OLINDA - The Seabury Hall girls basketball team has stood back and watched Molokai dominate the Maui Interscholastic League Division II race for four years.
On Saturday at Erdman Athletic Center, in a winner-take-all game for the league championship and lone berth to the state tournament, the Spartans climbed back to the top with a 34-24 win.
"I was sick of the red," said Seabury's Tiana Camarillo, looking at the blue ribbon holding her league gold medal. "I knew this game meant a lot and I needed to put my heart into it. We communicated more on defense and our defense worked. We crashed the boards, offensively and defensively."
Seabury Hall players celebrate after defeating Molokai 34-24 in the Maui Interscholastic League Division II championship game Saturday at Erdman Athletic Center.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Dakota Grossman of the Spartans drives on the Farmers’ Tyra-Lee Bishaw Marquez during the third quarter.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Camarillo scored a team-high 10 points for the Spartans (5-1) and grabbed 10 of the team's 14 rebounds - six offensive.
Boxing out was a directive from Seabury Hall head coach Heidi Burger and assistant Rama Camarillo, father of junior twins Tiana and Tiare, who had five points.
Molokai dominated the glass during a 42-31 win Friday in the league tournament final that forced the rematch for the overall championship.
"Coach said we had to have the rebounds," Tiana Camarillo said. "Oh yeah, so did my dad."
Molokai's unprecedented run of MIL D-II titles came to an end, and a team that in that span has been a state champion and runner-up, with another final four trip, will not be at this year's state tournament, scheduled for Feb. 7-10 on Oahu.
The Farmers (4-3 MIL) were playing just their eighth game of the season, but third in 44 hours. Molokai beat Lanai in a league tournament game Thursday.
Seabury Hall won the regular-season title and had a bye to Friday's tournament final.
"Some parts today, it was a rough game, they faltered on some of the fundamentals, like blocking out, but they got it together in the last bit of it," said Molokai coach Addie McCreedy.
The Farmers slept at Kamehameha Maui's gym on Thursday and Friday nights.
"You could tell they were tired, yeah, it took a toll on them," McCreedy said. "We had to rise to the occasion. Seabury played well today, they came ready, prepared for what we brought them yesterday, so they played a very good game."
Seabury solved the Molokai press defense early, reversing a trend from Friday night.
"We decided to come out strong, and we didn't let them get in our heads, we played our game of basketball, we started getting some fast breaks, we broke the press right away - that was huge," Burger said. "We scored off of it and then they took it off."
Tiana Camarillo, held out for much of Friday's game because she suffered a concussion earlier this season, was back strong along with point guard Allie Rudow, who spent a good deal of Friday's game on the bench after three first-quarter fouls. Rudow had seven points and three assists Saturday after scoring four points Friday.
The Spartans went 3-1 against the Farmers this season.
"I'm so proud of the girls, they have earned this," Burger said. "It's tough for Molokai, they played a hard-fought game. They have improved a lot since we last met them. To have only eight games makes it really hard for a season. Their run was impressive."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEABURY HALL (34)
Dakota Grossman 6, Allie Rudow 7, Tiana Camarillo 10, Tiare Camarillo 5, Taryn Shaw 2, Megan O'Malley 2, Rui-Li Inge 2.
Camille Borden 2, Shaniah Mollena-Lopez 4, Kalyn Kaulia-Makaiwi 4, Tyra Mollena-Lopez 10, Brianna Tangonan 2, Shanrese Pedro 0, Rebecca Adolpho 2.
Molokai.............5...... 5...... 7.....7-24