It was a fun game, this battle between the top seniors of the ILH and OIA in girls basketball at the second annual Geremy Robinson Senior Classic on Saturday.
Then, as the private-school team saw its double-digit lead vanish early in the second half, Chico Furtado had enough. The longtime coach, first at Kalaheo, now at Maryknoll, had some polite, but blunt words for his squad during a time out.
“Chico was kind of serious at the beginning, but he said to have fun,” said Maegen Martin, Maryknoll’s senior leader. “But then (during the second-half time out), he said to ‘play serious, to play hard. And don’t let them embarrass you.’ ”
Martin and her teammates took those words to heart in the finale, rallying for a 71-64 win before a spirited crowd of about 500 at Moanalua High School gym.
Playing with a 35-second shot clock, the game had a nice flow, and being down as much as the private schoolers were wasn’t a big issue thanks to that clock.
Martin scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds on her way to most valuable player honors.
It was a showcase of sorts for at least two Division-II stars. University High’s Markayisha Masani, a 5-7 guard, scored 17 points, including three treys, with five boards and seven assists. The athletic senior played tough defense — both teams were required to play man-to-man — and she held her own and then some. She could’ve been a great fit at any D-I program statewide.
“Honestly, I got into Punahou in seventh grade,” Masani said. “But I was just thinking about playing time.”
She will attend Jackson State on a volleyball scholarship.
Another D-II player with flair was Lacey Satele of St. Francis. The 5-6 guard scored 13 points, hitting two treys, and has no regrets about her small-school experience.
“I feel like no matter what division you’re in you can show your talent,” said Satele, a niece of former UH volleyball player and Word of Life coach LeeAnn Satele, and former UH and San Diego Chargers football player Alvis Satele.
The game could’ve been a bigger spotlight for BYU-bound, 6-foot-2 forward Jasmine Moody, who led the public-school team with 16 points despite playing less than half the game. Her coach at Radford, Charles Chong, also coached her in this exhibition. He had no qualms about keeping her as healthy as possible rather than risk injury with long minutes.
“Absolutely. It was nice to have her and Kennedy (Johnson) on the court one last time,” he said of the two Lady Rams.
Patria Vaimaona of Kailua had 11 points and nine boards, and Jerri Maluyo (Leilehua) had nine points. Starr Rivera added eight points and four assists.
For Moody, who had more scholarship offers than any other senior in the game — she turned down USF, UC Davis, Southern Utah and Portland State — the potential to dominate and score 30 or more points wasn’t a priority. At all.
“This team is full of all-stars. I really had fun. It’s always fun to play with a different group of girls,” she said.
At BYU, she’ll join island hoopsters Kylie Maeda (‘Iolani) and Alohi Robins-Hardy (Kamehameha). She leaves for Provo on June 8 to get acclimated, attend summer school and participate in summer camp.
“Alohi and Kylie are the ones who sold BYU to me. I know they’ll take care of me,” she said.
The boys matchup, featuring the dunking exploits of Kahuku’s Denhym Brooke, started as a very lenient effort by both teams defensively. The teams were coached by Alika Smith of Kalaheo and Darren Matsuda of Punahou.
Denhym Brooke, a 6-foot-7 senior from New Zealand by way of Kahuku, scored 24 points to lead the public-school team over the private schoolers 121-102. The high–flying Brooke threw down dunks on just about every shot attempt.
B.J. Hosaka, a guard from Hawaii Baptist, scored 23 points to lead the private schoolers.