Spartans capture MIL title

Tuivai, Waterford lead Seabury Hall past Lanai for second straight league crown

Seabury Hall’s Anaulei Tuivai releases a free throw during the first quarter of the Spartans’ 49-41 win over Lanai in the MIL Division II tournament final Friday night at Erdman Athletic Center. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

OLINDA — The Seabury Hall girls basketball team has learned how to win in the Maui Interscholastic League. Lanai is in the process of the learning curve.

The Spartans (8-1) sewed up their second straight MIL Division II title and the league’s lone state tournament berth with a 49-41 win over the Pine Lasses (4-6) in the MIL tournament final on Friday night at Erdman Athletic Center.

Seabury Hall sophomores Anaulei Tuivai (27) and Ameera Waterford (20) combined to score all but two of their team’s points.

“Oh my gosh, it just brings an extra like, woo, relief, when Ameera is doing that,” said Tuivai, who also dominated rebounding the ball. “It was really solid that me and her scored in double digits and our other teammates did what they did — it was just great.”

Said Spartans coach Jonathan Furtado: “They’ve been our leaders. Those girls are really carrying the load as far as leadership and teaching our inexperienced players, developing them really quickly. I may be the coach, but that’s their team.”

The Pine Lasses’ Kayla Garcia drives for a second-quarter layup. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Pine Lasses trailed just 21-20 at halftime, but Waterford hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to push the lead to 24-20 early in the third quarter, and then her baseline runner made it 26-21.

Tuivai scored inside after a nifty pass from Quincee Tanaka to make it 31-21 with 5 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third. Tuivai then scored off an inbounds play to make it 33-21.

After Lanai pulled within 37-30, Tuivai scored two straight baskets inside to make it 41-30 with 3:42 to play.

The Pine Lasses pulled within 41-36 on two free throws by Gina Anton with 2:44 left to finish a 6-0 run, but Tuivai took a pass from Tanaka and scored inside to push the lead back to 43-36.

Celina Romero pulled the Pine Lasses within 43-38 with her jumper with 1:31 to go, but they would get no closer.

Seabury Hall’s Anaulei Tuivai boxes out against Lanai’s Leah Vidad on Friday. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Lanai’s roster includes seven freshmen. Senior Kayla Garcia had 13 points to lead the Pine Lasses, and sophomore Arriana Maltezo added 12 points.

“They’re very tough, they’re very well-disciplined and they’re very well-coached,” Lanai coach Christian Yumol said of the Spartans. “There’s a big roster, there’s a lot of inexperience that we have right now, but that’s part of what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build a program.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

LANAI (41)

Gina Anton 8, Jasmine Molina 0, Shaelyn Noble 0, Mary Claire Manuel 0, Leah Vidad 2, Ryllah Rodrigues 0, Amaya Hoopii Baptista 0, Arriana Maltezo 12, Tabitha Medeiros 4, Celina Romero 2, Sheilah Agcaoili 0, Giyana Agliam 0, Kayla Garcia 13, Brandi-lee Medeiros 0.

The Spartans’ Ameera Waterford dribbles upcourt as Lanai’s Kayla Garcia defends. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

SEABURY HALL (49)

Anaulei Tuivai 27, Ameera Waterford 20, Rachel Gilbert 0, Chloe Gangnath 2, Faylin Sales 0, Lacey Flammer 0, Quincee Tanaka 0.

Lanai 4 16 8 13–41

Seabury Hall 8 13 16 12–49

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