It’s a Lahainaluna boy vs. a Leilehua lad in the 138-pound final.
As expected, Kawehi Gillcoat and Kaena Desantos, the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds who are ranked Nos. 7 and 9 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound rankings, are going to see who survives Thursday for the title at the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships.
In the semifinals, Gillcoat pinned Mililani’s Elijah Diamond, and Desantos edged Kamehameha’s Kanai Tapia 5-3.
“I want to win it,” said Gillcoat, who is a four-time MIL champion but has not won the crown at states. “That’s it. Just win. This means everything to me. Earlier in the year, my grandma (Song Cajudoy) passed away and I’m just dedicating this season to her. This state title means everything to me, to Lahaina, to my family.
“I wrestled him (Diamond) earlier this season at MITs (a 20-11 win). I was just off of football and I wasn’t really in condition. He’s a good wrestler. He’s slick and long and wiry and flexible. He’s hard to wrestle.”
When interviewed, Gillcoat did not know who he would be facing in the final. A few minutes later, Desantos topped Tapia to get there.
Desantos is up for that next challenge.
“I’m ready,” he said. “I know he’s ready too and he wants it, but I want it more. I was undefeated all season and I’m going to stay undefeated. That’s my plan.”
Desantos had a similar result against Tapia at the Officials tournament final. He won 5-4 that time.
“I knew he was going to leg ride and that his top game was good, so I tried to keep it neutral and stay with my game plan,” he said. “Get free shots.”