Molokai game photograph courtesy of Andrew Dang.
The varsity basketball girls wrapped up their season with an overall record of 14-4 (9-0 division), becoming ILH Division 2 champions for the second consecutive year and placing third in the division state championships.
This is the first time the Lady Eagles have made it to the state semi-finals. The varsity basketball boys finished their season on February 12, losing to Hanalani in the playoff tournament. The boys finished with an overall record of 9-9 (6-5 division).
Before the regular season got underway, both teams traveled to neighbor island tournaments in December. The girls participated in the Konawaena Wahine Basketball Tournament on the Big Island where they played Konawaena, Kamehameha-Hawaii, and Honokaa. They finished with a record of 0-3. The boys traveled to Kauai where they finished 3-0 in their tournament, beating Kapaa, Kauai High, and Kapaa again.
After the Big Island trip, the girls started their season against St. Francis where they edged out a close win, 27-26. The Lady Eagles then dominated the rest of the season, winning every match-up by an average of 17 points per game.
According to junior guard/forward Rylie Wada, their tough workouts definitely paid off. “The typical suicide [drills], weightlifting, and aching legs [are] worth it when you can see and experience the feeling of winning a tough game,” she said.
In the final game of the season, HBA took on Punahou and beat the Buffanblu 43-31 to become ILH Division 2 champions. “We’ve come a long way and bonded well as a team,” said sophomore guard/forward Stephanie Dang, “and it feels great to be the champs again.”[one_third]
“It feels great to be the champs again.”
Sophomore Guard/Forward Stephanie Dang[/one_third]
With their ILH championship, the girls had a first round bye into the state championships. “Our goal is of course to win it,” said Wada, “but [our] focus is on taking everyone one game at a time.” On February 6, the girls took on Castle, where Dang carried the team with 17 points, scoring five 3-pointers in a 41-31 victory. The next day, after a hard-fought semi-final game, the Lady Eagles championship run came to an end with a loss to Kamehameha-Hawaii, 55-44. In consolation play the following day, they beat Molokai, finishing third in the state tournament.
For the boys, their year began with a sense of confidence and hope. “I knew with our experience that we would be able to compete with every team in the league,” said junior guard BJ Hosaka.
The first game of the regular season was a nail-biter. The boys pulled out a close win over division rival Hanalani in overtime, winning 79-73. Senior guard/forward Jordan Kauwe said, “I knew we were going to somehow pull it off, and we did just that.” Kauwe, critical to the victory, posted 26 points in the game. After the Hanalani game, the team continued with victories over 2013 Division 2 state champions St. Francis and a comeback win over Damien during Homecoming.
Freshman point guard Ty Minatoya said, “The atmosphere during the [Damien] game was unreal. I never would’ve expected the game to be so exciting. The game was a good win for us as a team and as a school.”
Before a capacity home crowd, the boys trailed for most of the game before coming back in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Monarchs 18-6. The boys went 3-4 for the remainder of the season.