(More on the All-State Fab 15 selections that were published in Sunday’s Star-Advertiser.)
DeForest Buckner wasn’t surprised by the coaches and media’s selection of Punahou’s Darren Matsuda as all-state coach of the year.
“He’s the same, still using some plays we had in club basketball (Honolulu Sharks). That’s how we had a lot of success. A lot of us played for the Sharks and we were used to playing with each other. We had the chemistry,” Buckner said.
‘Iolani coach Shimamoto recognized the obstacles facing Matsuda.
“He managed his guys and it’s not as easy as it seems, to find a way for 10 guys to play,” he said. “They had guys off the bench who became key contributors.”
Maryknoll coach Kelly Grant agreed.
“It’s a lot of pressure. It’s not easy coaching at Punahou,” he said. “It’s not easy to keep everybody happy there, but he had a deep team and he utilized that.”
Kahuku coach Darren Johnson, was second in the voting, and Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Dominic Pacheco was third. Alika Smith, who guided Kalaheo to the D-II state title, was fourth. Wayne Gushiken (Baldwin), Bob Morikuni (McKinley), Greg Tacon (Moanalua), Gary Ellison (Kapolei) and Pat Wetzel (Leilehua) also received votes.
Buckner also spearheaded the All-Defensive selections, joined by KS-Hawaii’s Shaun Kagawa and Lanaki Apele, Baldwin’s Gabriel Ross and Kahuku’s Mason Kuali‘i-Moe.
All-defense second-team vote-getters were Steven Lakalaka, Malik Johnson and Ka‘aha McAfee-Torco of Punahou, Shem Sukumaran of Kalaheo and Enos.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser