Kapolei girls light up lanes at state


POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

Members of the Kapolei girls bowling team lit the lanes on fire yesterday at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships.

After an all-day affair of bowling, Kapolei's Raelena Mattos and Christalynn Bonifacio emerged as the top two girls individual bowlers which enabled the Hurricanes to secure first place in the team competition.

The HHSAA tourney resumes today with final-round action beginning at 8 a.m. at Schofield Bowling Center.

Mattos amassed a pin total of 1,083 over six games to lead the 10-team field at the two-day event and Bonifacio knocked down 1,072 pins. Among the girls leaders are Kalaheo's Tammi Sakaguchi (1,039), Kalani's Brandi Kawamoto (1,032) and Taylor Sumi (1,023) of Mid-Pacific.

In the sport of bowling it is commonly known that no lead is safe. But no matter how the second day plays out there will be a new girls individual champion crowned today.

The ruler of girls bowling for the last three seasons, Dana Ajimine, has graduated. The Kalani alumnus capped her win streak by knocking over 1,752 pins in last year's tourney.

Mattos said she will go all-out today to claim the title of girls champion bowler.

“;Playing at states is fun,”; Mattos said. “;I didn't bowl that great in the first round, but I stayed positive. When I come back (today) I know I will have to focus a lot more on the fundamentals of bowling so that I will have a chance of winning.”;

The senior added, “;This is my last opportunity to win it all. Two years ago I finished fourth, (but) I will be bowling foremost to win the team title.”;

Playing against a teammate is a negative says Bonifacio.

“;I want both of us to do well,”; Bonifacio said. “;I really don't like competing against my own teammate. (Today) I'll just bowl as best as I can and we will see what happens.”;

Defending girls team champions Kalani feels the opportunity to repeat is well within range.

“;We're going to try to take it again,”; Kawamoto said. Her team trails Kapolei by 109 pins.

“;It's all mental with our game. We can't let the little things get us to the point where we can't focus. Being behind isn't new to us,”; Kawamoto said.

On the boys side, Hawaii Baptist landed in front in the nine-team competition with a pinfall of 5,139. Mililani is in the runner-up spot, 121 pins behind.

Individually, Hawaii Baptist's Jason Goto leads with 1,159 pins followed by Maryknoll's Keenan Kurihara (1136), Baldwin's Corey Gushikuma (1,124), Mililani's Wayne Miyashiro (1,120) and Austin Patacsil (1,112) of Kailua.

Kurihara emphasized that while playing, his thoughts were on the recovery of long-time bowling coach Jared Kaufmann, who was at home battling cancer. A member of the tournament committee, Kaufmann was too ill to attend yesterday's event.

“;He's been my coach since my freshman year and I wish he were here to watch me bowl my final game in a Maryknoll uniform,”; Kurihara said.