Over the winter break, the HBA boys varsity basketball team participated in the St. Louis Tourney, a pre-season tournament for Division 2 and Division 1-AA teams for high schools here on the island.
There, the Eagles went undefeated, going 3-0 overall in the three-day tournament. The Eagles played against Kamehameha, Punahou, and Waialua High School, beating all three schools. Eagles head coach Kellen Kaneshiro, who has been with HBA’s program for the last 10 years, but in the role of head coach for the first time, said, “I thought we played decently well, with a lot of room for improvement. We were missing some guys due to injury and travel, but the guys who were [there] did a great job of stepping up and playing hard.” One of these is sophomore Eli Shibuya, who went on long scoring runs throughout the tournament. Shibuya averaged around 10 points per game, which put him among the top scorers on the team, according to Kaneshiro.
As the season began in January and with their tourney experience behind them, Kaneshiro added, “I am excited to see how our team can compete against the rest of the ILH, as we have a lot of senior leadership and young talent.” This year, the Eagles are comprised of eight seniors, three juniors, one sophomore, and three freshmen.
Junior Jackson Lincoln feels optimistic about the season. He said, “Our team as of now is healthy and well.” The only player out at the start of the season is junior Elijah Wong, who has a shoulder injury. However, with COVID-19 numbers still on the rise, Lincoln added, “Some of our guys are in and out of school and practice because of close contacts for COVID.”
The boys had their season opener against Kamehameha at Kamehameha on January 10, where they beat the Warriors 58-45. Currently the Eagles stand 6-0 in the league, with wins over Kamehameha II, Iolani II, Punahou II, Maryknoll II, Hanalani, and St. Louis II. Kaneshiro has high hopes for the Eagles this season, and believes the team has a good chance of winning the Division and making it to States.