Molokai took a young girls basketball team as far as it could go in the Maui Interscholastic League Division II Tournament as Seabury Hall denied the Farmers a return trip to the state tournament.
Over the past four years, Molokai has been a dominant force in Division II basketball in Hawaii. Over that stretch, Kalei Adolpho and Danna Lynn Hooper-Juario led the team to a state championship, state runner-up title and two final four finishes. Now that those girls have gone on to the collegiate level, their younger teammates have stepped up to keep Molokai competitive.
The Lady Farmers showed real improvement since losing twice to Seabury earlier in the season. But with only four regular season games and then three MIL tournament games, it has been hard to gain the experience needed against a mature Spartan team.
After defeating Lanai twice at home to end the regular season, Molokai beat the Pine Lasses again last Thursday to earn a chance to face Seabury for a chance to return to Oahu.
Molokai beat Seabury 42-31 on Friday at Erdman Athletic Center in Olinda, Seabury’s home gym. Although not a neutral site, the Farmers did bring out their competitive spirit for the MIL Division II Tournament.
Pressing defense and strong team play lifted the Farmers over Seabury. Senior Kalyn Kaulia-Makaiwi, Molokai’s only returning starter, and senior Brianna Tangonan led the way with nine points each in the win. Junior Camille Borden added eight points and sophomore Shaniah Mollena-Lopez scored seven in the victory.
In the MIL Division II Tournament final held Saturday, also at Erdman Athletic Center, Seabury found a way to break Molokai’s press and score key baskets in the 34-24 win for the Spartans.
Tyra Mollena-Lopez was the top Molokai scorer with 10 points in the loss. Shaniah Mollena-Lopez and Kaulia-Makaiwi added four points each while Borden, Tangonan and Rebecca Adolpho had two points apiece.
Molokai girls end the season with a 5-3 record.