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Grounded in Kahuku roots, Amari Westmoreland-Vendiola is flying high

By Paul Honda on January 12, 2022

Homemade is quite often sloppy, inelegant, lumpy and bumpy. Once in awhile, though, homemade is perfectly blended, customized and made to fit an exacting standard beyond anything else in a cookie-cutter world. Amari Westmoreland-Vendiola is the latest among game changers from the North Shore, firmly rooted and proud to represent one of the state’s top high school basketball programs. When the old basket fronting the home of the Vendiola ohana got weak and wobbly, his grandfather, Berto Vendiola, took it […]

Logan Dias scores all 16 in 2nd half as No. 5 Maryknoll rallies past No. 3 Punahou

By Paul Honda on January 11, 2022

Logan Dias didn’t go very far to regain his confidence. He just heard it directly from his basketball brothers. The 6-foot-1 swingman missed all eight of his shots in the first half as Maryknoll fell behind, 26-17, to rival Punahou on Tuesday night. In an empty gym at Maryknoll Community Center, the sound of those misses off iron can seem amplified. “My team picked me up. They said, ‘Keep shooting. Don’t worry about it.’ I guess I made a couple […]

Hoopbook: Kapolei’s gritty girls; ILH boys finally tip off

By Paul Honda on January 11, 2022

ILH girls basketball games took a bit of break recently with the upsurge of positive COVID-19 tests in the islands. It was enough to wipe out most of the first round-robin in the ILH schedule. So, instead of the four Division I teams — ‘Iolani, Kamehameha, Mid-Pacific and Punahou — playing a partial go-round, the first go-round has been scrapped. So, instead of Kamehameha and ‘Iolani playing on Tuesday night, the game has been cancelled. Kamehameha’s previous ILH games with […]


Saint Louis ascends to No. 1 as ILH regular season nears

By Paul Honda on January 10, 2022

The tie is broken without a single shot taken. Saint Louis has emerged at No. 1 this week in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10. The Crusaders were tied at the top spot a week ago with ‘Iolani. The Raiders had more first-place votes (six) than Saint Louis (five), but finished two points behind in this week’s tally of coaches and media ballots. Punahou collected one first-place vote and is No. 3. Kamehameha and Maryknoll round out the top five. […]

‘Iolani, Konawaena remain 1-2 in Girls Basketball Top 10

By Paul Honda on January 10, 2022

A relatively quiet week in prep hoops means ‘Iolani is still prominently atop the Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Top 10. The Raiders collected eight out of 11 first-place votes in Monday’s coaches and media tally. The Raiders will battle Kamehameha on Tuesday in the ILH regular-season opener for both teams. Konawaena garnered three first-place votes. The Wildcats will host Honokaa on Tuesday. Maryknoll, which will visit Punahou on Tuesday, is No. 3. Upstart Maui is 4-0 in MIL play and is […]

Prime Time, Nick Saban and Tausili Akana

By Paul Honda on January 7, 2022

Deion Sanders and Nick Saban are a part of Tausili Akana’s life. Not besties-level, but close enough to be on the wish lists of the two prominent college coaches. Over the course of 2021-22 academic year, nine more scholarship offers have arrived in the hands of Akana. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound outside linebacker now has 42 offers as a junior. He is ranked No. 1 among linebackers in the class of 2023 by 247sports.com. Deion Sanders, who has brought immense attention […]

Speedy Roosevelt is 4-0 after 44-22 rout of Farrington

By Paul Honda on January 6, 2022

In a wide open OIA girls basketball race, Roosevelt has the motor to outrun, maybe, every foe. Coach Joe Cho’s squad used a stifling fullcourt press to overwhelm Farrington on Wednesday night, 44-22, at the Rough Riders’ gym. It was still close, 15-8, at the half, before Roosevelt used the press for a 20-3 third-quarter run. The on-ball pressure was constant, setting up a string of steals by freshman Makalah Richardson (14 points) on long passes by the Lady Governors. […]

Airborne Aiva Arquette: Raising the bar for Saint Louis hoops, baseball

By Paul Honda on January 5, 2022

From Larry Park to Dunn Muramaru, basketball and baseball coaches rave at Aiva Arquette, who is this week’s featured high school student-athlete in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Saint Louis senior is aware of his impact on the hardwood and the diamond. He just doesn’t seem affected by the attention whether it comes from coaches, media or fans. Even his perspective about the weight room — Arquette has gained roughly 20-25 pounds of muscle since sophomore year — is […]