Punahou wins some, loses some on baseball trip to Texas
» Athletes of the week
Everything is big in Texas, they say.
Baseball is no exception, as the Punahou Buffanblu learned last week. The four-time defending Hawaii state champion played six games at a premier tournament hosted by Katy High School, and came away with a 3-2-1 record against some of Texas' best programs. Against four Top 20 5A Texas teams, Punahou was 2-1-1.
Behind Star-Bulletin pitcher of the year Harrison "Jeeter" Ishida, the Buffanblu tied host No. 9 Katy 1-1, a nine-inning battle, in their opener. Punahou defeated Mayde Creek 9-1, No. 16 Katy Taylor 9-6 and No. 10 Kempner 11-5. Punahou lost to Seven Lakes 10-5 and No. 15 SB Memorial 11-1.
"Texas high school baseball is big. It's taken very seriously and the talent pool is endless," Punahou coach Eric Kadooka said. "The same advantage the ILH sometimes (has) over OIA schools in depth is the same difference between our second-tier guys versus Texas teams. We could compete with them, but it seems like the talent level is a bit better and more consistent throughout grade levels."
Another difference is resources.
"The baseball facilities are phenomenal, impressive and exist at every public high school we played at," Kadooka said. "The mind-set among the people and coaches, the expectation is greater, the facilities (are greater). How they prepare for the season, the passion for baseball is superior."
Punahou's dynasty in Hawaii is well known, but Kadooka wanted his team to sharpen its edge.
"It was good for our team to experience this. Like teenagers, the bigger lessons may not be seen right away, but in the long run, the humble pie we ate will help us through the year," he said. "We're better for going on the trip than if we didn't go at all."
Punahou is 8-3-1 so far in nonconference play.
Kadooka saw one clear similarity between Texas and the islands.
"The people and booster clubs are like people from Hawaii. They treated us to barbecues and gave us gifts," he said. "They made us feel welcome and appreciated for coming to Texas."
Leaving, but still locked in
Saint Louis athletic director Todd Los Banos
announced his resignation last week, effective at the end of the school year. However, he won't be stepping back from his concerns just yet.
Los Banos has served on committees at the state level, tackling key issues like classification.
"I'm going to see through my contract and my commitment to the league. Those issues have to be addressed," he said.
He hopes the next AD will have similar goals.
"I've always been a proponent of, if you're in Division I in one sport, you should be D-I in everything," the former wrestling coach said. "The person coming in should hear all of the issues."
Unlike state associations on the continent, classification criteria varies from league to league.
At the HHSAA level last summer, the topic never moved beyond discussion. Two leagues, the MIL and ILH, have included enrollment as a major criteria in separating programs from Division I to D-II.
Critics of Hawaii's system point to the recent Division II boys basketball championship as an example of imbalance. Farrington, which won the title, has an enrollment nearing 3,000 students.
Ka'u's Jacob Edwards
had a memorable trip to Oahu over the weekend. The sophomore broke the Cooke Field 60-meter high hurdles mark at the Terry Albritton Invitational.
Edwards' time of 8.68 seconds is listed as a Cooke Field record on the University of Hawaii Web site. He also posted personal records in the 200 (23.95) and triple jump (42 feet, 5 1/2 inches).
Trojans junior Jana Larson placed fourth in the 800 run out of a heat of eight. She was the lone high school participant in the event. Larisa Edwards ran a 9.59 in the 60 hurdles
Awa doesn't like switch
The state basketball tournament brought together teams to compete for championships. The tourney also brought together many of the state's best coaches -- several of whom were outspoken about their opposition to the merging of boys and girls basketball in the winter season.
One of the most outspoken critics of the new system is Konawaena coach Bobbie Awa, who has been against the switch of girls basketball from spring to winter since the start.
Awa had seven players on her roster for most games. Some of her players opted to stay with soccer instead of returning to the defending state basketball champions.
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Athletes of the week
He scored 25 points against Campbell, 23 against Iolani, and 18 points with eight assists against Kamehameha-Hawaii at the Division I state tournament.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu Punahou basketball
She scored 16 points against Konawaena, 20 against Radford and 20 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks in the final against Iolani in leading the Buffanblu to the Division I state championship.
» Mai Oseto
, Sacred Hearts: scored 468 to lead the ILH individual precision air rifle competition
» Jacob Andrade
, St. Joseph: scored 21 points against Hawaii Baptist and 29 against Kauai
» Patrick Au, Kahuku: had 16 points and 10 rebounds against Campbell
» Brandon Bautista, Kohala: scored 19 points against University, and scored 19 points with six steals against Kaiser
» Willie Ching, Kahuku: had 19 points and 12 boards against Campbell
» John Craig, Lahainaluna: had 18 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five steals against Punahou
» Josh Chung, Aiea: scored 15 points against Kaiser and 17 against Farrington
» Brandon Dumlao, Kamehameha: had 16 points and six assists against Iolani
» Eddie Gaines, Campbell: had 25 points and eight caroms against Kahuku
» Dylan Gomez, University: scored 23 points against McKinley
» Christian Hernandez, Farrington: scored 15 points against Kohala and had 27 points and six boards in the Division II state title win over Aiea
» Cheynne Lishman, Kalaheo: scored 24 points against Campbell
» Michael Makinano, Campbell: scored 30 points against Kalaheo
» Bricen McCartney, Iolani: scored 18 points, including six treys, against Kamehameha-Maui
» Taylor Mounts, Iolani: scored 21 points against Moanalua
» Kalua Noa, Kaiser: scored 23 points against Molokai, and had 16 points and 18 rebounds against Kohala
» Hogan Rosehill, Kamehameha-Hawaii: scored 19 points against Kalaheo and had 20 points and 11 rebounds against Punahou
» Kameron Steinhoff, Punahou: had 13 points and 12 rebounds against Kamehameha-Hawaii in the Division I state final victory
» Manti Te'o, Punahou: tallied 16 points and seven boards against Konawaena
» Basil Walton, Kauai: scored 20 points against McKinley, 29 against Lanai and 22 against St. Joseph
» Pablo Warner, Iolani: had 19 points and seven rebounds against Kamehameha-Maui
» Obie Woods, Aiea: scored 15 points against Kaiser, 27 against Hawaii Baptist and 26 against Farrington
» Abbigale "Kalei" Adolpho
, Molokai: had 23 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks against Kailua
» Ayla Bicoy, Molokai: scored 21 points against McKinley
» Kristen Corrales, Kailua: scored 23 points against Molokai
» Aloha Dias-Kekahuna, Campbell: had 15 points, nine rebounds and three steals against McKinley
» Tabitha Eseroma, KS-Hawaii: scored 21 points against Maryknoll
» Mana Hopkins, Konawaena: scored 27 points against Moanalua, 16 against Punahou and 18 against Lahainaluna
» Valerie Lesu, Farrington: scored 22 points against Aiea
» Marlena Malepeai, Radford: had 19 points and seven boards against Roosevelt
» Ariel Medlin, Campbell: had 11 rebounds and 13 points, including a game-winning putback at the horn as the Sabers edged McKinley for the Division II state title
» Iwalani Rodrigues, Roosevelt: had 10 points and 10 rebounds against Lahainaluna
» Britni Ronolo, Moanalua: had 21 points and 14 rebounds against Konawaena
» Kylie Sato, McKinley: scored 15 points against St. Francis and 21 against Molokai
» Destiny Smith, Kapaa: scored 23 points against St. Francis and 15 against University
» Jamie Smith, Iolani: scored 26 points against Aiea and 20 points against Waiakea; also had 15 boards against Kalani
» Maiki Viela, Lahainaluna: scored 18 points against Konawaena and scored 15 points with 11 rebounds against Kalani
» Tayler Wang, Hawaii Prep: scored 24 points against St. Francis, 18 against University, and 19 points with eight boards against Kamehameha-Hawaii
» Angie Yoshizu, University: scored 24 points against Seabury Hall
» Mitchell Chong
, Punahou: placed first in the 100 backstroke, second in the 200 individual medley, and swam with the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams at the state championships
» Brett Gomes, Punahou: won the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and swam with the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams at the state championships
» Jack Pope, Lahainaluna: won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle races at the state championships
» Kekoa Tapara, Kamehameha: won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke at the state championships
» Rachel Cote
, Punahou: won the 100 backstroke, placed second in the 200 individual medley and swam with the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams at the state championships
» Elizabeth Matthews, Seabury Hall: won the 200 individuals and 100 breaststroke at the state championships
» Christel Simms, Punahou: won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and swam with the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams at the state championships
» Michelle Yoshida, Punahou: won the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and swam with the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams at the state championships
Track and field
» Jacob Edwards
, Ka'u: the sophomore set a Cooke Field mark in the 60-meter hurdle race in 8.68 seconds at the Terry Albritton Invitational
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: