Final exams may be over for basketball players at the four local schools, but their test on the court has just begun.
Schools back from
By Brandon Lee
After a respite to focus in the classroom, Brigham Young-Hawaii's (7-2) victory over Montana State-Northern on Tuesday was the Seasiders' first game since Dec. 1.
Hawaii Pacific (3-3) -- challenging MSU-Northern tonight at 7:30 at Blaisdell Arena -- has had two weeks off since its last game. Chaminade (2-3) and Hawaii-Hilo (4-2) will have had 15 days since their last contest when they take the court tomorrow.
"I feel very strongly that exams should take precedence," HPU coach Tony Sellitto said. "The responsibility of all coaches is to make sure things are taken care of in the classroom.
"Our guys were a little run down. I think they were glad we took time off."
The Silverswords host Hastings at 3 p.m. at McCabe Gym tomorrow, while the Vulcans host Lincoln (Mo.) at 7:15 at the Hilo Civic Center.
All four teams better have fueled up their tanks; none of them have a break longer than nine days the rest of the season and their Pacific West Conference schedule of three games per week is less than a month away.
"There are no more breaks," Chaminade coach Aaron Griess said. "It's time to get down to business. Hopefully you don't have to add too much at this point because there isn't a whole lot of time to work on stuff. It's time to be sharp and focused."
So far, BYUH -- winners of five straight -- looks the sharpest of the four teams. The Seasiders take on Lincoln next Monday before hosting the Yahoo! Sports Invitational against Division I competition next Thursday through Saturday. The other tournament teams are: Tulsa, Columbia, Valparaiso, Buffalo, New Mexico State, Montana and Navy.
Hilo has won its last two games and will host the Coconut Coast Classic next Monday and Tuesday. The Classic's men's field is completed by Cal State-Monterey Bay, Potsdam State and Westminster College.
Chaminade has also won two in a row, while HPU is coming off a 30-point loss at Seattle Pacific. Next Tuesday, Chaminade plays at Western State (Colo.), and HPU hosts Lincoln.
"I told the guys that these games coming up are some of the most important ones of the year," Sellitto said. "It really gets us into the swing for the PacWest (schedule)."
Injured Seasiders: BYUH's Dallas Jensen has tendinitis in his right shooting hand. He may be back for Monday's game against Lincoln in Laie. Cameron Hyde injured his shoulder, and may red-shirt.
Tennis rankings: The BYUH women's tennis team is ranked second and Hawaii-Hilo 23rd in a national Division II poll released this week. Seasider Petra Gaspar is ranked third in singles.
Correction: In a story that ran in the Star-Bulletin on Oct. 26, Waiakea High School was mistakenly identified as the 1997 girls Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion. Konawaena High School's girls took the BIIF title.