Team Aloha to return next year
The successful, inaugural trip for the Team Aloha girls basketball team will develop into an annual event, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said.
The mayor, along with major sponsor Hawaii High School Athletic Association, noted feelers from Nike at the Storm and Swish Fall Shootout tournament that Team Aloha won last week at UC Santa Barbara.
Coach Dana Takahara-Dias, who is deputy parks director under the mayor, has returned to her regular job. So has Hannemann, who added that they are looking at what Nike may offer next fall.
Because there are many local all-star teams that travel in the summer, the fall will still be the best option for next year's Aloha squad.
The players enjoyed their coaches.
"Both of them are smart. Very smart," said Honokaa senior Keisha Kanekoa, who is committed to play at the University of Hawaii next year. "They knew what they were talking about, how to fix stuff. Coach Mufi knows a lot. When they talked to us, it was short and sweet."
Hannemann organized a basketball jamboree 14 years ago and turned it into an annual gathering of elite players. The former Harvard and Iolani standout was proud and emotionally spent after Team Aloha won the title.
"I can tell you, these girls were so outstanding. When we watched them play, we looked at each other and said, 'Did we really beat them?' They compete so exceptionally well," he said.
Hannemann's efforts, combined with the HHSAA, follows a path set by longtime clubs. Kalakaua, Hawaii Select and the Big Island All-Stars are among those who travel annually to summer tournaments on the mainland.
"This gives the kids choices so they don't feel like they have limited options," Hannemann said. "The college scouts were very impressed with our girls, not just Shawna (Shawna-Lei Kuehu)."
Nike, the sponsor of the tournament, is interested in Team Aloha.
"The feelers I got from them have been great. Their tournaments are by invitation only," Hannemann said.
For Hannemann, the trip is more memorable because of the feedback he got from the community.
"The comments about character and sportsmanship," he said. "People at the hotel told me about how polite our players are. One of the referees said he's worked hundreds of games and hadn't seen a team like ours. There was no talking trash at all."
Tigers QB a bright spot:
The way Isaac Iuta sees it, 21 points was just not enough.
Obviously, in a 35-21 loss to Farrington, the Tigers' quarterback is right.
Just one week of reps as a quarterback, however, didn't project a promising performance against one of the top defenses in the state.
That is what Iuta, formerly a starting inside linebacker, delivered for his team. He completed nine of his 16 pass attempts for 148 yards, a healthy 9 yards per attempt. He threw just one interception, a long Hail Mary pass to end the first half. He also absorbed the brunt of Farrington's hellacious pass rush, taking five sacks without fumbling. In all, the Tigers tallied 249 total yards and had just one turnover, numbers that will beat some top-10 teams.
"I'm kinda disappointed. We let the lead slip by us," the senior said. "We'll come back, work harder," he said. "But I could've done better with the simple things, like reading the end, making better passes," he said.
That defensive end was Sam Fehoko, who registered 2 1/2 sacks despite a lingering ankle injury.
Athletes of the Week
Corey Paredes, Castle football:
scored touchdowns on a pass reception and a blocked field-goal attempt against Kahuku. He also had 14 tackles.
Mai Oseto, Sacred Hearts air riflery:
shot a 270 as the Lancers beat Kamehameha.
Jessica Kauhane, Kamehameha girls:
shot a 259 against Sacred Hearts.
Michio Koide, Saint Louis boys: posted a 275 against Kamehameha.
Kayle McNulty, Campbell boys: had a high score of 250 against Waipahu.
Rich Kodama, Hawaii Baptist boys:
posted a 254 high game and 652 series.
Chris Lee, Assets boys: had a 269 high game and 680 series against University.
Bryce Jenkins, Leilehua boys:
won the Mililani Invitational with a time of 16 minutes and 27 seconds.
Kristen Ali Keith, Mililani girls: won the Mililani Invitational with a time of 19:31.
Reece Alnas, Kamehameha-Hawaii:
had two interceptions, including one for a 51-yard TD against Konawaena. He also caught a 44-yard touchdown pass.
Kyle Blair, Radford: caught four passes for 110 yards and a TD against Kapolei.
Truman Chun, Kamehameha: ran for 112 yards and a touchdown against Damien.
Rustin Funakoshi, Mililani: threw for 201 yards and three TDs against Campbell.
Keenan Gonda, Kailua: ran for 145 yards and a TD against Moanalua.
Alfredo Higa, Aiea: threw for 239 yards and two TDs against Leilehua.
Dalton Hilliard, Punahou: ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns against Iolani. The sophomore also caught three passes for 29 yards.
Martin Iosefo, Leilehua: caught eight passes for 145 yards against Aiea.
Brett Kan, Punahou: went 22-for-32 for 301 yards and two touchdowns against Iolani.
Lofa Liilii, Aiea: caught nine passes for 114 yards against Leilehua.
Legi Maae, Castle: had 11 total tackles and caused a fumble against Kahuku.
Epa Maika, Radford: threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns against Kapolei.
Pono Matthews, Kauai: caught seven passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns against Waimea.
Bronson McMoore, Kaiser: had 1 1/2 sacks against Roosevelt to increase his season total to 11 1/2.
Bryant Moniz, Leilehua: threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns against Aiea.
Miah Ostrowski, Punahou: caught eight passes for 128 yards, including two touchdowns, against Iolani.
Andrew Renaud, Kauai: threw for career highs of 375 yards and five TDs against Waimea.
Scott Ruhl, Radford: caught five passes for 100 yards and a TD against Kapolei.
Isaac Saffery, Kaiser: rushed for a career-high 264 yards and four touchdowns against Roosevelt. The senior also had three tackles and caused a fumble.
Blake Soares, Castle: tallied nine total tackles and blocked a field-goal attempt against Kahuku.
Hercules Sula, Farrington: rushed for 171 yards and two TDs against McKinley.
Tessa Asuega, Mililani girls:
led the Trojans with 10 kills and 12 digs in a sweep of Leilehua.
Samantha Lau, St. Francis girls: The junior pounded 10 kills and hit .750 in a win over St. Andrew's.
TO NOMINATE ...
Contact the sports department by 11 p.m. Sunday:
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To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: