KEAAU — Mehana Pilago will soon turn in her swimsuits so she can concentrate on mass-producing them.
Until then, she continues to churn out goals in bunches for the Kealakehe water polo team.
Pilago scored four times Saturday and the Waveriders pulled away from Hawaii Prep 13-7 at Naeole Pool in a matchup of Big Island Interscholastic Federation water polo contenders.
“It was great that we actually beat them,” Pilago said. “(HPA) is our most challenging team. I was really proud of our team.”
The way Kamehameha has dominated BIIF play the past four-plus seasons, the real race has been for runner-up to see which team grabs the league’s second spot at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament. On Saturday, the Waveriders (2-1) avenged a loss to Ka Makani (2-3) in last year’s BIIF semifinals.
“This was our most important game,” Pilago said. “They’ve been up and up with us the past two years. It was a big achievement for the whole team.”
Senior Marissa Bryant-Manago netted a hat trick and junior Sarah Somsanguansit scored all three of her goals in the second half for Kealakehe, which was the aggressor from the start and never trailed.
Pilago had a hat trick by halftime.
“Mehana is someone we can always depend on, but she gets crashed a lot with defenders, so we have other girls that had to realize they had to step up up,” first-year coach Melissa Cleaver said. “I think the other girls were really focused today. In the past, we have relied on her too much.”
Usually, Pilago uses her strength and camps out inside at the set 2-meter position, but she opened the scoring with a goal in transition. Bryant-Manago crept in and converted on a pair of skip shots, then Pilago returned inside and scored twice to give Kealakehe a 5-2 advantage. Its lead never fell below three goals.
“In this game we worked on driving,” Pilago said. “I started on the outside because I was getting slammed with coverage on the inside. Our main goal was to get open shots and open water.”
Naomi Tomlinson added a pair of goals and Chenoa Jesser scored once.
“We were very good at pacing shots and placing the ball where it needed to be,” Cleaver said.
Hawaii Prep’ goalkeeper Ava Jean Johnson did well to hold the Waveriders to five goals in the first half, making eight saves.
Louissa Duggan scored twice for Ka Makani, which got a goal apiece from Lizzy Jim, Hannah Twigg-Smith, Leilani Bostock, Seychelle Francis and Teelin Healy.
Kealakehe goalkeeper Sully Schuster made her best play when she swam out from her goal to keep Bostock from getting off a shot.
Pilago said she had four offers to play college water polo, but she turned them down and will instead study at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco. She already has her own swimsuit line, Khushti.
“That will be my main goal in college. Making that a success,” she said.
Kamehameha 19, Hawaii Prep 2:Acacia Trusdell and Chloe Martins-Keliihoomalu each scored four goals and Katelynn Kubo recorded a hat trick as the Warriors ran their record to 5-0.
Pua Wong and Halia Nahale-a added two goals each, and Esther Kerr, Anuhea Leite-AhYo, Hoea Maka’ike and Cassidy Fratinardo had a goal apiece.
HPA was held scoreless in the first half, but Louisa Duggan and Seychelle Francis scored in the half.
Kamehameha 15, Hilo 7: Five players scored two goals for the Warriors: Esther Kerr, Kaitlyn Silva, Katelynn Kubo, Halia Nahale-a and Alyssa Pelanca. Acacia Trusdell, Hoea Maka’ike, Cassidy Fratinardo and Pua Wong had one each.
The Vikings (0-5) got two goals goal from Ashleigh Kahawaiola’a Daffron and Alana Flaherty, and one apiece from Jennifer Gervais, Riley Cabarloc and Hilda Friday.
Waiakea 9, Hilo 5: Jeannie Rosa powered the Warriors (3-2) with four goals and Coco Flores-Oishi netted a hat trick. Mary Economy and Jolyn Takeya-Whitney each scored once.
Jennifer Gervais, Ashleigh Kahawaiola’a Daffron, Revlyn Takayesu, Lokelani Ferriera and Karyanna Norris scored for Hilo.
Waiakea 15, Konawaena 6: Coco Flores-Oishi erupted for a eight goals to carry the Warriors. Taislyn Ida recorded a hat trick, while Jeannie Rosa, Mary Economy, Grace Kali’i and Katrina Ombac also scored.
Aaliyah Butler led the way with three goals for the Wildcats (1-2), which also got scores from Reiko Ikeno, Jenna Kojima and Chloe Delaney.
Konawaena vs. Kealakehe: The match was postponed and a makeup date wasn’t yet announced.