HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Young Team Aloha heads to Arizona basketball tourney
The new girls basketball squad assembled by Honolulu mayor Mufi Hanneman and his staff is young and knows a thing or two about long distances.
Half of the 2008 edition of Team Aloha comes from the neighbor islands. Among them are Maui Interscholastic League standouts Milika Taufa of Lahainaluna and Kalei Adolpho of Molokai.
"It feels good. I think I'm the first (from Lahainaluna)," said Taufa, who was named MIL D-I player of the year on Wednesday. "My dad was happy. He was jumping all over the place."
"It's a great opportunity," the 5-foot-10 Adolpho, the team's lone freshman, said.
The new lineup has no returnees from the star-studded team that won a tourney in Santa Barbara, Calif., in October 2006. Team Aloha, with five sophomores and one freshman, will play in the Arizona Elite Spring Classic on April 18-20 in Phoenix.
The team practiced over the weekend and scrimmaged a group of notable former college players, including Nani Cockett (Hawaii) and Brandy Richardson (UC Santa Barbara).
"The point is to play to your potential and have some fun," said Dana Takahara-Dias, a former OIA championship coach at Moanalua. "It's going to be fun, a new mix."
Radford's 4x100 team of Donniqtay Campbell
, Jonathan Atangan
, Ikaika Kamaka
and Christopher Rainey
finished with a time of 43.34 seconds in the OIA Relays at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium.
The Rams broke the previous mark of 43.46 set in 2006 by Kahuku's team of John Cummings, Gary Nagy, Malosi Te'o and Suesesi Tuimaunei.
Six years ago, SLAM magazine gave Hawaii basketball a big salute with a story and photo of Iolani standouts Derrick Low
and Bobby Nash
. This month, the hoops bible gave Shawna-Lei Kuehu
of Punahou a boost.
Kuehu, a three-time Star-Bulletin player of the year, deflected the high praise, saying, "It's not about me being that good. It means you're in the right time at the right place. ... Girls can play in Hawaii, you just gotta give 'em a chance."
The 5-10 senior will still wear blue and gold next season -- at Cal.
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association has re-calibrated its ratio numbers for the boys volleyball and softball state tournaments. Based on the number of participating teams, the BIIF and OIA will have play-in games for state berths in both sports.
The BIIF tourney runner-up will play the OIA's sixth-place team both on the softball diamond and the volleyball court. The locations and dates of the key games will be determined later.
For the BIIF, the adjustment -- due to the dropouts of several teams -- means there is no automatic state berth for regular-season winners.
ILH still playing for 3
In case there is any confusion, the ILH still has three berths in the Division I state baseball tournament.
The regular-season winner will play the tournament winner for the league championship and a state-tournament first-round bye.
The implementation of a Division II state tourney has funneled a number of schools away from D-I. Now, the ILH has seven teams in D-I while the BIIF and MIL have only five each. The KIF has moved entirely into D-II. The lone D-II representative from the ILH is Maryknoll.