Mustangs look solid in winning Smith tourney
The Pete Smith Classic, held last week at Kalaheo High School, offered an early glimpse of the boys basketball season ahead.
Kalaheo looked quick, athletic and reasonably balanced in a 75-33 rout of Strathcona (Alberta, Canada). Cheyne Lishman, who had moments of brilliance last season, was Kalaheo's most consistent outside threat. Senior center Tyler Caswell (6-foot-6) was not only a reliable rebounder, but delivered outlet passes with a Wes Unseld kind of urgency.
Moanalua added to an impressive start by stifling Maryknoll 69-53. Na Menehune aren't relying on a clutch shooter, as they did last season with Fab 15 All-State pick Wayne West. Instead, they have decent height and athleticism under the basket, and a solid backcourt that doesn't get flustered.
Maryknoll played without Jordan Ho-Ching, who was busy at football practice for the HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl, which is scheduled for Friday night at Kamehameha's Kunuiakea Stadium.
The Spartans also played without returning guard Travis Liu, who was away at an academic conference in Seattle. The team is showing signs of life without Fab 15 All-State guard Tyler Tsukazaki, who now plays for Lewis-Clark State.
Punahou, a favorite among many to capture the state championship, is putting the pieces together under first-year coach Dan Hale. Senior guard Miah Ostrowski, coming off a spectacular season on the field, is already at midseason form. Spencer McLachlin, who led the Buffanblu to another volleyball state title, was smooth and efficient on the perimeter and in the low post in a 60-30 win over Pearl City.
The Chargers, playing without two injured starters, struggled at times against Punahou's relentless fullcourt pressure.
Roosevelt, meanwhile, may have its smallest team in years. That didn't stop the Rough Riders from giving Kamehameha a decent run. The Riders were relatively crisp against Kamehameha's man-to-man defense, but the Warriors mixed it up with their 2-3 matchup zone. At this point in the season, few teams are running their zone offense consistently well, and Roosevelt was no exception.
Kalaheo went on to win the tourney championship with a 46-41 victory over Punahou in the final.
Lopes tourney awaits approval:
The Merv Lopes Classic is still on.
Despite concerns about the inaugural tournament, coordinator Sol Batoon said the event is still on track for Dec. 27-30 at King Armory.
The 16-team tournament still needs approval from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
The host is St. Francis, where Batoon teaches. He is also the coach at Thompson Academy.
Basketball tournaments galore tip off tomorrow.
The Black and Gold Tournament at McKinley, the James Alegre Classic at Radford, and the St. Joseph-Waiakea Invitational in Hilo all begin.
Athletes of the Week
Richard Torres, Kahuku football:
ran for 108 yards on 20 carries and threw the game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass as the Red Raiders edged Saint Louis 7-6 for the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA state football Division I championship.
Tatiana Vaimoui, Kahuku:
belted a home run, double and drove in six runs against Kalani. She finished 4-for-4.
John Keen, Mililani:
The transfer from Thompson Academy poured in 25 points in a win over Damien.
Lehi Aumua, Kahuku:
ran for 100 yards on 21 carries against Saint Louis.
Shannon Kamakaokalani, King Kekaulike: rushed for 134 yards and a TD, and also kicked three PATs as Na Alii defeated Kauai 33-20 for the Division II state championship.
Kea Alohikea, Kamehameha:
went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a win over Maryknoll.
Kiane Dalit, Sacred Hearts: went 3-for-4 with a double in a win over Mid-Pacific.
Ashley Hopfe, Kailua: went 3-for-4 in a win over Kalani and 3-for-5 against Kaimuki.
Kryn Masutani, Iolani: went 3-for-4 with a double.
Saleia Mataafa, Kahuku: hurled the Lady Raiders over Kalani and also went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Courtney Niino, Mid-Pacific: went 3-for-4 with a double against Sacred Hearts.
Sarah Robinson, Moanalua: fired a shutout and fanned eight batters against Kalaheo.
Januari Santiago, Kailua: went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs against Kaimuki.
Shari Shobu, Mid-Pacific: went 3-for-3 against Sacred Hearts.
Amanda Vegas, Kailua: went 3-for-3 with a triple and double against Kalani.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: