HIGH SCHOOL REPORT
Raiders' Tokumura is making her point
If you like change, the Iolani Raiders may have a little treat for you this girls basketball season.
The Iolani girls, with a plethora of returning standouts, are roaring through nonconference play. Hennasea-Sue Tokumura may be one of the best point guards in school history, but she hasn't done the work alone.
The Raiders have a truckload of frontcourt talent that just might be enough to slow down defending state champion Punahou.
The Buffanblu waltzed through their annual Spring Wahine Classic last week, thanks in large part to twins Shawna-Lei and Shaena-Lyn Kuehu. The Buffs don't have as many returnees as Iolani, and they'll be fortunate to find someone who can halfway fill the shoes of point guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay.
Punahou will get more action when the Lady Mustang Classic tips off tomorrow afternoon at Kalaheo. Facing the powerful Buffanblu in the opening round will be Pearl City, which finished second at Seabury Hall's tourney last week.
At McKinley, the Lady Tiger Challenge tips off tomorrow. Iolani's first opponent will be Hilo, which features Vicki Tagalicod, one of the state's top freshmen. The guard is familiar to coaches and players around the state because of her excellent play at mainland and local club tournaments.
Tagalicod is recuperating from an ankle injury, and Hilo isn't the tallest team around, so it remains to be seen if the Vikings will be able to compete with the Raiders.
Mustangs will miss coordinator:
Longtime Kalaheo summer league organizer Chuck Isaacson
is a busy man, so much so that he has relinquished his role as coordinator.
Isaacson spent a dozen years in that role, easing the burden on coaches. He also helped with the Kalaheo girls basketball program as a volunteer.
"All good things must come to an end. In the time that I have been with the Lady Mustangs, high school girls basketball has come a long way," he said. "We've gone from, if we were lucky, a dozen spectators, to hundreds of wonderful fans per game. This is thanks to the highly dedicated coaches, referees and players."
For visiting fans who may wonder, Isaacson is the tall, gray-haired, bespectacled fellow always dressed in blue or orange. His trademark beard won't be a fixture anymore.
"I'd like to thank Coach Chico (Furtado), Mr. (Lee) Cashman and Mr. (Lewis) Fuddy for their support and for putting up with me," he said, adding more thank you wishes for a multitude of local high school coaches.
After an interim period, Gregory Van Cantfort
has been appointed as the athletic director at Kalani High School.
The nine-year soccer coach took over as acting athletic director in December of 2003. He replaces longtime AD Gordon Miyashiro, who retired after more than eight years. Miyashiro was a football coach and teacher before beginning his stint as AD.
During his years, Kalani girls volleyball became a powerhouse in the Oahu Interscholastic Association. His daughter, Tamari Miyashiro, was the spark of the program and now plays at Washington.
In addition, football coach Greg Taguchi has resigned in order to return to school.
"Losing Greg Taguchi is going to be a significant loss primarily because of his high visibility being a teacher on campus and his strong rapport with the students," Van Cantfort said.
Taguchi coached at Kalani from 1994 to 1998 and returned to the helm in 2003.
"He has not ruled out coaching for Kalani High School sometime in the future," Van Cantfort added.
Interested applicants for the football position can contact Van Cantfort at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Monday.
Every champion at the Chevron-Hawaii/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships has a story to tell.
Some, of course, are a little different from others.
Moanalua's Alicia Fu had her mind set on skipping her senior year of wrestling.
"I wanted to quit before the season. It was just too much," she said. "But my team, we're trying to win a championship."
Fu changed her mind and went back to work, eventually edging Amanda Soliai of Kahuku 2-1 in the 155-pound final on Saturday.
"I just didn't let her take me down, because once she gets on top, it's all over," Fu said.
The two had split their previous four matches this season.
Cherae Pascua transferred from Pearl City to Mililani when her family moved. After reaching the 114 final as a sophomore and placing fifth at 120 as a junior, she was ready and hungry for a title.
"I was more focused and confident this year. After I transferred, I learned to be more physical," she said. "I learned how to do a real counter-double."
Mysia Kamakaala of Kahuku earned kudos for her resilience and courage. The senior overcame 10 shoulder injuries during her career and capped it all with a title in the 130-pound class. That included two injuries during the two-day state tourney, one of which was a dislocation.
After surgery and torn ligaments, not to mention more pain at states, she was all smiles.
"It didn't matter. I wanted it," she said. "I go with the flow."
Meanwhile, Kara Takasaki bumped up to from 130 to 140 this year.
"It was more of a team decision. I felt OK, actually. It was a challenge," the Punahou junior said after winning the 140 crown, her second state championship. "They're slower (at 140), so you have to do setups without locking up too much."
The 125 girls champ, Ashley Poling, actually felt at odds with her title. After finishing third last year, she never felt in peak form as a senior.
"I really think I'm worse than last year. I was really out of shape," she said of her early-season conditioning. "I had to lose five pounds."
The Kaiser senior plans to do some coaching next year.