assists and two blocks.

"We knew that No. 11 (Roller) was their scorer so we wanted to take her out of the picture and see if the other players could step in and take over," Farrington coach Caroline Tatupu said. "Give props to their players. They all stepped it up offensively and defensively they played a hard game."

Reilani Roller finished with 14 points and hit two late-game 3-pointers, including a game-tying shot to send the game into overtime. CJ Caraang | SL    Purchase image

Setita Prescott led the Governors (6-8 OIA) in the loss with a game-highs in points (16) and rebounds (13). Shaylen Tatupu-Timu was the next leading scorer for Farrington with nine points, which included the team's lone made 3-pointer.

Poor free throw shooting by the Knights helped Farrington take the lead in the fourth quarter. Castle as a team shot 19-for-37 from the charity stripe.

The Governors were seeking their ninth overall OIA title and their first D2 championship since 2014. The last league crown that Farrington won was in 2017 when it was a Division I team.

The two teams — along with Waipahu (6-10 overall, 6-6 league) — will represent the OIA in the Snapple Division II Girls Basketball State Championships, which begins on Wednesday, Feb. 6.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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