HHSAA Girls Water Polo
Buffanblu leave no doubt to top Warriors


KAPALAMA HEIGHTS — There's been a lot of changes in the world since 2008, but one thing that has remained constant is Punahou's dominance in Hawaii high school girls water polo.

The Buffanblu extended their state title reign to 12 in a row after downing Kamehameha, 11-3, in Saturday evening's Stanford Carr Development, LLC./HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships match at Kamehameha's Kalaniopuu Aquatic Center.

Christina Hicks led Punahou with five goals and was named All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player with 13 total scores in the Buffanblu's three tournament games. Hicks also got the scoring started against Kamehameha with a five-meter skip shot on the opening possesion.

"Christina, she's just a workhorse and she dominates," Punahou coach Ken Smith said.

All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player Christina Hicks connected on a 5-meter penalty shot midway through the second quarter. She scored five goals on the evening. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

Kamehameha responded shortly on Kalai Terada's steal with Makela Riordan flushing the score to tie it up.

It was the 10th overall and fifth-straight season the Buffanblu and Warriors locked horns in the state title match, and in their last two meetings earlier this season, it was a tied game at halftime. This time, however, it would not be close as Punahou left no doubt.

The Buffanblu took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter before connecting on seven consecutive shots without a miss through the third period.

Victoria Gacutan finished the game with a pair of goals while Mallory Meister, Josie Mobley, Dillyn Lietzke and Sierra Smart each added in a lone score.

Punahou outshot Kamehameha 33 to 17 with nearly half of the Warriors' shot attempts saved by goalkeeper Sarah Perez.

"They just bring passion every day to practice and they work hard. There's no secret," Smith said. "What's exciting is we only have two seniors. So hopefully we'll have the same passion next year and we'll see what happens."

It was the Buffanblu's 14th overall crown with a current undefeated streak upwards of 130 games that dates back to the beginning of the 2008 season.

Shaye Story and Terada also added scores for the Warriors.

"I thought we improved a lot throughout the season. We want to be playing our best water polo at the end of the season and I think they were. Obviously, it's not the way we wanted to end it," first-year Kamehameha coach Anthony Cabrera said. "I want to get back to work and get back for next year. Try to do this again. Hopefully with better results."


Stanford Carr Development/HHSAA Girls Water Polo All-Tournament Team
As selected by the HHSAA

Josie Mobley, Punahou
Dillyn Lietzke, Punahou
Shaye Story, Kamehameha
Emma Kim, Kamehameha
Erin Patterson, Kaiser
Kaya Lee, Punahou
Sarah Perez (GK), Punahou

Most Outstanding Player: Christina Hicks, Punahou

Reach Spencer Honda at [email protected].

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