Lunas’ season ends with 8-5 loss to Rough Riders

Lahainaluna’s fourth-quarter rally falls short in state tournament match

Dakota Delos-Reyes of Lahainaluna High School scores on Roosevelt’s Anya Miranda in the first half of the Lunas’ 8-5 loss in a state tournament first-round game Monday at Kihei Aquatic Center. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

KIHEI — Things didn’t look good for the Lahainaluna High School water polo team after Roosevelt scored the first three goals of the second half of their first-round match in the Stanford Carr Development, LLC State Championship on Monday at Kihei Aquatic Center.

The Rough Riders had splashed out to a five-goal lead as the clock wound down under three minutes to play. The Lunas came roaring back with three straight goals of their own in a span of 1:19 to climb within two.

Roosevelt (14-3) held on for an 8-5 win, but the Lunas (8-5) showed what their program is made of.

“Still very proud of the girls, they never give up until the end, they battle all the way to the finish and today was another example of that,” Lahainaluna coach Bradley Mason said after his team’s sixth straight state appearance had ended. “So I’m proud of them for that.”

The Lunas lose just four seniors, three of whom start.

Lunas goalie Brooke Whitehead tries to block a shot in the first half.

“Absolutely, this game is great experience for the returning players,” Mason said. “To be in this kind of high stakes game, a lot of action, a lot of competitive play, a good crowd, always a lot of good preparation for them for next year.”

The MIL champion Baldwin team, seeded second in the tournament, attended the match at Kihei Aquatic Center and let out an extended, loud “Let’s go Lunas” chant at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Bears will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday against Kalaheo, a 10-9 winner over Kealakehe on Monday.

“Maui has really started to support each other, so we’re happy to see that,” Mason said. “We’re cheering for them to go all the way on Oahu.”

Roosevelt led 2-1 after one period and 4-2 at halftime. The Rough Riders scored all three goals in the third period and it remained 7-2 until the Lunas’ Nikki Zamani broke the string with a lob shot over the head of Roosevelt goalie Lakota Nguyen with 2:21 to play.

A skip shot by Dakota Delos-Reyes cut the deficit to 7-4 with 1:41 to play, and then the Lunas scored their craziest goal in a while. Zamani fired a backhand shot from about 5 meters out, the ball ricocheted off the head of Delos-Reyes and past Nguyen to make it 7-5 with 1:02 to play.

Lahainaluna’s Hailey Bogar and Roosevelt’s Anya Miranda battle for the ball.

Delos-Reyes finished with three goals for Lahainaluna, while Zamani had two.

Emiko Tajima scored her fourth goal of the match from close range with 41 seconds to play as the Lunas were taking chances to try to steal the ball.

The Rough Riders advance to play No. 4 seed Kamehameha Hawaii in the quarterfinals Thursday on Oahu.

“I warned them in that fourth quarter that we have got to watch out before they pull a Kalaheo,” Roosevelt coach Susan Nishioka said. “Kalaheo is one of our league teams and they come back strong in the fourth quarter — the Lunas did the same thing.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Roosevelt 2 2 3 1–8

Lahainaluna 1 1 0 3–5

Goal scorers–Roosevelt: Emiko Tajima 4, Hailey Oyadomari 2, Lauren Croll 2; Lahainaluna: Dakota Delos-Reyes 3, Nikki Zamani 2.

Stanford Carr Development, LLC Water Polo State Championship

Monday’s Results

First Round

Roosevelt 8, Lahainaluna 5

Kalaheo 10, Kealakehe 9

Kaiser 7, Kapolei 1

Kamehameha Kapalama 16, Moanalua 2

Thursday’s Matches

At Kamehameha Kapalama

Quarterfinals

No. 4 Kamehameha Hawaii vs. Roosevelt, 2:45 p.m.

No. 2 Baldwin vs. Kalaheo, 4 p.m.

No. 3 Kahuku vs. Kamehameha Kapalama, 5:15 p.m.

No. 1 Punahou vs. Kaiser, 6:30 p.m.

Friday’s Matches

At Kamehameha Kapalama

Consolation semifinals

Punahou-Kaiser loser vs. Kamehameha Hawaii-Roosevelt loser, 3:15 p.m.

Baldwin-Kalaheo loser vs. Kahuku-Kamehameha Kapalama loser, 4:30 p.m.

Semifinals

Baldwin-Kalaheo winner vs. Kahuku-Kamehameha Kapalama winner, 5:45 p.m.

Punahou-Kaiser winner vs. Kamehameha Hawaii-Roosevelt winner, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Matches

At Kamehameha Kapalama

Fifth-place match, 3:15 p.m.

Third-place match, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

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