Division II play at McKinley promises to pump up the volume
Division II teams may be disappointed about not playing at Stan Sheriff Center in the ongoing Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships, but there is at least one plus to playing at McKinley Student Council Gym.
The facility, with its old-school, relatively low roof, has a way of amplifying crowd noise.
"McKinley's a big gym. That place rocks when it's packed," Punahou coach Mike Taylor said.
Taylor's team, seeded No. 1 in the Division I tourney, had a bye yesterday and will play in the quarterfinals tonight at the SSC.
As much as he enjoys the robust environment in gyms such as McKinley's, Taylor will probably never get over the feeling of coaching in the Stan Sheriff Center.
"I know for us, it's an experience even if you've been there two or three years in a row," he said. "It's eye-opening when you step on the court and sit on padded chairs."
Back to back:
of Damien captured the triple jump state title on Saturday, but was vocal about the two-day format imposed by athletic directors. In the past -- with the exception of 2001's shortened season due to a teachers' strike -- the trials and finals were spread out over three days.
"Everyone's real tight physically. We're taking a beating," said Pilares, who last fall attributed his improved speed on the football field to track coach Eddie Klaneski's regimen. "Your legs, the first day, you're pushing it. The next day, they're all tight."
Redmond Tutor of Kahuku took home two golds, two silvers and a bronze in a series of inspired efforts that helped Kahuku edge host Kamehameha for the team title. The inspiration for his final performance, the anchor leg of the 4x400, came from the death in February of Koolauloa Track Club coach John Cummings.
"I had to keep saying to myself, 'Uncle John, this is for you,'" Tutor said. "Luckily, his spirit kept pushing me forward."
The senior knows plenty about the thresholds and limitations of the body, as well.
"Having this in just two days hurts the smaller teams big time," said Tutor, who will compete for BYU next year. "You have a lot more metabolic waste in the body. It's less than a day of rest, and it's too much.
"When I woke up this morning, I thought my okole was gonna fall off."
Blazing a trail:
Radford senior Natasha Minor
has her own ideas about success. She passed up the OIA track and field championships to attend her senior prom, promising her coach that she would win a gold medal at the state meet.
Minor, who went on to win the state 400 title with a time of 58.99 seconds on Saturday, will walk on at Alabama-Birmingham this fall.
It will be an adventure for Minor, who has no family in the area.
"That's where I feel I can best improve," she said.
Ho exercises wisdom:
She did her share of rest and rehab after suffering a lower-back injury in the fall, but Lauren Ho
was rewarded by winning another cross-country championship by season's end.
This spring, however, there was no continued comeback for the Hawaii Baptist Academy senior.
Suffering from a stress fracture of the left fibula, she sat out much of the track and field season.
Even as she recovered and was well enough to start running, Ho decided against running competitively. That has allowed her to ease back into top shape and prepare for her career at the University of Washington this fall.
"It's healed and I'm running now, but I need to be healthy next season," said Ho, who won two state titles in the 1,500 run. She also won the 3,000 and 800 last year.
"I was at practice twice a week, but I did my own workouts and I've been at every meet," she said. "It's not fun not to run, but I wanted to support the team."
After winning six gold medals in ILH championships during her first three years -- three in the 1,500, two in the 3,000 and one in the 800 -- Ho learned to be content simply being a supporter.
She's more than optimistic about next year's Pac-Five squad.
"We have three freshmen and one junior," she said of the long-distance runners, sounding more and more like a future coach. "We've trained them well."
Athletes of the Week
Redmond Tutor, Kahuku track and field:
Earned two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze to lead the Red Raiders to the Island Movers/HHSAA Track and Field State Championships.
Stephanie Kono, Punahou golf:
Won the David S. Ishii/HHSAA Girls Golf State Championships with an 8-under-par 136 on the George Fazio Course at Turtle Bay Resort. Her round included a course-record 64 on the opening day.
Reece Alnas, Kamehameha-Hawaii:
Went 3-for-4 as the Warriors defeated Keaau in the BIIF semifinals.
Josh Antonio, Kamehameha-Hawaii: Tossed a three-hitter as the Warriors defeated Keaau.
Brian Morihara, Aiea: Went 2-for-3, delivering a key double and two RBIs in the OIA title win over Moanalua.
Aaron Nichols, Kamehameha: The senior went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs against Punahou.
Tati Beasley, Roosevelt:
Scored 17 points and added 12 rebounds as the Rough Riders defeated Kalaheo for the OIA Red title.
Rebecca Debo, Sacred Hearts: Had 17 points and 10 rebounds against Maryknoll.
Nicole Fu, Maryknoll: Scored 33 of her team's 49 points against Sacred Hearts.
Natasha Helsham, Aiea: Scored 17 points at Kaimuki.
Capri Holiona, Aiea: Scored 24 points as Na Alii defeated Kailua.
Tatriana Lorenzo, Kamehameha: Scored 21 points as the Warriors claimed a state berth with a win over Iolani.
Ashley Medcalf, Christian Academy: Scored 42 of her team's 60 points against St. Andrew's Priory. She added 24 points and 22 rebounds against Hawaii Baptist.
Careena Onosai, Word of Life: Scored 21 points against University.
Iwalani Rodrigues, Roosevelt: Scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds against Kalaheo.
Britni Ronolo, Moanalua: Scored 18 points against Farrington and 19 points against Mililani.
Siutiti Takai, St. Francis: Tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds in an ILH D-II tournament win over Word of Life.
Kellee Tom, St. Andrew's Priory: Scored 21 points in a loss to Christian Academy.
Minna Watanabe, St. Andrew's: Scored 19 points against Christian Academy.
Kalei Gora, St. Francis:
Captured her third consecutive state crown.
Mikey Lim, Punahou: Won his second straight state singles title.
TRACK AND FIELD
Samantha Cabreros, Punahou:
Broke her own state record in the triple jump and won the long jump.
A.J. Clark, Mililani: Captured state meet gold medals in the 100 and 200.
Jeremy Kamaka'ala, Kamehameha: Won the gold in the state meet's 3,000 and 1,500 runs.
June Ann Lusk, Baldwin: Won the 100 hurdles and ran with the winning 4x100 relay team at the state meet.
Careena Onosai, Word of Life: Won the discus at the state meet.
Mahinamele Reyes, Kamehameha:
Scored twice as the Warriors edged Kahuku 5-3 in the Local Motion/HHSAA State Championships final.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: