With 12 days off between matches, top-ranked Punahou had a lull to deal with before the state volleyball tournament, which begins in one week.
Fortunately, the Buffanblu and at least three other teams are getting a taste of competition during the lull on Saturday. The inaugural Bump, Set and Spike for the Cure exhibition tournament at La Pietra’s gym is a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
Kamehameha, Hawaii Baptist and Word of Life have also committed to play in the tourney, which begins at noon. It’s competition that Punahou coach Jim Iams is looking forward to.
“It’s the longest layoff we’ve had,” he said, noting that the risk of injuries is worth taking.
“That’s everybody’s concern, but you can’t lock them up in a closet. It could happen just scrimmaging your own team.”
Punahou and Kamehameha last played on Saturday. As the ILH champion, Punahou has a first-round bye and won’t play in the state tourney until next Thursday.
Red Raiders know laulau
Kahuku’s football game with Mililani this Friday won’t be the only pressure cooker facing the Red Raiders this week.
Athletic director Joe Whitford is one of several cooks who will donate tasty dishes at the Murphy’s Hoolaulea tonight as a fundraiser for the HHSAA SOS campaign. Whitford’s laulau has been a popular menu item at North Shore events and parties for years.
“We’re making about 400 laulau. I’ve done 600, 700 before, just my wife and kids,” he said.
All the cooking is done in a giant steamer that can hold up to 500 laulau. Whitford and his family often make kalua pig for his daughter’s water polo team, which sells a Hawaiian plate at football games.
“I look at the people who are making this effort to to help us raise money. I’ve made laulau tons of times before, so it’s the least I can do to help people who stick their neck out,” Whitford said.
The key, he says, is patience.
“A lot of people make laulau, but to me, it won’t be really moist unless hey cook it long enough,” he added. “I’d love to do this more, but I can’t because of my job. You know the life of an AD. But some people are smart and they know when our bye weeks are. That’s when I have more time, so they’ll ask.”
Murphy’s is expecting a crowd of 2,000 to 3,000 patrons for the block party.
With as much parity as there is in the OIA, injuries are playing a key factor once again in the playoffs.
Aiea defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina was missed against Moanalua’s relentless ground attack in last week’s loss. Lagafuaina is expected back this week when Na Alii host Radford in an OIA White playoff matchup. The winner secures a state-tournament berth.
Castle quarterback Jaymason Lee, who hurt his hip in a loss to Kahuku two Saturdays ago, has healed well enough for this week’s showdown at Waianae, coach Nelson Maeda said.
A lengthy period of rest has helped Kapolei, which had two bye weekends in a row. The Hurricanes will need all their weapons for a battle against Farrington on Saturday at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.
That game will kick off at 5 p.m.
Athletes of the Week
Awa Poggi, Word of Life football: Rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns as the Firebrands posted their first Interscholastic League of Honolulu win, 50-42 over Damien in three overtimes.
Fenumiai Tofilau, Farrington volleyball: Slammed 15 kills against Pearl City and 16 against Moanalua as the Governors advanced in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference playoffs.
>> Clinton Aina, Kailua: forced a fumble and picked off a pass against Campbell
>> Keli‘ikoa Aki, Anuenue: rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns against Kalani
>> Jarrett Arakawa, ‘Iolani: passed for 254 yards (22-for-31) and four touchdowns against Pac-Five
>> Angelo Berardy, Kalani: 11 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns against Anuenue
>> Stabren Caires, Punahou: rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown against Saint Louis
>> Bryson Calma, Mililani: caught three touchdown passes against Kaimuki
>> Tahje Canyon, Moanalua: rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns against Aiea
>> Jordan Fukumoto, Saint Louis: 16 receptions (98 yards) against Punahou
>> Brenan Furtado, Damien: rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns against Word of Life
>> Ikaika Gante, Anuenue: rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns against Kalani
>> Phil Hogan, Radford: rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown against Waialua
>> Martin Lagazo, Kailua: recovered three fumbles against Campbell
>> Trent McKinney, Mililani: passed for 174 yards and four touchdowns — and rushed for 96 yards — against Kaimuki
>> P.J. Minaya, Pac-Five: passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns against ‘Iolani
>> Gavin Okada, Kalani: passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns against Anuenue
>> Chester Su‘a, Kaimuki: rushed for 123 yards and scored two touchdowns against Mililani
>> Brian Suite, Punahou: eight tackles and an interception return for a touchdown against Saint Louis
>> Freddy Taliulu, Aiea: passed for 227 yards and a touchdown against Moanalua
>> Rachel Fujita, Punahou: led the ILH girls distance regatta at Ala Wai Canal with a time of 11 minutes, 1 second
>> Kalei Kahookele, Mid-Pacific: won the ILH boys distance regatta with a time of 9:44
>> Taylor Akana, Kamehameha: 17 digs, six kills, three aces against ‘Iolani
>> Juliana Behrens, Punahou: 15 kills against Kamehameha
>> Marie Fujii, Pearl City: 45 assists against Farrington
>> Talia Jardin-Fermentez, Kamehameha: 15 kills against ‘Iolani
>> Tai Manu-Olevao, Punahou: 15 kills against Kamehameha
>> Gabby Matautia, Moanalua: 14 kills against Roosevelt; 17 kills against Farrington
>> Kelci Renshaw, Kamehameha: 42 assists against ‘Iolani
>> Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo, Farrington: 14 kills against Moanalua
>> Brandy Vergado-Duclayan, Farrington: 43 assists against Pearl City
>> Mali‘e Yoon, ‘Iolani: 34 assists against Kamehameha