Wednesday, March 8, 2000
Jason Mandaquit tops the
Star-Bulletin's All-State team as
Mr. Basketball Hawaii
Vikings' Manliguis is Coach of the YearBy Dave Reardon
Second, Third Teams, Honorable Mention
NO one on Oahu had seen anything quite like Jason Mandaquit when he and his Hilo posse stormed the Stan Sheriff Center last month. And his basketball game was pretty good, too.
But by the time Mandaquit led his team to its first state championship since 1991, everyone knew the Vikings' Golden Boy was much more than a bleached-blond blur in baggy shorts.
The 5-foot-9 senior point guard with a hairstyle unusual even by today's standards turned out to be a fundamentally sound superstar. He did whatever was necessary for Hilo to win -- and win Hilo did, whether it was taking the Big Island Interscholastic Federation championship, building a 25-1 overall record, or living up to its No. 1 seed in the state tournament.
Mandaquit did whatever his team needed on any particular night: scoring (18 points against Iolani in the quarterfinals), passing (nine assists vs. Baldwin in the semifinals), or defense (six steals in the championship victory over St. Louis).
His all-around skills -- plus his charisma and leadership ability -- has earned him the title of Mr. Basketball Hawaii.
"He was a great ballhandler, he had great vision, he could pass; the kid could do it all," Roosevelt coach Jon Chung said. "He was the team leader. He controlled the tempo for them."
The word "control" hasn't always been one associated with Hilo guards -- the rap on the Vikings in the past has often been that they are talented in the open court but undisciplined in halfcourt play.
Mandaquit proved that stereotype a fallacy, at least this season.
"He really controlled things and got everyone involved," Vikings coach Larry Manliguis said. "He's a real leader with determination.
"I wouldn't say he was selfish last year. Maybe he didn't understand his role as well as he does this year. He could've scored 20 points a game this year, but we wouldn't have been as good a team."
Mandaquit averaged 11.2 points-per-game in 1999-2000. His 8.7 assists average is eye-popping for a high school player, whose games are only 32 minutes long. Mandaquit also grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game, and 5.5 steals.
"Instead of concentrating on myself, on my scoring and playing as an individual, I tried to set up teammates and get everyone involved in the game," Mandaquit said, acknowledging a change in his game this year. "This year everyone could score, so it was a lot easier for me."
In 1999, the Vikings were 10-5 in the BIIF and didn't make it to the state tournament.
"He could almost score at will," Hilo assistant coach Wayne Kaneshiro said. "But Larry sat down with him and told him he doesn't need to score; distribute and keep the attack balanced, keep everybody in the flow."
Mandaquit bought in. He didn't want to miss the state tournament again, in his final year.
"It was difficult. Hilo High has a tradition of going to state," Mandaquit said. "Knowing we were a team that didn't make it made it more frustrating. It was more motivation for us to do good this year."
Mandaquit also played football for Hilo, starting at defensive back, quarterback and wide receiver at various times. He hopes to play college basketball, and is going on a recruiting visit to Hawaii Pacific University a week from Sunday.
Whatever his future, Mr. Basketball Hawaii 2000 will always have a golden senior year to look back upon.
"Coach told us at the first practice he knew we had a special team. All around we had good players," Mandaquit said. "We knew we were deep and everyone could play. We all had roles and it was up to us to accept them."
A look at the rest of the Star-Bulletin's All-State boys' basketball team for 2000. The team was chosen after consultation with several coaches from around the state:
D.C. Daniels (6-1 sophomore guard, Kalaheo):He wowed the crowds at the state tournament with his scoring: 27 against Honokaa, 23 against Lahainaluna, 29 against St. Louis.
Daniels combined quickness and a sweet jumper to become nearly a point-a-minute scorer in the state tournament.
It capped a season in which he averaged 17 points a game in the Oahu Interscholastic Association's Eastern Division, and led the Mustangs to the OIA semifinals.
"He improved his game as the season went along," coach Pete Smith said.
Daniels helped Kalaheo to a successful year after it had lost Julian Sensley -- one of the top high school players in the history of the state -- to mainland transfer.
Kimo Keiter-Charles (5-10 senior guard, Hilo):Anyone who saw the 2000 state tournament final will remember The Move.
Keiter-Charles drove from the wing into a crowd, dribbled behind his back, and cruised to the other side of the basket and deposited a reverse layup.
He's an electric offensive player who complemented Mandaquit perfectly. But Keiter-Charles' coach said his real value was his consistency throughout the season.
"Kimo was our scorer, our 3-point guy," Manliguis said. "This year he really became a defensive player who really learned our system and what we are trying to do."
Keiter-Charles led the Vikings with 14.6 points a game. He also was involved in over five steals and seven deflections a game.
Sa Tanuvasa (6-3 senior forward, Radford):The Rams were the No. 1 team in the state for most of the season, and Tanuvasa was perhaps the biggest reason.
Blossoming with the addition of point guard Jacob Avilla, Tanuvasa averaged around 14 points a game.
Defensively, he altered opposing teams' gameplans with his shot-blocking ability.
And he was a force on the boards, averaging over nine a game. Tanuvasa's propensity for offensive rebounds helped the Rams to the OIA championship game.
"He really did a lot of different things for us," Rams coach Tim Harrison said.
Junior Wong (5-6 senior guard, St. Louis):He was symbolic of the Crusaders' team which was in one sense overachieving because of its lack of height, but in another not, because of its fine athleticism, toughness and teamwork.
Wong was often the smallest player on the court, but he was usually the best. He was at his best in big games, as evidenced by his team-high 22 and 19 points in the state semifinal and championship.
He was one of the top 3-point shooters in the state, with the ability to hit from anywhere around the court. Wong was also excellent on defense and at leading the fastbreak.
Wong was the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's Player of the Year.
Vikings Manliguis isBy Dave Reardon
Coach of the Year
The ride back to Hilo from Waiakea started out a depressing one.
The Vikings boys' varsity basketball team didn't have much to smile about, having just lost to the Warriors.
But the down mood didn't last long: Larry Manliguis was on the bus.
"When everything is in turmoil and you think you're going downhill, he'll have a positive thought," assistant coach Wayne Kaneshiro said. "On the bus, he did a David Letterman, 'Top 10 things we can learn from losing to Waiakea.' After that it was all positive and go from there."
No matter who you talk to -- other coaches, players, even his boss at his day job -- the word that keeps popping up to describe Manliguis is "positive."
Hilo ended its season with only one negative -- the loss to Waiakea -- and 25 positives, including a big one in the state final.
For that achievement, Manliguis is the Star-Bulletin's Boys' Basketball Coach of the Year.
"He does things like telling the players to think, 'I like this ball, I like this rim, I like this floor,' and it works," Kaneshiro said.
Kaneshiro also cited Manliguis' leadership skills.
"He organizes practices and game situations very well and allows us input," Kaneshiro said.
This is the third Hilo state championship, and all are strongly linked to the Manliguis name.
Larry, now 57, also coached the 1991 champions. His brother, Al, coached the 1964 championship team, which another brother, Cal, played on.
At that time, Larry was attending college at Long Beach State.
"I majored in elementary school education, but I came back and I didn't get into teaching," he said.
Technically, he didn't.
Manliguis has taught generations of Big Island youngsters about basketball and teamwork.
And he uses teaching skills in his job, too. For 20 years he has been a deputy director of the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council, an organization that administers welfare-to-work and other social programs on the Big Island.
"I depend on him a lot," director George Yokoyama said. "Especially in changing the attitude of low-income people. He's really good at that, I guess it comes from his coaching. His essence is his positive attitude."
Others mentioned for Coach of the Year were St. Louis' Delbert Tengan, Roosevelt's Jon Chung and Baldwin's Wayne Gushiken.
ALL-STATE FIRST TEAM
Name School Height Class D.C. Daniels Kalaheo 6-1 Sophomore Kimo Keiter-Charles Hilo 5-10 Senior Jason Mandaquit Hilo 5-9 Senior Sa Tanuvasa Radford 6-3 Senior Junior Wong St. Louis 5-6 Senior
COACHLarry Manliguis, Hilo
ALL-STATE SECOND TEAM
Name School Height Class Van Dorsey Roosevelt 6-3 Senior Tino Finau Lahainaluna 6-3 Senior Chad Kapanui Roosevelt 6-0 Senior Wesley Martinez Hilo 6-2 Senior Bobby Nash Iolani 6-6 Freshman
ALL-STATE THIRD TEAM
Name School Ht. Class Edward Aldridge Honokaa 6-2 Junior Jacob Avilla Radford 5-10 Senior Paul Collins Castle 6-0 Senior Cliff Dagulo Baldwin 5-9 Junior Paulo Tuala Lahainaluna 6-4 Junior
Dayton Aberilla (Castle), Ikaika Alama-Francis (Kalaheo), Ricky Bauer (Mid-Pacific), William Broadus (Waianae), Isaac Dunklee (Radford), Kalei Houpo (Baldwin), Kolo Kapanui (Kamehameha), Kalvin Koverman (St. Louis), Maulia LaBarre (Roosevelt), Brad Lum-Tucker (Kauai), Enoch McKeague (St. Louis), Riggs Nathaniel (Hilo) Brandon Sayles (Pahoa), Keola Steitzel (Roosevelt).