HHSAA Girls Water Polo
Kamehameha outlasts Punahou in overtime to go back-to-back


  



Make it championship number three for Kapalama in the sport of girls water polo.

Kamehameha won a thriller over Punahou, 9-8, to repeat as titlists in the Kyo-ya Hotels/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships.

"It feels really amazing, I was really hoping we would get the two-peat this year and we did and now we can go home saying that we may be the new queens of water polo in town," said Laikukamahina Wong.

It was the third consecutive overtime game between the two teams this season.

"I was hoping we wouldn't," laughed Tea Brandon about a match once again going to extra minutes. "But I know we're really good under pressure and we trust each other, and I think that's what helped us win."

Brandon scored three goals in the match, none bigger than the go-ahead score with 1:56 left in regulation.

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"I honestly wasn't expecting it, it kind of came to me out of nowhere," said Brandon of the goal."I'm really grateful for my teammate Leinaala Wong for being so aware and finding me and I was happy I was able to convert."

Following that score, the Warriors got a key save from goalie Makana Fake, then staved off another chance for Punahou with 35 seconds left to play as a shot on goal went wide.

On the ensuing possession, Kamehameha milked the clock down to just five seconds, and following a timeout, the final ticks of the clock played out with the ball finding its way into the hands of Ava Aguilera, who had a good look on goal, but the shot rocketed off the top bar as time expired.

"I knew who they were going to give it to," said Fake of the play. "And I just knew that I had to keep my composure and I had to keep my eye on the ball."

Kamehameha scored first in the match, on a penalty shot by Lai Wong with 5:32 in the period and added to that lead on a goal by Ava Gurney on a pass by Lai Wong with 26 seconds in the period.

Fake made another key save on a shot by Synnove Robinson at the 3:20 mark to keep a clean slate for the Warriors in the period.

Gurney added a third goal in the opening moments of the second, but from there, Punahou made its move, scoring three goals in the second to tie things up at the intermission, the opening one my Synnove Robinson, followed by scores by Aguilera and Kailoa Kerber.

The third period saw the Buffanblu take its first lead of the game on a Hope McCarren score, and that lead held through the 1:25 mark of the quarter, when Lai Wong finally broke through for a goal off a long pass by Fake to tie things back up, a scoring drought that spanned a period of 11 minutes and 49 seconds.

Kyo-ya Hotels/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships 

All-Tournament Team
As selected by the media

Laikuakamahina Wong, Kamehameha
Tea Brandon, Kamehameha
Ava Gurney, Kamehameha
Kyra Lurito, Iolani
Ava Aguilera, Punahou
Synnove Robinson, Punahou
Reia Kimi, Punahou (GK)

Most Outstanding Player: Makana Fake, Kamehameha

In the dying seconds of the third, Kerber was able to place a lob shot into the far corner to swing the lead back in the Buffanblu's direction, making it a 5-4 contest.

The fourth saw Punahou seemingly take command with 1:37 left, as Robinson scored her second goal of the period and fourth in the game with 1:37 left to go, but Kamehameha dug deep and rallied, getting a goal on the next possession from Brandon and followed that up with another score, this one from Wailele Kapali off a pass from Kaileilani Harvey to tie things right back up with 37 seconds left in regulation.

Punahou had a chance to win it in the waning seconds, but Fake stopped a shot attempt by McCarren and also fielded a long distance heave by Punahou keeper Rela Kimi as the buzzer sounded.

Lai Wong opened up the scoring in the overtime period off a pass by Harvey with 50 seconds left in the first half of OT, but just 18 seconds into the second half of play, it was Robinson scoring for Punahou on a penalty shot.

Fake, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament, had nine stops in goal for the Warriors. Kimi had six of her own for the Buffanblu in defeat.





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