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Today's the day Lunas start their march to finish line

February 14, 2014 - Robert Collias
It's mid-February, not March, but it's time for a little hoops history for the MIL.

The top-seeded, top-ranked Lahainaluna girls basketball team is in the state semifinals tonight against Hilo.

Some of the key stats from their 61-57 victory over a very good Maryknoll team included the Lunas' 50-25 advantage on the boards, including a 25-10 bulge on the offensive glass; 10-for-18 shooting from 3-point range for the Lunas, while Maryknoll was 2-for-13; the Lunas allowed Maryknoll to stay in the game by going 9-for-19 at the free-throw line while the Spartans were going 21-for-27; Lahainaluna was whistled for 24 fouls to 17 for Maryknoll — Lahainaluna's Taylor Bates fouled out and three teammates finished with four fouls.

“I thought that if they don’t call those, they blow us out,” Maryknoll coach Chico Furtado said. “So, again, you have got to adjust the way the officials are calling it, they didn’t. They got in some foul trouble, we were able to stay in it.”

Furtado’s team lost the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship game to Punahou 29-28 in overtime.

“I think their chances are good,” Furtado said of the Lunas, adding he sees a Punahou-Lahainaluna final on Saturday. “I think the issues are going to be their discipline — they are going to have to stay out of trouble against Punahou."

The Lunas have beaten all three of the other semifinalists — and six of the other seven quarterfinalists, for that matter — but it was all in the preseason.

“Preseason is preseason,” Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard said. “This is a whole different story.”

The Lunas started the game 5-for-15 at the free-throw line, but made their final four free throws in the last three minutes to salt the game away.

“We have been practicing free throws way before we were 5-for-15,” Rickard said. “But sometimes in a game it happens, but hopefully it doesn’t happen this week.”

The Lunas won the only Division I state basketball crown in MIL history in 2010 behind Maiki Viela, currently a junior guard at Gonzaga, and Milika Taufa, a senior center at Indiana. This team has seven players who average at least eight points per game.

“This year, everybody knows their role,” Rickard said. “Everybody takes responsibility, it is not just looking for this person or that person. We move the ball around a little bit better and we get a lot of open looks and it doesn’t matter who has the ball in their hand.”


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