By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
PAHOA — Hawaii Prep junior Ula Brostek has been playing basketball since the sixth grade and finished with 12 points. Senior Kawena Lim-Samura just picked up the game and had two.
In coach Craig Kimura’s eyes, each had an equal role in helping Ka Makani to their first victory of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation season.
Brostek scored all but two of her points in the second half to lead a comeback Monday night and Lim-Samura hit two free throws in the fourth quarter to put HPA ahead to stay during a 49-41 victory against Pahoa in a matchup of winless Division II girls teams.
“A lot of keys,” Kimura said. “First, Kawena came off the bench to sub Ula. Then she hit those two free throws.
The short-handed Ka Makani (1-2) couldn’t have survived any other way. Tiana and Tehane Reynolds recently left the team to focus on volleyball, and with three boarding students away for the holidays, HPA dressed only six players.
“I think it helps us having six because we’re more in shape,” Brostek said.
Saddled with foul trouble, Brostek sat out the entire second quarter. But she came on strong and scored the first five points in the third quarter —two inside off a nifty feed from Tiana-Bertelmann Tabac — as HPA started to cut into a six-point halftime deficit.
“I wanted to mellow down and focus more,” Brostek said.
Bertelmann-Tabac also finished with 12 points, Anna Juan added 11 and Veronica LeSuer had eight. Lim-Samura’s free throws early in the fourth quarter gave HPA its first lead, 37-36, since early in the game. Bertelmann-Tabac made a basket, then the senior point guard found Brostek with a long outlet pass that she converted for a three-point play and a 42-38 advantage.
“We kind of planned that on our own to break fast,” the 5-foot-7 Brostek said.
On the defensive end, Ka Makani switched to a zone and held the Daggers (0-3) to only 13 second-half points.
Randi Berinobis made Pahoa’s only two baskets of the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 15 points.
“The defense was steady all the way once we went zone,” Kimura said. “Kawena doesn’t know much basketball, but she’s quick. We put her at the top of our matchup zone.”
The Daggers held a three-point lead entering the fourth on the strength of buzzer-beater efficiency. Erleen Oguma banked in a 3-pointer to end the first, Macey Mokuhalii beat the horn to end the second and Vanessa Castro nailed a 3-pointer with only a few ticks left in the third.
Mokuhalii finished with eight points and Oguma and Faith Manuel-Kamakeeaina each had five. Junior Ranchell Berinobis suffered an apparent leg injury in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game.
The start of the contest was delayed because there was no officiating crew. The cavalry arrived in the form of replacement referees Linda Lopez and Gwint Fisher, and the game started about an hour late.
HPA 8 14 11 16 —49
Pahoa 12 16 8 5—41