Saturday, January 21, 2023 | By: Wes Nakama
Braylee Riturban scored a game-high 14 points and Shailoh Li’ili’i and Akaecia Mateo each added 10 points as Na Menehune (15-4, 12-0) pulled away from the Mules late in the second period and won going away.
Anniversary Filisi scored 13 points for Leilehua, which fell to 10-9 and 8-4, and will face Kahuku in Monday’s fifth-place bracket elimination game.
Na Menehune jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first period and scored three straight baskets to stretch it to 16-8 on Deszel Fontanella’s jumper with 5:25 remaining in the second period, but the Mules responded with a 7-2 run capped by Dynasty Maunakea’s layup to close it to 18-15 with 1:41 left. Moanalua post Li’ili’i had picked up her second foul and sat out the rest of the half at that point, but Na Menehune guards Mateo, Rheanna Nobleza and Riturban answered with a 7-0 run to make it 25-15 at halftime.
Moanalua then opened the second half with a 6-2 advantage to push the score to 31-17 just past five minutes into the second half.
“Their guards stepped up, they made plays,” Leilehua coach Elroy Dumlao said. “They’re well balanced. When (Li’ili’i) went out, they went with the perimeter, and they hit the key shots. Our close-out was just a little bit too slow. But hat’s off to them, they’re shooting it with confidence and keeping the floor balanced on their attack.”
In the meantime, Na Menehune held the Mules to just one field goal during a seven-minute stretch overlapping the second and third periods, and Leilehua could not get closer than 10 points in the fourth.
“(Defense) has always been a point of emphasis for me, I’ve always been defensive-minded,” Moanalua coach Kirk Ronolo said. “This past week, we went hard on defense (in practice). We went over our zone defense, our man defense and how to get in front of the ball without drawing the foul. We started getting a couple fouls early, but as far as getting in front of the ball and making stops, I think we did well overall.”
Mahalo to City Mill for sponsoring our high school basketball photo gallery and for supporting local sports in Hawaii.