HHSAA Girls Basketball
Donez’s 41 powers Lahainaluna past Waiakea to face Iolani in semifinals


  



Wed, Feb 7, 2024 @ McKinley


Final 1 2 3 4  
Waiakea (11-3, 16-7) 17 15191566
Lahainaluna (12-1, 14-7) 16 26 16 1169
L. Donez 41 pts  4 3pm  5/6 FTs
P. Herrington 23 pts  2 3pm  5/6 FTs
M. Faleta 14 tot  1 off  13 def
P. Herrington 9 tot  2 off  7 def
L. Donez 3 ast

KAKAAKO—Lola Donez impacted both ends of the floor as fourth seed and No. 10 Lahainaluna held off No. 6 Waiakea, 69-66, in the HHSAA/Heide & Cook Division I Girls Basketball State Championships quarterfinal nightcap at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium.

Donez scored 41 points on 16-of-22 shooting, was 4 for 7 from 3 and 5 for 6 from the free throw line as she broke a single-game record held by Kamehameha-Kapalama's Kalina Obrey (38 points) in 2019.

"I just got going, states is big time for us. Lahainaluna hasn't got past the quarterfinals in a while so I wanted to do that for my coaches and my team. After the first few layups and first couple shots, I got going. I had momentum," Donez said.

The Cal-Berkeley verbal commit who is averaging 28.1 points per game, was two points shy of her season-high (43) against Kekaulike on Jan. 26. The senior transferred back home amidst the heartache and devastation of the Aug. 8 wildfires that ravaged Lahaina.

"It's big for our community. Basketball has not always been the biggest sport, but everything draws to our community no matter what. To be able to have this as an escape, it's big to make it this far. I'm happy for my team and to keep playing and keep fighting for this thing," Donez said.

"We told them before the game, win or lose, honestly, this team overachieved at this point. From what we started with to what we are now. I'm blessed to have these girls with me and they brought something for the community to cheer about. Lanai was in the house to cheer for us. We hope we put on a good showing for them," Lahainaluna coach Iolani Kaniho said.

The Lunas (14-5 overall) advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2022, but will have to go through four-time defending state champion Iolani in order to reach the championship game for the first time since 2015.

"I'm excited to play them. They're a really good team," Donez said.

Tip off is slated for 5:30 p.m. at McKinley and will be followed by Kamehameha-Kapalama and Konawaena in the night cap.

The Lunas led by as much as nine to open the fourth, but the Warriors charged back with a 9-2 run sparked by Maya Kaneshiro and Puaena Herrington. Herrington's free throws brought Waiakea within 62-60 with 4:54 to go.

Matahikulangi Faleta converted an assist from Fangafitu Tasini to make and Donez pulled up in transition to make it, 68-60 with 1:48 to go. Kaneshiro hit a 3-pointer and later swung it to Hannah Iwahiro for another triple to get within two with 34 ticks left.

"We were getting all out of sorts at the end. We were trying to get out on the shooters. We tried our best to contain them, but we did just enough," Kaniho said.

Faleta split her free throws with 29 seconds left for a three point lead. Kaneshiro drove and kicked it to Herrington on the left wing but could not connect and Ava Santos grabbed the rebound with 4.1 seconds remaining as Waiakea called timeout.

Mantz inbounded it to Herrington, who passed it back to Mantz, but Donez blocked it with her outstretched hand to seal the game.

"We knew it was going to go to 23 (Herrington) or 1 (Mantz) so we had to keep an eye on them. It went to 23 and I didn't think she was going to shoot it so my teammate got caught behind the screen, I saw her but I put my hand up and I wasn't sure if I was going to block it or not, but it was there," Donez explained.

"She's a hell of a player. She's a three level scorer, one of the best defenders, ball handler," Kaniho said. "She does a lot and does almost everything. We do our best to get everybody involved and she knows when she has to take over."

Faleta added a double-double, 13 points and 14 boards and Juseana Rae Delatori added nine points and five rebounds.

"What's great about me being able to score, is that it brings more people to me and it gets my teammates open. I attack and draw somebody and they get wide open. I love distributing it and it was my game before I became a scorer," Donez said, who had three assists and three steals.

Three Warriors scored in double figures led by Herrington's 23, nine boards, and four steals. Mantz scored 18 points and was 4 for 12 from 3 and went 6 for 8 from the free throw line and Kaneshiro added 13 points and six assists in their first loss to the Lunas this season.

Waiakea won both matchups in the preseason, 63-51 in the Konawaena tournament and 57-55 the Imua Invitational at Kamehameha-Kapalama.

"In the preseason we were up and they came back and we had big leads and settled back and I didn't want to happen again. I told my teammates, we've been in this situation and we've lost games. We need to keep playing and it almost came down to it. We played hard and finished hard," Donez said.

Mantz and Herrington combined to score all 17 first quarter points while Donez scored nine of the team's 16.

Donez tied the game at 27 and scored the next seven points for a 34-29 lead. Lahainaluna maintained a seven-point cushion before Donez canned a triple for a 42-32 lead going into halftime.

She scored 19 of the team's 26 second quarter points and had 28 by intermission.

Faleta converted Donez's assist to open the third and later scored again to put the Lunas up, 47-34.

"That's what she does. Sometimes we have to tell her to be more aggressive on offense," Kaniho said.

The Warriors cut it to single digits following Mantz's free throws. Iwahiro drained a 3 and Kaneshiro had a steal and fast break layup to get within three, 49-46.

Lahainaluna responded with a 9-0 run that included triples from Delatori and Donez for a 58-46 lead. Mantz hit a 3-pointer and Herrington scored on a layup to trail by seven going into the fourth.

Waiakea outscored Lahainaluna 19 to 16 despite shooting 3 of 13 from 3.

The Lunas shot 27 of 45 (60 percent) from the field overall, while the Warriors shot 21 of 56 (37.5 percent) and was 11 for 40 (27.5 percent) from 3.

Waiakea was seeking its first semifinal appearance since 2020 and lost its past two quarterfinal matchups to Campbell.



Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].




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