Spartans come up short

Hawaii Baptist holds off Seabury Hall 43-39 in Division II state championship game

Seabury Hall’s Brittlay Carillo is defended by Hawaii Baptist’s Kaimilani Duncklee during the Spartans’ 43-39 loss to the Eagles in the Snapple/HHSAA Division II Girls Basketball State Championship on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. ANDREW LEE photo

In the end, they fell four points short, but the Seabury Hall girls basketball team knows good days are ahead.

The young Spartans — they have just one senior on the roster — fell to Hawaii Baptist Academy 43-39 in the championship game of the Snapple/HHSAA Division II state tournament on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

“It was huge, I mean this is the first time they have been to the final for girls basketball,” Seabury Hall coach Keone Labuanan said. “Having five freshmen, two of them start and another is our first off the bench, so it’s huge for the younger ones.”

The Spartans (16-1) are usually led led by junior stalwarts Anau Tuivai and Ameera Waterford, but that pair was limited to a combined 10 points on Saturday. Freshmen Brittlay Carillo scored 10 points, and Pio Tuivai had 11 points.

In the first quarter, Seabury Hall fell behind in the early going, but finished the quarter on a 10-0 run behind an effective full-court press. The Spartans took their first lead of the game, 14-12, at the end of the first quarter.

Seabury Hall’s Pio Tuivai releases a 3-point shot on Saturday.

The action lagged in the second quarter. Seabury Hall still led 18-17 with two minutes left in the first half before HBA rallied for a 21-20 lead at the intermission.

The top-seeded Eagles (15-1) hit an early 3-pointer and a three-point play to take a 27-20 lead. Pio Tuivai began hitting from behind the arc to keep the Spartans in it, down 31-28 with 3:53 left in the third quarter.

Anau Tuivai picked up her fourth foul with 1:25 left and was taken out of the game. A last-second HBA basket pushed the Eagles’ lead back to 35-32.

Anau Tuivai started the fourth quarter, and Seabury was able to stick around, before falling behind 41-34 when Hayley Taka sank a jumper for HBA with 1:35 to go. Leela Waterford made a basket to bring the Spartans within 41-39 with 56 seconds left, but they would not score again.

The Eagles were led by Alexis Dang, who scored 12 points, and Taka, who chipped in 10.

The Spartans’ Anau Tuivai looks to shoot.

HBA collected 12 steals, while the Spartans committed 19 total turnovers. HBA committed 13 turnovers, but outscored Seabury Hall 22-6 in points off turnovers.

“Anau and Ameera, my two juniors, they are coming right back and they’re big,” Labuanan said. “They feel that they could have done more, but they are positive, they are very positive.”

Rachel Gilbert is the only senior on the roster. The Tuivai sisters each made the all-tournament team.

“Very excited, I told the girls it was tough, that I was sad to see our one senior leaving, but I’m just very excited, and they are, too,” Labuanan said. “They know they belong here. They believe, they believed this year, so they definitely believe they are coming back next year.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Hawaii Baptist’s Caitlin Ching controls the ball in front of teammate Sasha Phillip and Seabury’s Pio Tuivai and Anau Tuivai.

SEABURY HALL (39)

Anau Tuivai 8, Ameera Waterford 2, Rachel Gilbert 0, Brittlay Carillo 10, Kiiola Rilveria 0, Leela Waterford 8, Pio Tuivai 11.

HAWAII BAPTIST (43)

Alexis Dang 12, Caitlin Ching 0, Cydni Yoshida 0, Kalena Montgomery 4, Kyley Nakagawa 9, Nicole Arakaki 0, Kaimilani Duncklee 0, Hayley Taka 10, Sasha Phillip 8.

Seabury Hall 14 6 12 7–39

The Spartans’ Ameera Waterford dribbles the ball.

Hawaii Baptist 12 9 14 8–43

Girls Basketball State Championships

Saturday’s Results • At Stan Sheriff Center

DIVISION I

Fifth-place game

Seabury Hall’s Brittlay Carillo looks to the basket as she is defended by Ching.

Waiakea 56, Kahuku 53

Third-place game

Konawaena 52, Kalani 44

Championship

Iolani 52, Kamehameha Kapalama 49

DIVISION II

Fifth-place game

University 37, Hawaii Prep 29

Third-place game

Waimea 72, Hanalani 60

Championship

Hawaii Baptist 43, Seabury Hall 39

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