Wednesday, May 18, 2022 |
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Kamehameha’s Meagan Ching and Ashley Ruff made four crucial free throws in the final 30 seconds to thwart a furious second-half Punahou comeback and give the Warriors a thrilling 45-42 win and their 8th state title in the Hawaiian Airlines Girls State Basketball Championships at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Trailing by nine at the half, Punahou rallied behind freshman guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay, who scored all 12 of her points in the second half including a pair of three-point bombs in the the final 46 seconds. Dacanay’s first three-pointer gave Punahou, which had trailed the entire game, its only tie at 39. But Ching, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds converted a teammates missed free throw with 41 seconds left and added a pair of free throw with 29 seconds left to give Kamehameha a 43-39 lead.
After Dacanays second three-pointer with 16 seconds left cut the lead to 43-42, Ruff, who had a game-high 16 points hit two free throws with 10 seconds left to make the lead 45-42.
Following a time-out, Punahous Janelle Shin launched a three-point attempt that went in and out as time expired.
Although Punahous pressure defense forced the Warriors into fourteen second-half turnovers and turned the momentum of the game around, the Buffanblu failed to capitalize, largely because of poor 6 of 21 free-throw shooting.
Kamehameha dominated the first half, shooting 48% on 12 of 25 field goals, while only Becky Hogue was on fire for the Buffanblu. Hogue made 6 of 8 field goal attempts and had 13 of her teams 15 points at the half. Her teammates could manage just 1 of 12 shooting, including 1 of 10 by the guards.
Hogue scored only two points in the second half.
Rachel Kane, who scored 19 the night before against Iolani, was held scoreless in the first half. She finished with 1 point, along with 10 rebounds and 6 steals.
The Warriors Mounia Nihipali scored 13 points before fouling out with 1:47 left to play.
The two teams had met five times previously this season. Punahou won a pair of pre-season games, they split two games in the regular season and Kamehameha prevailed in an ILH playoff game, thereby earning thenumber one seed and a first-round bye.
It was the 16th time in 26 years that the state tournament was an all-ILH final. Kamehameha has won the championship three of the last four years.
Named to the all-tournament were Ruff, the most outstanding player and Ching of Kamehameha, Punahous Kane and Dacanay, Konawaenas Nancy Hoist and Iolani’s Ginger Gravelle.
All Tourney Team
Nancy Hoist — Konawaena
Ginger Gravelle — Iolani
Shanna-Lei Dacanay — Punahou
Rachael Kane — Punahou
Megan Ching — Kamehameha
Most Outstanding Player
Ashley Ruff, Kamehameha
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