HHSAA water polo: Kamehameha stumbles in quarterfinals
KEAAU — Kamehameha-Hawaii brought a roster of scoring balance, and an impressive league resume of five straight undefeated seasons to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state water polo tournament.
It wasn’t enough, and the latter part actually serves as a detriment.
Mililani played much cleaner ball and defeated the Warriors 16-13 in the quarterfinals on Thursday night at Naeole Pool, playing a physical defense unseen in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.
“Our girls don’t have the experience for that type of pressure or have been in that type of situation,” Kamehameha coach Dan Lyons said. “We were very excited and nervous. We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of.
“We drew 17 exclusion (fouls) on them and that’s great. Their physicality didn’t bother us. But when we weren’t patient we couldn’t score when were a man up. When we were patient, we got the ball in the net a few times.”
Mililani (15-2) advances to semifinals and plays six-time defending champion Punahou (8-0) at 6 p.m. today.
Kamehameha (12-1) plays Kapolei (14-4) at 2:15 p.m. today in a consolation game.
The five-time BIIF champion Warriors are now 1-4 in their past five opening games at states; in 2011, they beat Mililani 19-8 but lost to Punahou 22-9 in the semifinals at Naeole Pool.
History couldn’t repeat itself for the Warriors, who staged a late rally behind Halia Nahale-a’s three goals in the second half.
Acacia Trusdell scored five goals, including three in the first quarter, Nahale-a had three, Chloe Martins-Kelilihoomalu and Katelynn Kubo had two each and Pua Wong had one for Kamehameha, which trailed 10-6 at halftime.
Chanel Long scored six goals, including three in the first quarter, and Dru Daley had four to spark the Trojans. Kaylie Miyashita, Chloe Long, Kylie Tom, and Jordan Robinson added one each.
The stats revealed Mililani’s aggression on defense with 16 exclusion penalties. Kamehameha was called for four.
But other issues also plagued the Warriors, who had a few too many turnovers that either led to empty possessions or fast-break opportunities for the Trojans. Also Mililani’s goalie Sara Fisk threw long passes to ignite a few scores, beating Kamehameha’s defenders in transition — similar to layups in basketball.
“The one positive we can take away from the game is there’s no quit in the girls,” Lyons said. “They kept fighting and got better and better and made it a three-point goal game.”
In other quarterfinal action:
Punahou 12, Kapolei 3: Amy Bolan, Helena Schaefer, Saki Migliorato, and Roxanne Kiessling scored two goals each for the Buffanblu.
Leilani Herrera scored two goals for the Hurricanes (14-4), the OIA’s No. 3 team.
For much of the game, Kapolei had major issues playing goal-side defense (sticking a defender between the shooter and goalie), often giving up uncontested shots, and also suffered from a few mental lapses.
Once, a Hurricane defender retreated from guarding a shooter, dropped back into no man’s land to try and guard an open Buffanblu on the far side. Stuck in the middle, the Kapolei defender couldn’t contest the pass and the subsequent shot and score.
Iolani 20, Lahainaluna 4: Kiana Harpstrite scored four goals and Elizabeth Barr added three for the Red Raiders (11-2), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up.
Lalelei Mataafa scored three goals for the No. 3 Lunas, the Maui Interscholastic League champion.
Iolani faces Kahuku in a 4:45 p.m. semifinal today, while Lahainaluna draws Roosevelt in a 3:30 p.m. consolation match.
Kahuku 12, Roosevelt 6: Kahea Kahaulelio scored four goals for the Red Raiders (14-3), the OIA champion.
Autumn Akiu scored two goals for the Rough Riders (11-6), the OIA’s No. 5 team.
Baldwin 8, Leilehua 4: Alea Weber scored four goals to lead Bears, the MIL runner-up.
Chloe Vidal scored two goals for the Mules.
Baldwin will play for seventh place on Saturday against the winner of today’s 1 p.m. match between BIIF runner-up Kealakehe and Kaiser.
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