You see fans holding signs at sporting events and scratch your head for a few seconds wondering what words mean and then it comes to you.
“Radford is Sum10.” Perfect. Somet’en’ … Something.
True. The Rams girls basketball team knew when to put its foot on the gas pedal in a 42-25 win over visiting Leilehua on Thursday night. The Mules had plenty of energy and hustle, but simply put, they couldn’t get good looks at the basket. Conversely, that is Radford’s forte. Guards Jayde Johnson and Jazmyn Peralta looked for and found cutters to the basket.
Getting open. It’s an art. Not everyone knows how to take the perfect diagonal route or find the space where no defenders have a chance at you. It’s also a game of patience for guards to look in the right place, not panic and not just throw up a bad shot.
So, every time No. 10 Leilehua got close, No. 8 Radford had the patience and the panache — and players in the right place — to pull away. The Rams remained undefeated at 9-0 and the Mules (7-2) missed their chance to even the score in the Oahu Interscholastic Association West.
That home crowd, with a gang holding up the “Radford is Sum10” sign, certainly made things as uncomfortable as possible for the Mules. No, not bad sportsmanship. Just loudness and support.
On Wednesday night, there was similar support for the Kailua boys basketball team, and that fan energy just may have put the Surfriders over the top in a 54-52 upset of No. 9 Kalaheo, the defending state Division I champion.
Christian Mejia, in the post, worked hard for his 23 points, and his doggedness was complemented by many of his teammates, including football teammate and basketball forward Hano Kohatsu.
The fans were screaming away for their beloved team, and especially for Mejia, whose motor never stops.
One Kailua fan, during crunch time, stood up in the middle of the crowd and implored the Surfriders to “get their hands up.” That is one fundamental approach to defense, if that is what the fan meant. But he may have been just wanting to see more activity and liveliness from the bench instead of seeing them sit there and watch Kalaheo win again.
A moment later, the fan stood up again and yelled over and over, “Let’s go.” A bit later, he looked directly at Mejia, alone at midcourt waiting for someone to attempt free throws, and made his voice loud and clear: “Let’s go, Christian! Let’s go, Christian! Let’s go!”
After a Kailua timeout with 10 seconds left and the score knotted at 52, Kailua’s Noah Ah Yat got an inbounds pass near midcourt and wound up going all the way through the lane for a bucket with three seconds to go for the eventual win.
“In the huddle, we said, ‘It’s time to turn the corner. Let’s get these guys. It’s been forever since Kailua beat Kalaheo,’ ” Surfriders coach Wally Marciel said.
Before the game, Marciel — a former Kalaheo assistant — was asked if he was ready. He said, “I’m ready, but we’ll see if the boys are ready to play.”
He got his answer.
That win was something. Or, if you will, Sum10.