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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 9, 2010

Farrington girls hold off Roosevelt

by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Farrington's Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo goes up for a short runner over Roosevelt's Kelcie Namba in a battle of O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red East unbeatens.

TAMMY MCGARVEY | Special to The Honolulu Advertiser

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With its lead whittling away and free throws rimming out, all Farrington could do was keep battling.

In a matchup between two undefeated teams, Kirsten Liana made one of two free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining and Roosevelt couldn't get off a shot before time expired as host Farrington held on for a 53-50 win in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red East girls basketball game last night.

"We had to continue to play defense and continue to keep playing," Farrington coach Caroline Tatupu said. "Roosevelt kept chipping at the lead, we told them to continue to play and to play smarter."

The Rough Riders (7-1) rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes, helped in part by an off night by the Governors (8-0) at the free-throw line. Farrington made 4 of 9 free throws down the stretch.

Kelcie Namba made two free throws to cut it to 50-45 with 47.2 seconds left and Nicole Ramirez made two more to close to 51-47 with 35.5 seconds.

"We were in the bonus situation, we wanted to go to the basket, attack the basket, not settle for outside shots," Roosevelt coach Hinano Higa said. "We wanted to get the foul."

After Liana made one of two free throws, Roosevelt quickly came down the floor and found Mikela Thoemmes on the left wing, who hit an open 3-pointer to cut it to 52-50 with 18 seconds left.

Farrington inbounded the ball to Ashley Gravely, who dribbled down the floor and almost got trapped by Roosevelt's defense in front of her team's bench. But she passed to Liana, who was fouled with 4.7 seconds.

She made one of two free throws and, after a timeout, Roosevelt's Shana Kawakami got the ball, dribbled down the court, but couldn't get a shot off before time expired .

"We had to help (on defense) but then at the same time, had to get out on the shooters because everybody was a potential shooter," said Farrington's Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo, who had 15 points. "We just had to play tough defense and get up on the shooters."

Sofia Folaumahina added 11 points for Farrington, the defending OIA champion.

Thoemmes scored 19 points, Ramirez had 14 and Namba added 10 for the Rough Riders.

Defense helped the Governors build their lead in the fourth quarter. Tatupu-Leopoldo had two steals that were converted into five points, and Angie Argel's steal and layup extended Farrington's lead to 47-37 with 3:33 left. A minute later, Liana stole the ball, then scored to push the lead to 49-41 with 1:46 remaining.

"We always say defense wins games, defense wins championships, as well as free throws," Tatupu-Leopoldo said. "Our defense is OK, but we just have to improve in parts here and there."

ROOSEVELT (7-1) 10 17 10 1350

FARRINGTON (8-0) 16 11 9 1753

ROOSEVELT Breyana Dutro-Solomua 0, Kelcie Namba 10, Charisse Tanabe 0, Shana Kawakami 2, Nicole Ramirez 14, Abcde Furuta-Harada 3, Mikela Thoemmes 19, Anuhea Kanealii 2. Totals 15 13-17 50.

FARRINGTON Ashley Gravely 6, Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo 15, Lucky Crichton 4, Angeline Argel 4, Dianna Prescott 5, Kirsten Marie Liana 6. Aisha Gaea 2, Sofia Folaumahina 11, Chelsea Wong 0. Totals 19 12-18 53.

3-point goals Roosevelt 7 (Ramirez 4, Namba, Furuta-Harada, Thoemmes). Farrington 3 (Tatupu-Leopoldo 2, Gravely).

JV Farrington 55, Roosevelt 48