Girls Basketball
Mililani gets by Mid-Pacific on first day of Paani Invitational


Wed, Nov 27, 2019 @ Punahou

Final 1 2 3 4  
Mid-Pacific (6-2, 6-2) 7 106932
Mililani (4-5, 3-5) 11 11 4 733
Pts: Kianna Ponce (MIL) 11 pts

MAKIKI — Qiera Tyrell made a six-foot runner from the right baseline to beat the buzzer and lift Mililani to a 33-32 win over Mid-Pacific on the opening day of the inaugural Na Wahine Paani O Punahou Invitational Basketball Tournament at Christopher B. Hemmeter Fieldhouse Wednesday night.

The Trojans picked up their third straight win to improve to 3-2 on the preseason. They avenged a 10-point loss 12 days prior at the hands of the Owls, who saw their three-game win streak snapped to fall to 4-2.

Mililani second-year coach Michael Oyama said the difference this time around came down to composure.

"Last time we lost composure in that second half. We played a excellent first half the first game and then the second half we lost composure (when) they put some pressure on. Tonight we handled the pressure better and the seniors are showing some leadership here, so it's good to see some improvement," Oyama said.

Mililani led for most of the contest and held a 26-23 advantage after three quarters. It held its largest lead at 30-23 after Jovi Funakoshi hit the second of two free throws with 4:51 left to play. However, Mid-Pacific cut into the Trojans' lead with a Caylina Lindbo layup and a Paige Fahrni bucket off an assist from Lauren Hayashi on consecutive possessions.

The Owls pulled ahead 31-29 with 2:02 remaining on a three-point play by Lindbo for their first lead since the opening minutes.

Mid-Pacific held possession with 15.8 seconds left, but Kayla Tansiongco stole the inbounds pass and got it to Kianna Ponce, who attacked the basket and drew a foul to get to the line with 12.1 to play.

"Coach was just telling us that we have to go for the steal and if the steal isn't there, just foul, but we got the steal and we just finished and did the job," Tyrell said.

Tansiongco's steal came at a most pivotal time.

"We got the free throw out of that at the end," Oyama said. "(Kayla's) a senior, we just ask them to put pressure on, if we can get the steal, great, if not, foul, so it worked out."

Ponce went on to hit the back end of two free throws to pull the Trojans within a point at 32-31.

Mililani sent Lindbo to the line with a foul with eight seconds left, but she missed the front end of a one-and-one bonus and Ponce pulled down the defensive rebound before finding Funakoshi on the outlet pass. Funakoshi, a freshman point guard, passed the ball ahead to a streaking Tyrell, who drove the right baseline and threw up a right-handed shot that bounced on the rim before falling in as time expired.

"I ran down and then Jovi saw me, I was open and I just drove and I finished," Tyrell said of her only points Wednesday.

Oyama couldn't help but crack a smile when reflecting upon the final play.

"I don't know, things just sometimes work out, sometimes they don't. Tonight, she finished on that one," Oyama said.

Tyrell said the 43-33 loss to the Owls to open the preseason back on Nov. 15 gave the team plenty to work on.

Na Wahine Paani O Punahou Invitational Basketball Tournament
All games at Hemmeter Fieldhouse

Wednesday’s results
Kamehameha 54, McKinley 14
Mililani 33, Mid-Pacific 32
Kaiser 43, Punahou II 28
Punahou 47, Sacred Hearts 21

Friday’s schedule
Punahou II vs. McKinley, 3 p.m.
Mid-Pacific vs. Sacred Hearts, 4:30 p.m.
Kaiser vs. Kamehameha, 6 p.m.
Mililani vs. Punahou, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule
Punahou II-McKinley loser vs. Mid-Pacific—Sacred Hearts loser, 1:30 p.m.
Punahou II-McKinley winner vs. Mid-Pacific—Sacred Hearts winner, 3 p.m.
Kaiser-Kamehameha loser vs. Mililani-Punahou loser, 4:30 p.m.
Kaiser-Kamehameha winner vs. Mililani-Punahou winner, 6 p.m.

"We worked on handling the pressure for the press a lot in practice because last time we played them we were panicking when the press came on and that's when we lost the lead — because we were up for the whole time," said Tyrell, a senior guard.

Ponce finished with a game-high 11 points with 10 rebounds and Kylie Bagay hit two of her team's three 3-pointers and scored 10 points.

Mililani held an 11-7 lead after the first quarter and a 22-17 advantage at halftime. However, it went nearly six minutes without scoring a point to open the second half.

"It was almost like the game we had (against Mid-Pacific) before, it just felt the same, like pretty much what happened the last game," Oyama said. "But this time I don't know, they didn't panic. They started running offense, you could see them getting some rest, too, and not throwing up those quick shots — the quick shots were killing us."

The win put the Trojans into Friday's semifinals. They will play tournament host Punahou at 7:30 p.m.

"I just feel like this showed a lot of our progress, because the last time we played them that was our very first game, so our composure got way better from then to today, so I'm pretty proud of us," Tyrell said.

Madi Sagawa scored 10 points and Lindbo added nine to lead the Owls, who will face Sacred Hearts in a 4:30 p.m. consolation game Friday.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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