KIHEI - Facing the pressure of a potential end to the season, the Kamehameha Schools Maui water polo team delivered.
The Warriors defeated Lahai-naluna 10-8 in overtime in the Maui Interscholastic League tournament semifinals at Kihei Aquatic Center on Wednesday, earning a matchup with regular-season champion Baldwin in Friday's tournament final.
A loss would have ended the Warriors' state-tournament hopes.
Lahainaluna High School’s Kanoelani Dodd is defended by Kamehameha Maui’s Lilinoe Bal during the Warriors’ 10-8 overtime win over the Lunas in a Maui Interscholastic League tournament semifinal Wednesday at Kihei Aquatic Center.
The Maui News / LEHIA APANA photo
"For us, if we didn't win tonight our season was over, so we had to win," said Kamehameha coach Leo Delatori. "For Lahainaluna, they still had another day. We had to win to keep on playing."
If the Warriors beat the Bears in Friday's 5:30 p.m. match, the teams will meet again the next day for the overall title. If Kamehameha loses Friday, a game with Lahainaluna is in store Saturday for second place overall, and the remaining state berth. Saturday's match, regardless of what is at stake, begins at 3 p.m.
"Right now states wasn't an option for us, we needed to take care of tonight's game," Delatori said. "So after tonight's game, we just need to focus on our next game on Friday against Baldwin and hope that things can work out and we can do some things to help ourselves out to be where we want to be on Saturday."
With 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Kamehameha Maui's Liana Lewis launched a shot into the back of the net to tie the score and push the match into overtime.
Anuhea Kaiaokamalie took care of the rest, scoring with 2:29 left in OT, and again with 37 seconds remaining.
"With a little over a minute left (in regulation) we let our guard down. We thought we had the game already won, and the game wasn't over," Lahainaluna coach Bradley Mason said. "They took advantage of us putting our guard down and it killed us."
Kaiaokamalie finished with four goals and Lewis had three.
Neither team led by more than two points throughout the night, and the score was tied after each of the final three quarters.
"We are pretty even," Delatori said. "All of our games have been like this this season. This is our third time meeting each other and all the games have been the same. We're matched up pretty even with each other and so on any night any team can win."
Bridget Joy scored five goals for the Lunas.
"It was a hell of a game," Mason said. "Pretty much games don't get much better than that. In water polo it's about as good as it gets."
* Lehia Apana is at firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 10
LAHAINALUNA 8, OT
|Goals—Kamehameha Maui, Anuhea Kaiaokamalie 4, Liana Lewis 3, Riley Shiraishi, Elizabeth Guth. Lahainaluna, Bridget Joy 5, Hana Rolfing 2, Bela Pinto.|
|KING KEKAULIKE 2|
|King Kekaulike||0||1||1||0— 2|
Goals-King Kekaulike, Mahea Jacintho, Jamie Gomes. Baldwin, Alea Weber 4, Deme Deshayne 3, Ashlyne Hao 2, Tina Patao-Torres 2, Kristi Kim, Alyssa Waki, Jazmine Harmon, Hannah Cole, Yvonne Ngalu.