OIA Girls Basketball
Top seeds Moanalua, Campbell to face off for OIA D1 title


Mon, Jan 23, 2023 @ Moanalua

Final 1 2 3 4  
Radford (10-3, 11-5) 8 1041032
Moanalua (13-1, 17-5) 7 15 6 735
B. Riturban 12 pts  1 3pm  1/5 FTs
J. Villanueva 9 pts  1 3pm  0/0 FTs
J. Smith 8 tot  3 off  5 def
M. Mattos 14 tot  3 off  11 def
J. Smith 2 ast

For the first time since 2020, Na Menehune is heading back to the OIA Division I championship game, where it will face Campbell, a repeat titlist looking to make it a repeat.

Braylee Riturban scored a game-high 12 points, seven of them in the second half, to help lift Moanalua to a 35-32 win over Radford in the first semifinal of the night at Moanalua Gymnasium.

"Braylee is always there for us when we need a basket, that's why she's our point guard," said Liilii."She can move the ball more around and she can get make dimes like that and it really helps our team with that when we really need her for points."

Radford's zone was quite effective in neutralizing Na Menehune post Shailoh Liilii, who was held to just seven points in the game, but Jamie Smith provided physicality and energy in the first half, despite having picked up her second foul early in the second quarter.

Moanalua closed out a nip and tuck first half with an 8-3 run, bookending three-point makes by Courtney Abalos and Rheanna Nobleza around Shailoh Liilii's first basket of the game to make it 22-18 at the break.

"It was definitely very big for us," said Ritubran. "Coach just told us we need a run and we need to start with high pace because during the regular season we weren't really pushing the ball as much offensively."

Na Menehune hit three threes in the first half, accounting for nearly half of its scoring. The Rams missed all three attempts in the first two periods.

Foul trouble also hurt Radford, with both Aviles and Umetsu tagged with their second personals late in the second quarter.

The second half found the baskets hard to come by, with just 10 total scored in the third quarter, but Riturban carried the load, scoring two baskets and assisting on the other.

"We just had to be patient on offense a lot," said Riturban. "They were forcing us to make our outside shots and we knew we had shooters that could do it. We had confidence in ourselves that we could get the shots if we needed to."

Na Menehune extended their lead to 33-27 with 5:19 to play on a Liilii basket, but Julissa Bollinger countered with a three swished in from the right angle to cut the lead in half.

The Rams found themselves in an interesting position with just over three minutes left, down one possession but also needing four fouls to put Na Menehune into the bonus.

About two minutes elapsed before Moanalua finally initiated the offense and Radford was able to get the ball back on a steal by Bollinger, but Smith was able to steal the ball right back, forcing the Rams to foul.

Finally forced into the bonus, Na Menehune's Rhea Nobleza was fouled and stepped up to the line to calmly knock down both free throws, her first two points of the game, to push the lead to a bit more comfortable five.

"We all had confidence that she was going to make it," said Riturban of the clutch free throws. "I think she just needed to get that touch on the ball. Too bad it was late, but we're thankful that she made those two points."

Radford was able to find a late basket by Aniya Clark in the closing seconds, but it was too little too late.

Liilii had a quiet night offensively for Na Menehune, but grabbed seven boards and added two blocks. Smith did a little bit of everything, scoring five points, grabbing eight rebounds and adding two assists and three steals.

Radford was led by Mailana Mattos, who had seven points and 14 rebounds in the loss. Rams' leading scorer Jirah Villanueva was held to just nine points in the game, her second lowest output of the year (3 pts. vs. Campbell on Jan.10).

"She's a very good guard and she's very good on the inside so we just knew we needed to keep her on the outside," said Riturban of Villanueva. "Although we also knew that she could shoot so it (from the outside), so it was just playing disciplined defense. I think with Shailoh there in the key, it just gives us more comfort for sure."

As for Campbell, the defending OIA champs started off somewhat sluggish, but picked up the pace in the second half en route to a 57-36 win over Kaiser in the second semifinal of the evening.

Julien Parado led the way with 12 points and nine rebounds and Taysia Molina-Schulte added 10 points for the Sabers.

Whatever rust the Sabers had in the first 16 minutes of play, were clearly shaken off in what was a much more Campbell-like second half.

They outscored Kaiser 19-8 in the third quarter and the damage could have been much greater. The eight points scored by the Cougars in the period all came in the final minute and change, where Alexus Maae scored three baskets and added two free throws to give the East second seed some life heading into the fourth.

In the fourth, Campbell opened up with nine straight points within the first minute of play, with a Parado basket followed by a Mersburgh bucket off a steal then a three by Caitlyn Hosaka.

Perhaps comfortable with the re-extended margin, the Sabers backed off on the press and settled with running its half court sets on ensuing possessions.

Alexus Maae poured in a game-high 24 points and added nine rebounds in the loss for Cougars, her second straight 20+ point outing in the playoffs.

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