Lunas take 10th straight title
WAILUKU – The opening act is over and a new stage is set.
The Lahainaluna High School girls basketball team wrapped up its 10th Maui Interscholastic League Division I title in a row with a 75-17 win over Maui High in the league tournament final at the Baldwin gym Friday night.
That catapults the Lunas, ranked No. 1 in Hawaii by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and scoringlive.com, into the state tournament on the heels of a 92-game MIL winning streak that dates to 2008.
Lahainaluna finished a 14-0 run through the MIL this season, and is 27-1 overall. The Lunas will host a state quarterfinal at the Lahaina Civic Center on Feb. 8.
“Who wouldn’t want it?” said Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard. “We will get some of our fans to come out, we get to play a game at home, so I think it will be a good opportunity for the girls.”
If they win their quarterfinal, the Lunas would head to the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu for a semifinal game on Feb. 14 – the championship game is the next night.
Lahainaluna was never in danger Friday night, leading 18-10 at the end of the first quarter and 44-12 at halftime, then outscored Maui High 15-0 in the third quarter.
“They are unstoppable right now, in the MIL anyway,” said Sabers coach Gilbert Silva. “They pressure you, backcourt, frontcourt, they double up on you, triple up. They have an excellent rotation and I wish them the best at the state tournament.”
Maui High (7-7) can reach its third straight state tournament with a win today at 7 p.m. in a second-place playoff game against King Kekaulike at the Baldwin gym.
Lahainaluna has been to four of the last five state final fours, and will be looking to add to its 2010 title – the MIL’s only D-I basketball crown.
“We are really excited, but we have got to get down to work and work on defense and do what we are taught, follow the program, run the system, basically,” Fiemea Hafoka said after scoring 15 points for the Lunas. “To me, that first game is a big opportunity, to the team it will be the first time here. We just have to get down to work and just play like it’s a normal game.”
Folau Hafoka scored 17 points for Lahainaluna – 13 in the second quarter.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
MAUI HIGH (17)
Jasmine Cabajar 2, Liana Tanaka 3, Jordyn Vega 0, Tiare Real 0, Jamilyn Tamura 3, Euvelyn Quicquic 0, Gillen Llaneza 0, Kuuulei Bailey 2, Jennica Tamura 3, Nicole Pagan-Eldridge 2, Brittnie Suda-Molina 2.
Mina Faamu 2, Fiemea Hafoka 15, Kalena Balingit 0, Taylor Bates 8, Kyla Blando 2, Loke Basques 10, Keleah-Aiko Koloi 6, Lisa Hafoka 2, Lindsey Bates 6, Aloha Salem 7, Folauu Hafoka 17, Kalo Uhila 0.
Maui High …….. 10 ……. 2 ……. 0 …….. 5-17
Lahainaluna ….. 18 ….. 26 ….. 15 ….. 16-75