ILH Girls Basketball
Iolani pulls away in second half to repeat as ILH champs


  



Mon, Jan 27, 2020 @ Iolani


Final 1 2 3 4  
Maryknoll (8-6, 20-8) 19 881247
Iolani (13-1, 23-2) 16 8 17 1354
L. Wahinekapu 25 pts  1 3pm  6/7 FTs
A. Akaka 13 pts  1 3pm  0/0 FTs

KAPIOLANI—Top-ranked Iolani pulled away from No. 3 Maryknoll in the second half to win, 54-47, in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I postseason final at Iolani's Father Bray Athletic Complex Monday.

Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu led all scorers with 25 points, four steals, four assists and three blocks while Alexis ‘Jo' Huntimer added nine as the Raiders repeat as ILH champions and claim the league's seeded berth in the Snapple/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships starting next week.

"This one felt really good because we know how tough that Maryknoll team is. They're so dangerous and physically imposing and we had to battle so hard to win today. All credit goes to Maryknoll, I'm proud of our girls for battling," Iolani coach Dean Young said.

Aloha Akaka led the Spartans with 13 points and Moananu added 12. Despite the loss, Maryknoll locks up the second league berth and returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2018.

"They got four starters that won't miss and if you leave them open they will not miss a 3-pointer. As much as possible, we contested every 3 and that was our goal today and run them off the line. Unfortunately they got some but we did just good enough today," Young said.

Iolani led by six on Kylie Yung's 3-pointer, 13-7, but Maryknoll roared back with a 7-0 run as Aloha Akaka converted an assist from her sister Mahalo. Lilly Koki's shot in the paint fell and Mahalo drained a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 19-16 lead.

Alexsandra Huntimer converted a shot underneath the basket from Lefotu Wahinekapu and Wahinekapu Lefotu's layup off a steal gave Iolani a 20-19 lead. Shots from Kyla Neumann and Aloha put Maryknoll up three, but Kyra Tanabe was all alone in transition for a layup to force Furtado to call a timeout at 2:05.

Lefotu Wahinekapu made a pair of free throws to bring Iolani within one, but Neumann followed up with a pair of her own foul shots for a three point lead going into halftime.

"We had to clean up the press, our backside was gambling too much and they were out of position and giving up layups. We need to clean it up and make them earn baskets and not giving up layups. We talked about keeping up the pressure and wearing them down and being smart about what defense they're in," Young said of second half adjustments.

Aloha Akaka put Maryknoll up five on a reverse layup, but Iolani climbed back as Alexis Huntimer slipped by for a point-blank shot off the baseline inbounds and took the lead after Tanabe converted the 3-point play in transition, 33-31.

"That was huge," Young said. "From being down at half and taking the lead with the home fans yelling and cheering, you can literally feel the momentum swing to our side and the girls got energized."

The Raiders cashed in a turnover into points as Wahinekapu Lefotu scored on a layup to make it, 39-33 and after Moananu's putback, Lefotu Wahinekapu's scoop shot beat the buzzer for a 41-35 lead going into the fourth. Iolani outscored Maryknoll, 18 to 7 in the quarter.

"When you turn the ball over and give them run out layups. You cannot do that with this team. You have to make them play half court basketball and their transition is just awesome. You see the way they move the ball, there's not a whole lot of dribbling," Maryknoll coach Chico Furtado said.

Taimane Faleafine-Auwae got into the paint for two and Serenity Moananu made a reverse layup to bring Maryknoll within two, 41-39 early in the fourth. Wahinekapu Lefotu ignited a 9-0 run to go up 11. Maryknoll was able to get within seven on Aloha Akaka's triple and jumper, but the Spartans could not close the gap any further.



Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].


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