Top 10 voters take notice of Rough Riders


POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Roosevelt Rough Riders know what it's like to stand in line—a long, long, long line.

Kaimuki. Sacred Hearts. McKinley. Kamehameha-Hawaii. Aiea. Hilo. Those are just some of the teams that have gotten more votes than Roosevelt from one week to the next in the Star-Bulletin Girls Basketball Top 10.

However, with the development of key players and the return of Mikela Thoemmes, Roosevelt looks like a champion. The Rough Riders capped last week with playoff wins over then-No. 1 Farrington and upstart Kalani, and voters noticed. Coaches and media voted Roosevelt to a No. 6 ranking in today's Top 10, where the Rough Riders share space with Mid-Pacific.

Roosevelt had been swept handily by Farrington and split with Kalani during the regular season, but with Thoemmes back from a hand injury, things are different. Farrington, loaded with talent at center and forward, had few answers for Thoemmes on the low post. When Roosevelt needed to execute against Farrington's fullcourt pressure, Thoemmes' ballhanding skills became invaluable.

Her versatility makes life much simpler for Rough Riders coach Clint Chikamori.

“;She adds depth to our lineup. I can move girls to different positions now,”; he said. “;Her and Joshy (Noga) can handle the ball and give different looks.”;

At one point against Farrington, Thoemmes, Noga and steady Tasia Kamakawiwoole were on the court together—a formidable frontcourt that may be unmatched statewide.

Even with the progress of the backcourt—sophomore Nicole Ramirez is uncanny from 23 feet out and can run the point to give Kelcie Namba a rest—the Rough Riders have become a very balanced squad.

“;We've improved our defense and ball control, preventing turnovers,”; Chikamori said of his emphasis at practice. “;We're finishing plays on defense, coming up with loose balls and rebounds.”;

Roosevelt will rest while Farrington and Kailua meet in an elimination game tonight. The new double-elimination format means the Rough Riders have some cushion.

“;You know you have two opportunities to win one game,”; he said.

Their late-season surge hasn't been a shock to Chikamori, but the attention and hype are new.

“;Not having been ranked all season, then to pop up in the middle (of the poll), that's a surprise. We always had the potential to be there, but it's a matter of putting it all together. We just gotta remain focused and keep working hard.”;

Roosevelt is 11-4 in league play, winning its last five games.

Punahou collected 10 of 15 first-place votes and returned to the No. 1 position in the Girls Basketball Top 10. Farrington fell three spots to No. 4 after the loss to Roosevelt.

Kahuku still leads the Boys Basketball Top 10. The Red Raiders garnered 14 of 23 first-place votes to outpoint Kamehameha.



Boys Basketball Top 10

The Top 10 high school boys basketball teams in Hawaii as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc.

Team, RecordLast gameNext gamePTS.PVS.
1. Kahuku, 16-1beat MoanaluaOIA tournament2211
2. Kamehameha (9), 17-3beat Saint Louisvs. Mid-Pacific2162
3. 'Iolani, 18-5beat Maryknollat Punahou1823
4. Kaimuki, 15-7beat FarringtonOIA tournament1465
5. Punahou, 12-8beat Maryknollvs. 'Iolani1194
6. Mililani, 16-4beat WaipahuOIA tournament1176
7. Saint Louis, 10-6lost to Kamehamehaat Damien947
8. Kalaheo, 13-7vs. Aieavs. Aiea698
9. Waiakea, 19-4beat Kealakehevs. Hilo3210
10. Campbell, 15-5beat RadfordOIA tournament30

» Also receiving votes: Radford 12, Baldwin 11, Mid-Pacific 6, Kailua 1, Moanalua 1.

» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Radford (No. 9).


Girls Basketball Top 10

The Top 10 high school girls basketball teams in Hawaii as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc.

Team, RecordLast GameNext GamePTS.PVS.
1. Punahou (10), 16-3beat Kamehamehastate tournament1662
2. Konawaena (4), 25-2beat Waiakeastate tournament1563
3. Lahainaluna, 21-1beat Baldwinstate tournament1324
4. Farrington (1), 20-5beat Aieavs. Kailua1311
5. 'Iolani, 11-10lost to Mid-PacificILH tournament895
6 (tie) Mid-Pacific, 16-7beat 'IolaniILH tournament816
6. (tie) Roosevelt, 16-8beat KalaniOIA tournament81
8. Kahuku, 19-2beat KaimukiOIA tournament608
9. Kamehameha, 8-10lost to PunahouILH tournament407
10. Kalani, 12-8lost to RooseveltOIA tournament21

» Also receiving votes: Maryknoll 10, Waiakea 7, Aiea 3, Kaimuki 3, Moanalua 3, Sacred Hearts 3.

» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Waiakea (No. 9), McKinley (No. 10).