Chase for the Championship
Salazar-Harrell's 23 points carries Wildcats into D1 final four


 



Second seeded Konawaena got all it wanted and then some from upset minded Kekaulike, but made key buckets when it mattered to survive, 40-37.

Kaliana Salazar-Harrell poured in a game high 23 points, none bigger than the a go-ahead three pointer with 1:49 left in regulation that broke a 35-all tie. She also knocked down two clutch free throws to help seal the deal, accounting for all five of the Wildcats' final five points.

Na Alii may have lead only thrice in the contest, twice in second quarter, and then late in the contest when Namahana Kaeo-Young knocked down a shot at 3:11 mark to push Kekaulike ahead, 35-33, but for much of the contest arguably outplayed the BIIF Division 1 champs, who were clearly stretched and pushed all game.

But Kona found a way every time it needed to.

• Grace Hing's long pass from near the midcourt line to Jayla Medeiros in the closing seconds of the second tied the contest and was at the very least a big psychological lift for the Wildcasts.

• As Na Alii tied things up at 24-all, Salazar-Harrell calmly drew to the top of the arc and splashed a three to push Kona back ahead.

* Caiyle Kaupu's response to Kaeo-Young's go ahead basket a possession later.

Ledjan Pahukoa dazzled for 15 points and a trio of three pointers of her own, Kaeo-Young added nine, including the go-ahead bucket at in the fourth, and another basket that got Kekaulike within just one point with 1:38 to go.

Kaupu scored six points and addded six boards in the victory, but was hampered by foul trouble throughout that limited her effectiveness. Thankfully for the Wildcats, Juliana Losalio-Watson hustled for nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Medeiros chipped in a crucial four points and seven rebounds off the bench.


KAHUKU 43, MARYKNOLL 27

The third-seeded Red Raiders advanced to the Division I semis with 43-27 win over the Spartans.

Serina Aumua-Tuisavura scored 14 points, a season high against a Division I foe, and Leiah Naeata added 12 more to lead the way for Kahuku, who never let the Spartans develop any rhythm offensively and eventually pulled away late with Maryknoll in scramble mode and unable to hit from distance.

Aumua-Tuisavura added five steals and both she and Naeata added four rebounds each in the win.

The Spartans got a team-high nine points and five rebounds from Aloha Akaka, who fouled out at the 6:11 mark of the fourth. Her sister, Mahalo, did not play in the second half, and her absence clearly affected Maryknoll on both ends.



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