HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Honokaa, Roosevelt make Top 10 noise
The top girls basketball teams in the state don't break conventional wisdom.
Most of them don't, anyway. In a turbulent week, the top team lost and No. 3 Honokaa edged Konawaena in overtime. Roosevelt came up with huge wins on the road at Kahuku and Kalaheo.
What four of those top five teams have in common is a standout player who has consistently stepped up in the clutch.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu of No. 2 Punahou was at the top of her game in a win at Mid-Pacific. The sophomore had 20 points, 14 rebounds, six steals and four blocks, all while shooting 60 percent from the field as Punahou pulled away from the stubborn Owls in the final quarter.
"The thing about her, she does everything at such a high level," coach Mike Taylor said. "She's very conscientious. She wants to be a great shooter inside and outside. She knows how important it is to rebound both offensively and defensively. She knows how important it is to give the ball up to open teammates. Defensively, she's a presence using her long arms and great anticipation in the passing lanes."
Honokaa junior Keisha Kanekoa scored 30 of her team's first 36 points as the Dragons ended Konawaena's 61-game win streak in Big Island Interscholastic Federation play.
"If there's no team leader, that can hurt. Every team needs a good floor leader," longtime coach Daphne Honma said. Kanekoa, a 5-foot-6 guard, wasn't the only standout.
Konawaena's Jazzmin Awa-Williams had 24 points in the loss at Lester Bryan Armory. It is the gym that Kamehameha-Hawaii coach Kimo Miller predicted was worth six or eight points because of Honokaa's vociferous fans.
Roosevelt got a superb effort from seniors Tati Beasley (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Shannon Miyashiro (13 points) in a solid win on Saturday at Kalaheo -- another gym that is among the toughest to play in.
The team that remains at No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, however, is the very one that relies on a star player the least. Iolani bounced back from a loss to Kamehameha to post a decisive win over the same Warriors one night later. Jamie Smith, who has many double-doubles, and backcourt leader Hennasea-Sue Tokumura are the closest Iolani comes to having individual stars.