Wednesday, January 6, 1999
Hawaii PacificBy Jerry Campany
wont have Lee for
Special to the Star-Bulletin
In a division that looked like a three-way battle for basketball supremacy between Montana State-Billings, Hawaii Pacific and BYU-Hawaii, nothing is certain anymore.
Hawaii's four NCAA Division II teams open Pacific West Conference play when Chaminade visits Hawaii Pacific tomorrow and UH-Hilo travels to Brigham Young-Hawaii Friday night.
The games will be the first of 14 conference contests to determine the host and field for the eight-team PacWest tournament, Feb. 25-27.
Hawaii Pacific goes into division play vulnerable after losing point guard Shannon Lee, who was ejected for fighting in the second half of a blowout against Illinois Wesleyan. The one-slap-and-a-whistle affair was more of an incident than a fight, but the NCAA rulebook doesn't discern between the two and will keep Lee out of the game against his crosstown rivals.
"What is important is that Shannon (Lee) knows what he did was completely wrong, regardless of what preceded it," Hawaii Pacific head coach Tony Sellitto said. "You can't replace a player of his caliber, but his backups can handle it for the next couple of games."
Hawaii Pacific super-sub Dewayn Allen and Kendal Lewis will try to make up for Lee's absence, but with Sellitto's floor leader sitting out, the game may depend upon the matchup between Chaminade's Stanley Martin and Hawaii Pacific's acrobatic Robert Parker.
Parker is among the top five in conference scoring (17.8) and blocked shots (26), while Martin saw his first action of the season last week and has contributed 28 rebounds and 19 points per game in the Silverswords' last three wins.
"Not to have to see Shannon Lee for 37 minutes is an obvious advantage for us," Chaminade head coach Al Walker said. "He is a tremendous player, but we will keep doing what has been working for us lately."
Chaminade (6-6) is undefeated with Martin in the lineup at 3-0, while Hawaii Pacific (7-5) also has won its last three games.
HAWAII-HILO AT BRIGHAM YOUNG-HAWAII: Brigham Young-Hawaii begins conference play without leading scorer David Evans, who is out indefinitely.
Evans had surgery on his big toe before the season but tore some scar tissue recently and is trying to fight through it in practice without going back under the knife.
Evans led all Hawaii scorers with 22.8 ppg before going down against Evergreen State in the HPU/ Coca-Cola New Year''s tournament on Dec. 28. The Seasiders have dropped their last two games without him and stand at 6-6.
Earl Smith has taken Evan's shots -- and hit them. Smith has hit 66 percent in the last two losses and scored 42 points, but will have to find a way to get past Hilo's Maceo Thomas and Merriel Jenkins on Friday.
Thomas lit up Midwestern State for 31 points in the Coconut Coast Classic to become PacWest player of the week and gives Vulcans head coach Jeff Law another option besides Jenkins. The duo has combined to score 29.4 points a game and average 12.1 rebounds, but their real impact has been made on the defensive end, where they have solidified a defense that has forced 18.5 turnovers a game.
The 4-8 Vulcans rely on the tough inside defense of Jenkins and good passing to overcome their 4.5 3-pointers a game, last in the conference.
WATCH OUT FOR BROKEN GLASS: Three backboards went down in the past week, two on the Big Island and one at Chaminade.
Corsley Edwards of Central Connecticut shattered the glass at Kailua-Kona only a day after a teammate did the same in practice Dec. 30. Both were repaired in time for the Vulcans to score a 99-86 win over their destructive foes.
Chaminade center John Krafels tore down a basket of his own before the home game against Illinois Wesleyan New Year's Eve, moving the Silverswords into the Kaimuki High School Gym.
Chaminade swept the next two games in its temporary home before replacing the shattered backboard.