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Sabers rally for pivotal win over Na Alii, 46-38

Maui High School’s Makena Stevenson drives against King Kekaulike’s Ledjan Pahukoa in the first quarter of the Sabers’ 46-38 victory over Na Alii on Saturday night at Shine Matsui Athletic Center. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

KAHULUI — It was a fitting finish for Makena Stevenson and her Maui High School girls basketball team in their 46-38 win over King Kekaulike on Saturday night.

The crucial game between two of the three teams that entered the night tied for the lead in the Maui Interscholastic League standings left Maui High at 7-2, while King Kekaulike fell to 6-3.

With 8.5 seconds left on the clock and the game in hand at Shine Matsui Athletic Center, Stevenson stepped to the line for two free throws. She made the first, but missed the second.

With the other four Sabers on the other end of the court for defense, Stevenson slipped through four Na Alii to grab the rebound and put it back in the hoop to cap the victory.

“That felt good, yeah,” Stevenson said with a large smile. “I honestly thought I was going to make both, but when I saw it was off I just wanted to get the ball at the end.”

Caitlyn Ukida of King Ke­kau­like drives against Maui High’s Kayla Thornton.

Stevenson scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter. Leiana Thornton scored 12 points and her sister Kayla Thornton had eight points and five blocked shots for the Sabers.

“This is crucial, this is what we’ve been training for all week,” Stevenson said. “Coach has made it very clear than this is the game that makes us top (in the league), so we just did it.”

After three sluggish quarters, the Sabers woke up for a fourth-quarter onslaught that saw them outscore Na Alii 22-6.

“I think it was just like the intensity of it,” Stevenson said. “We were coming out very slow, very tired. Coach just kept on telling us: ‘We have got to get hyped up, we have to push more, go faster.’ That’s what we did.”

After trailing 26-15 at halftime, the Sabers climbed within 28-24 on a runner in the lane by Kayla Thornton with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.

Na Alii pushed the lead to 32-24 at the end of the third quarter on a free throw by Kailia Purdy with 0.6 seconds left on the clock.

Kylenna Rieta’s runner in the lane gave the Sabers a 33-32 lead with 4:40 to go — capping a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter — before King Kekaulike’s Namahana Kaeo-Young answered to give Na Alii their last lead at 34-33.

Stevenson sank a long 3 on the next possession and then took a nice pass from Rieta and made a bank shot in the lane to give the Sabers a 38-34 advantage.

Hiilani Arai drove inside and finished a three-point play with 2:51 to go to make it 41-34 Sabers, capping a 17-2 start to the fourth quarter for Maui High.

TC Pahukoa scored off an offensive rebound to bring Na Alii back within 41-36 with 2:10 left, but they would get no closer.

“We adjust, and then again, I teach the girls we never give up,” Maui High coach Crystal Bal said. “That’s one of our main mottos is to never give up and today, just like in life, they know that.”

King Kekaulike lost its second straight game. Na Alii were led by Kaeo-Young, who had 14 points and three 3-pointers in the game.

“They kept playing, they stuck to what they were doing and they worked it until it worked,” King Kekaulike coach Cy Peters said of the Sabers. “We have got to get, maybe not back to the drawing board, but just the effort has to be higher.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

KING KEKAULIKE (38)

Cailyn Ukida 0, TC Pahukoa 9, Ledjan Pahukoa 6, Namahana Kaeo-Young 14, Annalee Peters 0, Ashante Wong 0, Kreyajan Pahukoa 6, Kailia Purdy 3.

MAUI HIGH (46)

Jordyn Luna 3, Jacy Anne Dela-Cruz 0, Kayla Thornton 8, Hiilani Arai 5, Kylenna Rieta 4, Makena Stevenson 14, Natea Rosete-Tokuhisa 0, Leiana Thornton 12.

King Kekaulike 12 14 6 6–38

Maui High 7 8 9 22–46

Saturday’s Other Results

MAUI HIGH BOYS 61, KING KEKAULIKE 47

KING KEKAULIKE (47)

Grayson Maguire 0, Jaimes York 0, Jacob Wittenberg 11, Carson Yoshida 20, Kai Carbajal 8, Kaleb Chun 0, Akhil Fernando-Bell 4, Corey Frias 4, Keanu Kupau 0.

MAUI HIGH (61)

Logan Nagamine 8, Jeremy Peros 8, Efren Villon 20, Keoki Agtaguem 2, Charlles Guansing 0, Joshua Tolentino 0, Jerome Butac 14, Dreiden Agaran 0, Christian Alejo 2, Kobin Harris 7.

King Kekaulike 15 10 10 12–47

Maui High 11 16 9 25–61

LAHAINALUNA GIRLS 59, BALDWIN 22

BALDWIN (22)

Melissa Caliva 4, McKenzie Schwindler 7, Sarang Kim 0, Taylor Manangan 0, Kayla Martin 0, Aya Buttaro 4, Talo Mafatini 1, Rita Wengu 0, Makayla Chung 6.

LAHAINALUNA (59)

Paia Asuela 0, Abigail Akamine 15, Aira Baguyo 2, Piper Pascua 3, Kiera Kaniho 5, Taylor Eldredge 22, Ame Taufa 0, Margie Ruiz-Sana 5, Kyana Brucelas 4, Haley Mahoe 3.

Baldwin 5 13 1 3–22

Lahainaluna 19 18 18 4–59

BALDWIN BOYS 62, LAHAINALUNA 47

BALDWIN (62)

Jerren Manarpaac 0, Jay-Kwon Torres-Leeber 0, Owen Nakamura 2, Laa Ponce 0, Holden Ioanis 11, Isaiah Richards 12, Kuikawa Ross 27, Quintan Akaka 6, Laakea Asuega-Stark 0, Hudson Yarbrough 0, Mafatini Mafatini 4, Caleb-Noah Badayos-Buetzer 0, Angel Moreno 0.

LAHAINALUNA (47)

Cosner Cruz 0, Tre Rickard 0, Kade Cunningham 0, Juztin Gaoiran 15, Malino Jacinto 17, Toby Mizuno 0, Matthew Rabino 12, Kanaau Castro 0, Sam Kahaialii 2, TJ Galoia 0, Sam Fifita 0.

Baldwin 13 16 23 10–62

Lahainaluna 13 15 13 6–47

LANAI BOYS 66, MOLOKAI 32

MOLOKAI (32)

Kanalu Kahale 0, Ayden Inouye 5, Joshua Hanchett 0, Jonah Sahagun 0, Kaelo Kalani 0, Jewl Carriaga 0, Owen Svetin 7, Kaya Alcon 6, Vaai Seumalo 11, Nickolas Rapanot 3.

LANAI (66)

Jesse Sigrah 6, Devin Vidad 13, Rayden Manuel 0, Allen Adams 3, Ryan Noble 0, Jordan Belista 5, Jayden Castillo-Pagay 0, Reese Etrata 0, Sam Dimaya 2, Andre Adams 14, Devrene Kahananui Alejado 8, Aiden Hough 0, Kristian Kraytchev 0, Jamahl Adams 8, Elijah Gima-Maltezo 7.

Molokai 13 8 6 5–32

Lanai 22 17 9 18–66

SEABURY HALL BOYS 65, MAUI PREP 41

SEABURY HALL (65)

Kai Preseault 16, Carl Molinaro 0, Caden Granum 3, Cooper Waite 1, Joaquin Donez 18, Masyn Johnson 20, Max McKuin 4, Philip Birkholz 1, Carter Phillips 2, James Judge 0.

MAUI PREP (41)

Mathew Iverson 2, Bennett Bluh 9, Caleb Chumley 0, James Falk 6, Drew Triplett 12, Ozzi Doherty 1, Harrison Cramond 8, Tyler Kirby 3, Kieran McKinney 0.

Seabury Hall 11 13 13 28–65

Maui Prep 3 13 13 12–41

SEABURY HALL GIRLS 41, LANAI 25

LANAI (25)

Saisha Figuerres 0, Claire Manuel 0, Leisha Figuerres 0, Jasmine Molina 1, Amaya Hoopii Baptista 0, Haley Ostrander 10, Keala Montgomery 0, Arriana Maltezo 4, Souina Seiuli 10, Brandi-lee Medeiros 0, Giyana Agliam 0.

SEABURY HALL (41)

Anau Tuivai 8, Bryanna Molina 0, Faylin Sales 2, Brittlay Carillo 9, Sara Lampshire 0, Valentina Lewis 0, Tiana Medeiros 0, Leela Waterford 8, Meleani Sjostrand 9, Pio Tuivai 5, Mansa Devaki 0.

Lanai 2 6 8 9–25

Seabury Hall 6 12 14 9–41

*****

MIL Standings

GIRLS

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Maui High 7 2 .778 —

Lahainaluna 7 2 .778 —

King Kekaulike 6 3 .667 1

Kamehameha Maui 1 7 .125 5 1⁄2

Baldwin 1 8 .111 6

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Seabury Hall 8 0 1.000 —

Lanai 4 3 .571 3 1⁄2

Molokai 1 5 .167 6

Hana 0 5 .000 6 1⁄2

Saturday’s Results

Maui High 46, King Kekaulike 38

Lahainaluna 59, Baldwin 22

Seabury Hall 41, Lanai 25

Molokai at Hana, ppd.

Wednesday’s Games

Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.

*****

MIL Standings

BOYS

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Baldwin 6 0 1.000 —

Maui High 4 1 .800 1 1⁄2

Lahainaluna 3 3 .500 3

Kamehameha Maui 1 4 .200 4 1⁄2

King Kekaulike 0 6 .000 6

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Lanai 2 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 2 0 1.000 —

Hana 0 0 .000 1

St. Anthony 0 0 .000 1

Maui Prep 0 2 .000 2

Molokai 0 2 .000 2

Saturday’s Results

Baldwin 62, Lahainaluna 47

Maui High 61, King Kekaulike 47

Lanai 66, Molokai 32

Seabury Hall 65, Maui Prep 41

St. Anthony at Hana, ppd.

Wednesday’s Games

Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 5:30 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 5:30 p.m.

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