fight leaves BIIF
with a bad taste
He's been around basketball for virtually his entire life, but Jay Bartholomew was staggered by the events that took place a week ago.
His Waiakea team, playing at Konawaena, was vying for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation regular-season title. With a state tournament berth at stake, the tension was high at Col. Ellison Onizuka Gym.
Within the opening minutes, a Konawaena player caused a melee, shoving a Waiakea player before delivering a forearm to the back of his head. When the ball went back upcourt, the Konawaena player shoved the Waiakea player again. Both players were ejected. Moments after the ejection, as Konawaena coach Donald Awa discussed a call with official Mason Souza, the Konawaena player raced off the bench and attempted to tackle Souza.
Bartholomew said that he hopes the league takes action in a forthright manner. Because an ejection carries with it a one-game suspension, Bartholomew submitted the videotape to the league, hoping to have his player reinstated.
The footage aired on KITV Monday night. Keith Morioka, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation secretary, told the TV station that no action would be taken because the league handbook doesn't address the issue.
In the meantime, Souza, the referee who was involved in the incident, will file charges.
Bartholomew and Awa, he added, are friends. Like Bartholomew, Awa is a disciplinarian. Bartholomew has inquired with coaches around the league over the years about their players who have college potential, hoping to help them find a program to play in at the next level.
"I really don't see this as a Waiakea vs. Konawaena thing," Bartholomew said.
Awa was unavailable for comment.
At this point, Konawaena suspended the player from all sports for the rest of the school year. Comparisons to the punishment dealt to Baldwin's boys soccer team in 2003 are inevitable. Following an incident at the state tourney involving a player and a referee, Baldwin was suspended from participating in the state championships for one year. A player was banned from future state tournaments and Baldwin's coach was suspended from state tournaments for five years. All decisions were made by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
"At this point, I haven't seen the video. I don't have any comment," HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya said of the Konawaena situation.
"I don't know what the right thing to do is," Bartholomew said of the Wildcats, who won the game 62-47 to clinch the regular-season title and a state berth. "But the league has to do something to prevent this from happening again."
Swinging the blues: When inclement weather caused tournament officials to cancel consolation games at the Data House State Softball Championships, there were more than a few disgruntled coaches and players. Division II tournament entries Konawaena and Kamehameha-Maui, for example, got one game in Friday before learning that their third-place game Saturday was kaput.
That meant they got one game for their flights from the neighbor islands. The good news is, the HHSAA covered air and ground transportation costs, as well as hotel expenses.
The bad news, of course, is that HHSAA officials were stuck between a rock and a hard place when constant rain took its toll. The tourney began Wednesday, and by Friday's round of rainouts, there was little choice but to adjust the schedule. The tournament, pushed back to Monday, could have allowed for teams to stay on Oahu for two more days, but the cost of boarding and missing school time were factors.
"We were advised by the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium staff that even if it stopped raining Friday night, the field would not be ready for play until late Saturday afternoon," Amemiya said. "That's why we set (Division I semifinal) games for Saturday afternoon. We wanted to get all the games in, but our priority was the championship bracket games."
Even for teams from Oahu, the cancellations were tough to accept. "It's more heartbreaking than losing," Punahou senior second baseman Kelli Ishii said. Her team, seeded No. 1 in the tourney, was upset Thursday by Kailua. The Buffanblu won their consolation game against Waiakea on Friday.
"We played at 10 o'clock in the morning when nobody's there," Ishii said. "Half the parents couldn't make it because of work."
Afterward, they were looking forward to one last game.
But by Friday night, rain axed the planned Punahou vs. Baldwin consolation final.
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Athletes of the week
Iolani: Won the 100 backstroke and 200 intermediate at the ILH Championships. Also swam with Iolani A's winning teams in the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay.
Mililani: The 5-foot-10 freshman hurled the Trojans to four wins en route to the state softball championship.
University: Scored 21 points against Mid-Pacific.
Roosevelt: Scored 27 points against Leilehua.
Kalaheo: Scored 22 points against Pearl City.
Punahou: Scored 22 points with five assists and four steals against Saint Louis.
Iolani: Scored 28 points against Damien and hit the game-winning basket with 5 seconds left in a 44-43 win over Punahou.
Mililani: Scored 21 points against Kaimuki.
Kauai: Scored 23 points against Waimea.
Kaimuki: Scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Kapolei.
Pearl City: Scored 23 points against Kalaheo.
Honokaa: Scored two goals in a 3-2 win over Pearl City.
Waimea: Stopped three of Kaiser's four penalty-kick attempts in a 2-1 shootout win.
Honokaa: Scored both goals in a 2-0 win over King Kekaulike.
Waimea: Scored two goals in a 3-2 upset of defending state champion Mililani.
Pearl City: Scored twice against Leilehua.
Waimea: Scored two goals in win over Kealakehe.
Kapolei: Hit a two-run homer and allowed two unearned runs in a 6-2 win over Kaimuki.
Pearl City: Pitched four shutout innings and went 3-for-3 with three runs scored against Hilo.
Kailua: Belted a game-winning home run against Punahou.
Kailua: Fired a one-hitter and struck out nine without issuing a walk to Moanalua. Struck out seven in a 2-1 upset over top-seeded Punahou.
Mililani: Batted .615 in state tourney games.
St. Francis: Went 4-for-4 vs. Konawaena.
Waipahu: Struck out 12 in a three-hitter against Kamehameha-Maui.
Moanalua: Pitched a four-hitter against Kailua, permitting only an unearned run.
Kaimuki: Fired a two-hit shutout and went 2-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBIs against Kauai.
Mililani: Won the 100 fly (54.57) and 200 intermediate (2:02.69) at the OIA championships.
Kapolei: Won the 100 (53.22) and 200 (1:56.30) freestyle races at the OIA championships.
Moanalua: Won the 200 freestyle (1:43.46) and 500 freestyle (4:39.72) races at the OIA championships.
Kaiser: Won the 50 (22.68) and 100 (50.95) freestyle races at the OIA championships.
Iolani: Won the 500 freestyle (5:19.90) and 200 intermediate (2:12.90) at the ILH championships.
Iolani: Won the 50 freestyle (24.54) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.22) at the ILH championships. Also swam on Iolani A's winning teams in the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay.
Kalani: Won the 100 breaststroke (1:08.55) and 200 intermediate (2:14.40) at the OIA championships.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: