HAWAII GROWN REPORT
5 HHSAA alumnae
By Dennis Anderson
Hawaii Grown Report
Brandy Richardson (Kalaheo '01) and 13th-seeded UC Santa Barbara (21-8) will play their first-round NCAA tournament game on Saturday against fourth-seeded Notre Dame (26-5).
Making her NCAA debut at the same, already-sold-out Save-Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., will be Eastern Kentucky freshman Nancy Hoist (Konawaena '04 of Captain Cook). Hoist has averaged 13 minutes and 3 points, playing back-up point guard in 19 of the Ohio Valley Conference champions' 30 games.
Sophomore Fatai Hala'api'api (Lahainaluna '02) set rebounding records at Eastern Kentucky last season but tore ligaments in her left knee in the second game this year and has applied for a medical redshirt year. No. 12 seed Eastern Kentucky (23-7) plays fifth-seeded Arizona State (22-9) on Saturday.
If Eastern Kentucky and UC Santa Barbara both win Saturday, Richardson and Hoist will meet on Monday in the second round.
The third Hawaii high school alumna playing in the NCAAs is Latoya Wily (Kahuku '04), a freshman at Alcorn State in Mississippi. Wily has averaged 8.6 minutes and 2.7 points in 27 of the Southwest Conference champions' 29 games. Because Alcorn State (21-8) is seeded 16th (last) in its region, it draws No. 1 seed Michigan State (28-3) in its opening game on Saturday.
Two other Hawaii high school alumnae missed the Big Dance and are going to the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
Fresno State lost to Louisiana Tech 92-87 in double overtime last Saturday in the semifinals of the WAC tournament in Reno.
Senior Aritta Lane (Aiea '01) has scored 475 baskets in her Fresno State career, but the one she wanted most -- an off-balance jump shot at the buzzer in regulation against LaTech -- caromed off the rim. That shot would have thrust the Bulldogs into Sunday's WAC championship game and a chance at an automatic NCAA berth.
Instead of playing in its own, new, air-conditioned arena before a sold-out, hyper-supportive crowd, Lane and Fresno State (20-10) are en route to Texas to play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday in an inhospitable, humid gym .
Lane is the second-leading scorer and rebounder (12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds) for Fresno State. She led the team in scoring against LaTech with 22 points.
"You try to treat it like any other game," said Lane. "You give it all you have. All it takes is one time to understand it."
No matter what level the game is, Lane added:
"I want people to know that when I'm out there I give 100 percent ... every time. I'm just that type of player."
Also playing in the WNIT is Rachel Kane (Punahou '03 of Temple Valley), a backup at point guard for Gonzaga. Kane is still trying to get her legs back after tearing the ACL and MCL in her right knee on Jan. 16, 2004. She probably will undergo surgery this summer.
Kane averaged 12.8 minutes and 1.5 points in 22 games, playing behind West Coast Conference Player of the Year Shannon Mathews.
Before she was injured last season, Kane averaged 27.8 minutes, 5.9 points and 3.6 assists in 16 games.
Gonzaga (27-3) had a national-best 23-game winning streak before it lost the WCC title game to Santa Clara 77-66 on Saturday. The Bulldogs opened WNIT play last night with a 71-57 win over BYU in Gonzaga's new arena in Spokane.
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in fifth place
Senior Ryan Tanoue
(Saint Louis '01 of Kaimuki) placed fifth in air rifle and earned All-America designation for the fourth year in a row Saturday at the NCAA Rifle Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Tanoue was the NCAA air rifle champion in 2002 (his freshman season) and entered this year's national meet with the two best scores in the NCAA this season -- 597 out of 600 points in November and again on March 6. He scored 687.1 points on Saturday -- 588 in the regular match and 99.1 in the final round of eight shooters. He trailed leader Beth Tidmore of Memphis by 2 points in the match, but fell 5.1 points farther behind in the final round. Her winning score was 694.2.
» California: Senior Kaleo Eldredge (Baldwin '01) kicked it up a notch after being moved from cleanup to leadoff after the regular leadoff batter was injured. She raised her batting average to .380 and her slugging average to .571 with 14 RBIs, both second-best for the No. 2-ranked Golden Bears (22-2).
Eldredge hit for the cycle in a doubleheader on Saturday with a triple against Sacramento State in the first game, and a game-starting home run, a single and a double against Iowa.
On Sunday, however, she was caught in a rundown between third and home in a 1-0 loss to Arizona State.
In center field, Eldredge is perfect: 16 putouts, no errors.
» BYU: Junior Ashlyn Russell (Baldwin '02) hit three home runs in two games at the Speedline Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., last Thursday and Friday, giving her eight in 15 games this season.
Her second homer of the game last Thursday, with two out and a runner on in the sixth inning, put out the University of Illinois Chicago Flames 8-7.
» Pepperdine: Senior right-hander Kea Kometani (Punahou '01 of Kahala) beat a ranked team for the second Friday in a row, pitching a complete-game, 4-1 victory over No. 30 Winthrop of South Carolina.
Kometani's earned-run average dropped to 2.76. His record is 3-2. He has pitched 30 straight innings without allowing a base on balls.
On March 4, Kometani beat then-No. 5 South Carolina 7-5. One of his losses was to then-No. 1 Tulane, 3-0.
» Saddleback (Calif.) JC: Right-handed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira (Kamehameha '04 of Kula) earned his first collegiate decision Tuesday.
In his fourth appearance for Saddleback, and his second start, Texeira pitched five innings and allowed one single as the Gauchos built an 8-1 lead over Irvine Valley. Texeira faced the minimum of 14 batters before giving up a single up the middle with two outs in the fifth.
Saddleback won 9-5.
Texeira was the 916th pick in last June's major league draft (31st round by the Brewers).
Freshman outfielder Ryan Leong (Mid-Pacific '03) and sophomore left-handed pitcher Morgan Kruger-Burgess (Kealakehe '02 of Ho'olehua) are also on the roster at Saddleback, which is coached by Jack Hodges (Kamehameha '65).
The Gauchos, the defending state champions for California community colleges, are 12-2 overall and 4-2 in Orange Empire Conference play.