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Pa’e lifts Nanakuli to first volleyball crown

By Paul Honda on October 19, 2017

Pearl City came prepared to win a championship. The Chargers’ biggest obstacle turned out to be a 5-foot-6 back row beast of a libero. Nanakuli sophomore Ka‘anela Pa‘e put as much energy into her defensive craftsmanship as she did with her pre-game introduction dance. With music piping through the sound system during warmups and pre-game, Pa‘e and several of her teammates did their dance moves. Those moves were pretty good, but they paled in comparison with their defensive prowess in […]

Relentless defense sparks Moanalua to title

By Paul Honda on October 18, 2017

For the powerful Kapolei Hurricanes, it may have felt like defeat by a thousand cuts. No matter how many heavy balls the ‘Canes sent toward Moanalua’s side of the court, Na Menehune prevailed most of the night with Hula Crisostomo and Tayli Ikenaga leading the back-row resistance. The result: Kapolei took 123 swings, had 18 hitting errors and hit just .154 as Moanalua took the OIA Division I championship match 25-20, 27-25, 25-15 before a loud gathering of about 3,000 […]

Pupule ballot: Voters raise Waipahu’s black flag

By Paul Honda on October 18, 2017

The Black Flag is waving on the castle of Star-Advertiser Football Top 10, and that means another team has been bumped out. Unless there has been a tie. Waipahu, Damien, Lahainaluna, all worthy teams this season and especially for Damien in recent years, and Lahainaluna over the course of decades, that have been overlooked due to Division II designation/choice. I lamented almost endlessly last week about Damien’s strategic approach and defeat, and whatever the case, voters penalized the Monarchs by […]

Lessons learned as Damien shocks No. 7 Le Jardin

By Paul Honda on October 17, 2017

Four losses have been full of lessons for the Damien Monarchs. Enough wisdom has been accrued from the disappointments and pain, so when they visited unbeaten defending state champion Le Jardin, the Damien squad that was 10-4 no longer existed. As of Tuesday night, with a stunning 25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 17-15 victory at Charle B. Wang Gymnasium, the Monarchs are in position to reach new heights. A win on Wednesday against No. 7-ranked Le Jardin would give them the […]

Hula sparks Moanalua into OIA title match

By Paul Honda on October 16, 2017

Unranked Mililani had the power. Fifth-ranked Moanalua had the grit. They also had Hula. Senior libero Hula Crisostomo and freshman Tayli Ikenaga put on a digging exhibition for Na Menehune in a 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 sweep of Mililani. Moanalua (13-0) will meet another unbeaten powerhouse, Kapolei (12-0), in the OIA title match on Wednesday at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium. The Lady Trojans brought a lot of firepower, but Moanalua’s back row was relentless, tough and skilled. “Hula wasn’t there her […]

Kapolei resilient in sweep of Waianae

By Paul Honda on October 16, 2017

The quest for a first Division I girls volleyball championship at Kapolei is also a chance to quench a thirst. In the relatively short history of Kapolei, there has been one crown: OIA Division II in 2008. The coach then is the same coach now, Naidah Gamurot. On Monday night, she saw her Hurricanes overcome some offensive struggles to sweep Waianae 25-22, 25-19, 25-19. The ‘Canes hit just .193 against a scrappy, tall Seariders defense. “A win always feels good,” […]

VIDEO: Tafai makes big plays for Campbell

By Paul Honda on October 15, 2017

Campbell coach Darren Johnson and LB/RB Tyrese Tafai chat after Tafai came up with a turnover-causing tackle, then scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead for good in a 10-6 playoff win at Leilehua. Friday, Oct. 14, 2017.

Tafai’s play sparks Sabers in comeback win

By Paul Honda on October 14, 2017

For all of the offensive-juggernaut highlights provided by Campbell and Leilehua over the years, Friday night’s OIA 10-6 quarterfinal win by Campbell came down to grit and defense. “We felt it would come down to a one-score game. We felt we needed to be up 4 (points) because they’ve got a kicker,” Campbell coach Darren Johnson said, referring to talented Leilehua placekicker Akoni Tom-Makue, who made two first-half field goals. For Tyrese Tafai, Campbell’s standout sophomore linebacker/running back, it was […]