Chip on the shoulder


KEALAKEKUA — Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard said he had to pick his poison.

By going to a zone defense, the Lunas prevented Konawaena’s Chanelle Molina and Courtney Kaupu from slashing through the lane and getting to the basket but gave the Wildcats on the perimeter open looks.

Konawaena’s open shooters made Lahainaluna pay Friday at Onizuka Gymnasium.

Kaupu scored 17 points, Molina added 15, and the Wildcats made four 3-pointers in the second half to pull away for a 51-34 win over Lahainaluna on the second day of the Konawaena’s preseason round-robin tournament.

“(Lahainaluna) made the other players step up,’’ Kaupu said. “Even though we were missing, (our coaches) told us to keep shooting.’’

Lahainaluna took a 22-19 lead on Fiemea Hafoka’s fast-break layup with 6 minutes, 50 seconds remaining.

Then Zoe Acdal made back-to-back jumpers that gave Konawaena the lead for good at 23-22, sparking an 18-4 run that included 3-pointers from Taylor Awa, Ihi Victor and Molina.

Molina’s trey, part of a four-point play, capped the spurt and gave Konawaena a 37-26 lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats defense clamped down on the Lunas in the fourth quarter, not allowing a basket until Hafoka’s layup with 3:17 remaining. Seconds before that basket, Konawaena’s lead had ballooned to 47-30 on an Awa layup.

Hafoka led the Lunas with 10 points, while 5-foot-11 post Petiola Tuakoi scored all of her eight points in the first half, when Lahainaluna repeatedly cashed in on second-chance points.

“We got drifting away from our system,’’ Rickard said of the Lunas, who are 1-1 in the tourney. “In the second half, everyone wanted to be an all-star.’’

Konawaena improved to 2-0 in the tournament having beaten another perennial power in Punahou a day earlier.

Kaupu said the Wildcats, who graduated Division I athletes Dawnyelle Awa and Lia Galdeira, are playing with a chip on their shoulder.

“Everybody’s doubting us, so we have to keep proving them wrong,’’ she said.

Lahainaluna 6 14 8 6 — 34

Konawaena 5 14 18 14 — 51

c Honokaa 53, Kalani 40: Junior forward Hunter Liftee scored a game-high 18 points for Honokaa (1-1), which pulled away in the second half after the Falcons of the Oahu Interscholastic Association led 20-19 at halftime.

Kizzah Maltezo and Jasmine Castro added nine points apiece, junior Shemika Frazier chipped in eight, and Keana Kaohimaunu had seven.

Carly Kakuda, Samantha Shizuru and Alexandra Salas each scored eight points for Kalani (0-2).

Kalani 2 18 8 12 — 40

Honokaa 10 9 14 20 — 53

c Punahou 57, Kamehameha-Hawaii 30: Keaupono Fey scored 12 points, and Turner Wong added nine for the Buffanblu, which led 28-14 at halftime before improving to 1-1 in the tournament.

Casey Poe led the defending Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II champion Warriors with 23 points.

KS-Hawaii 6 8 7 9 — 30

Punahou 15 13 15 14 — 57