Posted: January 24, 2012 - 10:32pm
Pearl City wins defensive stuggle over Kaimuki, 32-29
The result of the hard-fought defensive struggle broke a 12-game winning streak for #1 East seed Kaimuki (12-1) enabled #2 West seed Pearl City (11-1) to advance in the winners' bracket against Roosevelt. Both teams had already qualified for the state tournament.
Tied at 24 after three quarters, Pearl City held Kaimuki scoreless for nearly five minutes and led 28-24 when Tiari Walker made a wide-open layup with 2:57 left. The Bulldogs' Krysta Yasui made her team's sixth 3-pointer to cut the lead to 28-27 with 2:38 left.
Twice down the stretch, Pearl City's Adrienne Jean Sylva was perfect at the free throw line on a pair of bonus chances to provide the final margin of victory. Sylva had a team-high 12 points.
"I was thinking of practice and stayed calm" said Sylva, who credited deep breathing with remaining calm during the frantic finish.
Her first pair of free throws came with 1:09 left and gave Pearl City a 30-27 lead.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 30-29 and got the ball back on a turnover. After a kicking violation gave Kaimuki the ball under the basket, they missed a wide-open layup with 15 seconds left. Sylva was then fouled and converted her next 1 and 1 with 13 seconds left to end the scoring.
Kaimuki called a timeout with 8.2 seconds left, but could manage only a harmless shot.
"Our plan was to stop their penetration. We watched game tapes and wanted to stop their drives to the basket" said Pearl City coach Mike Morton.
"We concentrate on defense every day in practice. The girls hate me for it. Tonight we played an awesome game."
Indeed, Kaimuki, which scored most of its points on the inside in a win over Kapolei last Friday, was forced to take nearly half (21 of 43) of its field goal attempts from beyond the arc, making 6, but shooting only 25,6 % overall (11 for 43) from the field. The Bulldogs' Ashley Savusa led all scorers with 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
So close to perfection was the Charger defense that they committed only 2 fouls in the second half. Kaimuki made 1 of 4 free throws in the first three minutes of the opening quarter and never went to the free throw line again.
Pearl City was 13 of 41(31.7%) from the field and 1 of 6 from long range. Neither team had a big margin in turnovers (16-14 for Pearl City) or rebounds (25-24 for Kaimuki). The biggest leads in the tightly matched game were five (13-8) by Pearl City in the second quarter and three (22-19) by Kaimuki in the third quarter.
Said Kaimuki coach Mona Fa'asoa, "Pearl City's defense is tough and we missed too many opportunities. We need to practice more and move more on offense." The Bulldogs will get a chance to do so when they next face Mililani in the OIA double elimination tournament.
January 24, 2012
Kaimuki's Ashley Savusa puts up a shot attempt over a pair of Pearl City defenders. Brien Ing | SL