Iolani’s Lawson too much against Hawaii Baptist
They are a team of spurts these days.
Brad Lawson's growth spurts mean sore knees and time off the floor, as was the case against Damien on Friday. But when the 6-foot-7 senior is ready to play, Iolani has dominant spurts, as it did in a 25-18, 25-11 win yesterday at Hawaii Baptist.
Lawson amassed 13 kills and two blocks as the top-ranked Raiders turned a close match into a runaway against the normally tough Eagles. Iolani improved to 7-0 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (13-0 overall).
"They came out with a lot of fire and energy," Iolani co-captain Skyler Tajima said. "We played them in our tournament, so we knew they were going to be tough."
Logan Nowack hardly looked like a freshman. He led Iolani's stable of setters with 13 assists.
"I definitely didn't want to put too much pressure on him. To go from intermediate to varsity, touching every ball," Raiders coach Mike Among said. "It's not really his natural position. We're still training his hands."
Ryan Leung led HBA (3-2) with seven kills, but Iolani shackled him through a key stretch of the second game. "They loaded up on our outsides and we didn't set the middle well," HBA coach Teoni Obrey said.
Another defensive adjustment allowed the visitors to close off HBA's attack. "Our diggers were cheating in," Among said. "There were times when we were disciplined at the net and disciplined at the back row. That makes the game easier."
Lawson's effectiveness extended to defense, where he serve-received and finished off the same play with a kill a few times. He also had a few bazookas from the back row.
"It's a little frustrating. You put three up on him and he's so consistent," Obrey said. "I don't remember him hitting out."
HBA's serving kept the first game close. Kyle Barretta's ace tied it at 13-all and the Eagles had momentum.
"We needed to work on our communication," Among said. "We have a nice, quiet bunch."
With help from their hosts, Iolani took command. HBA gave the Raiders 11 points on service, passing and setting errors, and Lawson had six kills as Iolani won game one.
The Eagles led 8-5 in game two, but Lawson became unstoppable. He roofed Barretta to give Iolani a 10-9 lead, and the Raiders defense stifled Leung.
Tajima, a defensive specialist, said he was one of the Raiders who benefited from their coaches' reminders.
"We lose focus, try to think too much about their side," he said. "After Coach talked to us, we executed the discipline on our side of the court."
The Eagles have a little time to prepare for No. 6 Kamehameha tomorrow. "We have to play a lot better if we're going to beat them," Obrey said.