LAHAINA - After a disappointing 42-36 loss to Oahu Interscholastic League champion Leilehua in the consolation round final of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state playoffs last Friday at the Neil Blaisdell Center, the Lahainaluna High School girls basketball team ended the 2013 season in sixth place in the state with a 13-2 record.
The Lady Lunas had built a 15-point lead in the third quarter, but Leilehua turned up the defensive pressure to erase that deficit and close out the win.
Lahainaluna, the Maui Interscholastic League champion for the ninth consecutive year and the fourth seed in the state tournament, lost its quarterfinal match-up versus Iolani of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu by a 60-39 score.
The following afternoon, Lahainaluna beat Mililani of the OIA 52-45 to move into the consolation championship game against Leilehua.
Lahainaluna assistant coach Ian Aotaki praised the effort of the team and bid a fond farewell to the four seniors on the Lady Luna roster: Jade Chihara, Amanda Matsuda, Petiola Tuakoi and Makana Kaaikala Caban.
"We knew our girls would give an all-out effort in this tournament, and that's what they did. We are very appreciative of the effort that our seniors - Jade, Amanda, Petiola and Makana - gave us in this tournament and throughout the season as well."
Despite the graduation of these four, the team will return a talented core for next season, as juniors Loke Basques and Misha Whitehead; sophomores Folau Hafoka, Taylor Bates, Lindsey Bates, Aloha Salem, Mina Faaumu and Kyla Blando; and freshmen Fiemea Hafoka, Keleah Koloi and Andilyn Alavazo return.
Along with the nine straight titles, Lahainaluna has won 87 consecutive games, which is a MIL all-sport record.
The Lady Lunas have also been to four out of five final fours at the state tournament, having won the championship in 2010.