Warriors edge Trojans
Kamehameha Maui advances to state quarterfinals with 34-27 win
PUKALANI — Ashley Peralta was built for this.
The Kamehameha Schools Maui senior guard stepped to the free-throw line for a pair of 1-and-1 situations in the final 24 seconds, the first with her team clinging to a two-point lead.
She calmly sank all four shots to clinch a 34-27 win for the Warriors over Mililani in the first round of the Snapple Girls Basketball Division I State Tournament at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym on Monday night.
The result sends the Warriors (9-6) to a quarterfinal showdown with top-seeded Maryknoll on Thursday in Honolulu.
“I just thought about all those times I sunk over 100 (free throws) — that’s my goal at practice every day,” said Peralta, who led her team with 16 points, including six of the final seven scored by the Warriors. “I just thought about those and it came in handy. I’m just glad I sunk them. Honestly, I felt no pressure.
“I’ve done it over 100 times, but in a game like this it counted and I just let it fly.”
Peralta’s layup with 2:12 to go gave the Warriors a 29-27 lead, and they forced a turnover with 1:53 left.
Mililani’s Cheyenne Ardona was fouled inside on a shot attempt with 28 seconds to go. She missed both free throws and Kamehameha’s Kaylee Cambra grabbed the rebound before being fouled by Brooke Napier — it was the Trojans’ sixth foul in the second half.
“They played us really well,” Mililani coach Francis Dagan said after his team’s season ended at 11-3. “They utilized their strengths. We do have some size, but Kamehameha’s inside game is a little more experienced than ours, so they kind of took advantage of that.”
Peralta was fouled with 24 seconds to go and made both free throws to push the lead to 31-27. Peralta sank two more free throws with 9 seconds before Kimani Fernandez-Roy made a free throw with less than a second left to account for the final score.
The gym was packed for the final home game in the careers of Peralta, Fernandez-Roy, Cambra, Brylee Carillo and Shaylisse Gregory.
“It feels great to have our home crowd out here supporting us,” Peralta said. “This was a great turnout — I’m glad so many people came. It just shows how much people support us, are rooting for us. It’s been amazing playing here for four years.”
The game was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Fernandez-Roy, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds, tied the game at 10-10 on a jumper with 6:03 to go in the first half.
From there, the Trojans went on an 8-0 run and the Warriors responded with a 6-0 run to finish the half.
Ardona’s rebound basket gave the Trojans their final lead, at 24-23, with 6:20 to play.
Cambra’s layup in traffic gave the lead back to the Warriors with 5:04 remaining, and Peralta’s steal and driving layup made it 27-24. Taysia Canon made a pair of free throws for the Trojans to tie it with 2:34 to go, setting up the final drama.
“She stepped up big-time on her free throws,” Kamehameha Maui coach Victor Aguirre said of Peralta. “We were struggling on our free throws earlier, so I’m glad she got to lock it up and that it was one of the seniors to make those free throws — it was great.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
Teona Singletary 0, Kayla Tansiongco 4, Heidi Lagafuaina 0, Taysia Canon 4, Shelby Andrade 0, Dahlis Sablay 10, Tierra Dumlao 0, Janae Richie 0, Brooke Napier 2, Cheyenne Ardona 7, Kianna Ponce 0.
KS MAUI (34)
Siena Poepoe 0, Kealia Sjostrand 0, Jamielee Felipe 0, Chasey Koomoa-Sidney 0, Brylee Carillo 0, Shaylisse Gregory 0, Tatiana Soon 0, Kayla Yamashita 0, Logan Spencer 0, Kimani Fernandez-Roy 8, Mikiala Sniffen 0, Kaylee Cambra 2, Ashley Taylor Peralta 16, Angel Pauole 8, Tatiana Martinez 0.
Mililani 8 10 4 5–27
KS Maui 8 8 7 11–34
Snapple Girls Basketball State Championships
Waiakea 77, Campbell 56
Moanalua 42, Kaiser 34
Iolani 88, Kahuku 47
Kamehameha Maui 34, Mililani 27
No. 4 Kalani vs. Waiakea, 5 p.m.
No. 1 Maryknoll vs. Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
No. 2 Konawaena vs. Moanalua, 5 p.m.
No. 3 Lahainaluna vs. Iolani, 7 p.m.
At Blaisdell Arena
Lahainaluna-Iolani loser vs. Konawaena-Moanalua loser, 1 p.m.
Maryknoll-Kamehameha Maui loser vs. Kalani-Waiakea loser, 3 p.m.
Lahainaluna-Iolani winner vs. Konawaena-Moanalua winner, 5 p.m.
Maryknoll-Kamehameha Maui winner vs. Kalani-Waiakea winner, 7 p.m.
At Blaisdell Arena
Fifth-place game, 9 a.m.
Third-place game, 1 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.