Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Iolani, Kamehameha in all-ILH D1 state final


MANOA — It will be an all-Interscholastic League of Honolulu clash when No. 1 Iolani takes on No. 2 Kamehameha for the Snapple Division I state girls' basketball championship 7 p.m. Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Kalina Obrey set a state record with 38 points to lead the Warriors (10-4) over Kalani (12-3), 62-49, in one semifinal, while Taylor Wu and Lily Lefottu Wahinekapu combined for 29 points as the Raiders (12-1) dethroned four-time defending champion Konawaena (10-3), 43-22, in the other semifinal. Wu led with 15 points with Wahinekapu adding 14.

This will be the fourth meeting this season between the ILH teams. The top-seeded Raiders won two, splitting the first round and taking the single-elimination second round.

"No secrets (between the teams)," Iolani coach Dean Young said. "Every time we play them, it's a battle."

Obrey broke the previous record of 37 held by Punahou's Shawna-Lei Kuehu in the 2006 championship against Roosevelt. Obrey was pulled from the game with 37 seconds left after making two free throws to give her 36 points. After Kalani pulled to 60-49, Obrey reentered the game and made two free throws with 24 seconds left to tie and break the record. She had a chance to add to her total, but missed two free throws with 13 seconds left.

The Warriors return to the title game for the first time since 2013 when it beat Konawaena, which is tied with Kamehameha with nine titles. The Raiders are making their first title appearance since 2012, when they lost to the Wildcats. Iolani is going for its fourth title, but first since winning back-to-back in 1996.

The last all-ILH finale was in 2008 when Punahou beat Iolani.

The game belonged to the 5-foot-10 senior Obrey, as she pulled a double-double with 17 rebounds. The Warriors pulled her out for a bit after she scored her 36th point with 37.6 second left to increase their lead to 60-47. After Kalani's Lilehina Oyama made two free throws with 27 seconds left, Obrey returned and was fouled with 24 seconds left. She sank both free throws to break Kuehu's record.

"I wanted to take her out, spot her 37.6 seconds rest," Kamehameha coach Pua Straight said. "But she's also our best free-throw shooter on the team (78 percent) and I wanted to make sure she was in there to seal the deal."

Obrey was not aware she was closing in on the tournament record.

"Everyone kept asking me that," Obrey said. "I had no idea. It's amazing. It's great to accomplish something like that because you work hard for it ever since I was little. It's great knowing you accomplish it and come out with a win for my team because it all comes down to my team at the end of the day."

The Warriors squandered a 31-22 halftime lead when they were outscored 19-7 in the third by the Falcons, who opened the third period with a 7-0 run (Obrey accounted for all of the Warriors' 7 points). Kalani tied the game at 34 and 36 before taking the lead with 23 seconds left in third on Heidi Kishaba's 3-pointer. Lilehina Oyama made two free throws with one second left to give the Falcons a 41-38 entering the fourth.

During the third, the Falcons were dominating the boards.

"The intensity was definitely low," Straight said of the sluggish third period. "Their intensity was much higher than ours and they were able to (come back). The energy was low, nobody was talking to each other."

Except for the third period, the Warriors dominated the board with 50 rebounds to the Falcons' 23.

"It feels amazing," Obrey said of reaching the final. "I haven't been there before so so I'm excited."

Kalani's Kamalu Kamakawiwoole also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kaluna Halunajan led the Falcons with 14 points; Kishaba also had 13 points.

The Raiders' defense stymied the Wildcats, especially in the second half. Konawaena, held to single-digit scoring in each quarter, scored seven points in the second half, when it managed one field goal that came with 2:21 left on a jumper by Kailana Salazar Harrell.

The Raiders forced 21 turnovers that led to 17 points. The rebounding was nearly even with Iolani holding a 30-28 edge. Kona's big, Caiyle Kaupu, had half of those rebounds and led her team with nine points, all coming in the first half.

Though the Raiders won handily, there was that Konawaena mystique, having won the last four titles in a row.

"They've been four-time defending champs so we knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Wu, one of two seniors on her team. "They got a good coach and we knew we had to shut down their key players: 3 (Salazar Harrell) and 33 (Kaupu). We knew we had to play good defense and box out. We had to help on defense. For us, the key thing was switching all the guards because on offense, (the Wildcats) tried to get the ball to (No.) 3 a lot, so I think we did a good job switching on defense" (Salazar Harrell finished with six points; she had 22 in the semifinal win against Kahuku the night before with five 3-pointers).

The Raiders, who employed eight players, pressured the Wildcats, whose starters play most of the game. Kona was coming off a close semifinal win against Kahuku, so the Wildcats were a bit winded.

"We hoped to wear them down," Iolani coach Dean Young said. "They had big game against Kahuku last night; I think their main players played the whole game, so I knew they were a little worn from last night. We wanted to keep subbing, keep fresh, keep the pressure on them."

The Wildcats shot a dismal 8 for 31 from the field, including 1 of 11 from 3-point range.

Wu knows what the Raiders have to do against the Warriors.

"We know we have to stop Kalina (Obrey)," Wu said. "We have to play the same game we've played the past two games. We have to play good defense and box out, support each other and pick up each other."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].




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