OIA WEST GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
SB FILE / MARCH 2005
Even without star Tereva Moore, who moved to the mainland, Radford is the early favorite to win the OIA West.
Kapolei and Leilehua expected to push Radford
But the Rams will be without the versatile Tereva Moore, who moved to the mainland
» SECOND OF THREE PARTS
DAVID LANE is adverse to hype.
The veteran Radford coach sticks to facts instead, and boy, he knows the Oahu Interscholastic Association West scouting report by heart.
"The division is certainly up for grabs and everybody brings something to the table," Lane said, before rattling off the strengths of every team in the division.
Radford had its strengths, too, with a 10-0 record in the West last season. The Lady Rams dominated girls basketball with the leadership of do-it-all junior Tereva Moore. This year, Moore and her family transferred to the mainland, but Radford is still a heavy favorite to win the West again.
"I think it's Radford, Kapolei and Leilehua, the same way they finished last year," Pearl City coach Mike Morton said yesterday. "But Radford is probably the favorite."
In the West, where talent is parceled out rather evenly, departures and arrivals are pivotal. Radford welcomed two transfers at guard, and Pearl City lost a key scorer who decided to play club volleyball.
"Coaching at Radford is like that. You accept that people are going to come and go, but they're good kids, as always," Lane said. "Pearl City is probably the best defensive team in the division."
Kapolei lost West player of the year Jerrell Taituave to graduation, but remains the tallest team in the division.
"Kapolei is huge. They don't lose anything when they sub," Morton noted.
The West regular season tips off tomorrow, but the biggest clash could be on Saturday when Radford visits Kapolei.
"I'm glad we got a bye before we play Kapolei," Lane said. "It gives us an opportunity to rest and scout everybody, so we gave them off today."
How the West will be won may come down to basics.
"The team that's most consistent will take the division," Nanakuli coach Eric Nakabayashi said.
Here's a look at the West squads
On paper: "They're the sleeper of the West," said Mililani coach Scott DeSilva, whose team faces Campbell tomorrow.
Jenny Sweeney mans the post, but also plays on the perimeter.
The skinny: This is possibly the biggest team Macadangdang has coached.
On paper: Returning guard Charmaine Jackson gives the 'Canes a lift with her quickness, aggressiveness and experience.
The skinny: The 'Canes still have more size down low, but filling the shoes of Taituave is a large task.
On paper: Brittney Stafford, one of the rising stars of last season, is back to fuel the Mules. Marquesha McVay, a 6-1 junior, is also back. "Marquesha got stronger, and Brittney has matured mentally," Dumlao said.
The skinny: Dumlao has a very deep group. "We can go small, we can go big," he said. "If we understand our roles and pull together, we'll be all right."
The Mules went 7-3 in nonconference play. "We didn't have big wins. We turned the ball over in our losses, and when we did play together, we looked good," Dumlao said.
On paper: Seven players return for DeSilva's third season at the helm. Guard Cora Dunn hasn't been her usual sharp-shooting self. "She's in a slump, but I'm gonna need her to win some games," DeSilva said.
Joleen Realin, who started as a freshman at the point, is back, as is Chantel Tanuvasa, a 5-7 junior.
The skinny: "It's balanced in the West, so it depends on whether the team I know shows up, or the team that plays down to another team's level," DeSilva said.
Mililani went 6-5 in nonconference play.
Nanakuli Golden Hawks
On paper: The Hawks won't be able to replace the four low-post players who graduated, which means their guards are carrying much of the weight now. Fortunately, Nakabayashi has plenty of experience in the backcourt.
"They've been together the last two and three years," he said. Vernadine Vickers, the softball standout, is the starting point guard. Sasha Montez has moved to small forward.
The skinny: Montez and the rest of the frontcourt will have to rebound better if Nanakuli is going to make a playoff run. The Golden Hawks were 3-4 in nonconference games, struggling against bigger teams like Kaiser and Punahou II in the paint.
Pearl City Chargers
On paper: The Chargers have volleyball standout Tazha Passi at forward, and she has been their leading scorer in nonconference play. Big guard Lindsey Cartwright is another key, Morton said.
Tiani Alatini has moved up from the JV and is providing a spark, and Crystal Tadeo is a zone buster from the perimeter.
The skinny: The Chargers were 5-6 in nonconference play, not bad considering the departure of last year's leading scorer, Jazmin Pahukula. The junior opted to play club volleyball
"The key is to keep improving and play well together. We have to bring some intensity," Morton said. "Lindsey's improved her game over the summer and Tazha's a really good athlete."
On paper: The Lady Rams braced for tough weather after all-leaguer Tereva Moore moved to the mainland, but help has arrived. Kamia Smith, a 5-7 point guard, and sophomore Brittini Fuller have given Radford stability in the backcourt.
Smith moved here from London, where she played for the past three years. Fuller is a tough defender. In addition, swingman Marlene Malepeai and 5-9 forward Chelsey Villanueva were starters last year as freshmen.
The skinny: "We have to continue to improve as a team. To come in and learn the system right now is hard," Lane said. His team is 8-3 in nonconference play, but he noted that they are only 3-3 against Division I teams.