Kamehameha overpowers Kalani, Maryknoll still unbeaten

The Maryknoll Spartans are getting plenty of preseason experience. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

Some quick takeaways on girls basketball before Saturday’s games tip off.

Scoreboard: link available here.

>> If the 10:30 a.m. tip-off for Kapolei at Kaimuki today seems a bit early, you can probably guess why.

Kapolei players, like seemingly most of the state, have tickets to the Bruno Mars concert. The game will be done around noon, which will give the Hurricanes and tens of thousands of Bruno fans just enough time to take on traffic near Aloha Stadium.

And, by the way, the JV game has been un-scheduled.

>> Warriors come out to play
Kamehameha’s 69-65 win over Kalani was one for the (preseason) ages. Longtime hoops observer and former Advertiser writer Frank Mauz has covered the state tourney for decades starting with the very first big dance in 1978. He saw this game and said it was Kalina Obrey’s dominance that was most impressive.

Obrey finished with 16 points, as did Haley Masaki, and Malie Marfil had 14.

“The main event did not disappoint,” Mauz wrote in a text. “Obrey dominated in crunch time.”

Her three-point play with the score tied at 58 titled the game to the Warriors. Kamalu Kamakawiwo‘ole of Kalani sat much of the game with foul trouble, leaving the scoring to Kalena Halunajan (18 points) and Shelby McDaniel (14).

The fast pace of Kalani’s style is fun to watch, but even for an athlete like Kamakawiwo‘ole, it takes getting used to. When she was at Maryknoll, the tempo was moderate, occasionally fast breaking off steals. But when she gets comfortable and stays out of foul trouble, Kalani will be a scoring juggernaut.

When we get started on the Star-Advertiser Girls Basketball Top 10, it might just be a choice between Kamehameha, ‘Iolani and, surprise, surprise — Maryknoll.

>> Lady Spartan marathon
Thursday was an evening twin bill for Maryknoll’s lineup of underclassmen. They wore down Lahainaluna, then drove from McKinley Student Council Gym to the Moanalua Peek, where the Spartans then defeated King Kekaulike.

Friday? Only one game, an 87-23 runaway over Division II Le Jardin. Freshman Mahea Choy Foo sank four 3-pointers and score 16 points. Aloha Akaka had 13 and Jalen Tanuvasa 10. It’s now four wins in four games for Maryknoll, which continues to press and run and shoot open threes.

One of the most underrated aspects of shooting quick — and open – 3-pointers is that it almost eliminates the possibility of turnover. A shot is always preferable to a travel or 3-second violation, or contested 2-pointer. The other aspect is something smaller lineups from the NBA to youth leagues have also learned: long perimeter shots often lead to long offensive rebounds.

The fine line comes with the quality of the shot, whether to shoot a 3 in 1-on-3 situation, or to get quick ball movement, a la Golden State Warriors, to draw defenders out of rebounding position in the key. Any coaching staff that can get all five players moving and screening and cutting this early in preseason (week one) for open shots has done a fine job building for the future. And it’s a public service, too. Nobody sitting in a hot gym wants to see disorganized basketball, but nearly every spectator has and will continue to enjoy watching fast, clever execution.

Maryknoll has been a roster of whiz kids so far. And Coach Chico Furtado insists he’ll let the speed girls — who look a lot like the West Philadelphia Speedboys of the 1980s — continue to fly.

>> No Wu, no worries
Taylor Wu was superb on Thursday, scoring 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting with five treys in a win over Kahuku.

On Friday, Wu was on a recruiting trip/visit to Cal Baptist, and the Raiders stepped up without the senior in a 65-51 win over MIL powerhouse Lahainaluna. Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu scored 24 points and younger sister Jovi Left tallied 12.

Susitina Namoa led the Lady Lunas with 16 points after scoring just three in a loss to Maryknoll on Thursday.

“Namoa looked good before fouling out,” Frank said.

Big test today for ‘Iolani without Wu: the Kalani Falcons.

>> Women of Troy march on
Dahlis Sablay pronounces her first name like a certain NFL city that embraces its status as “America’s Team”: Dallas.

The Mililani point guard is fully asserting herself. She scored 14 points in a 56-43 win over Sacred Hearts, which is not a big upset, but enough to make me think my early preseason ballot will be in shuffle mode. The other Dallas in the game, SHA’s Dallas Martinez, scored 13 points and Sade Mizusawa added 10, but Te‘Hiwa Medeiros finished with just six.

>> Other games, including those at the Moanalua Peek: Maui over Campbell 38-14, Kaiser over King Kekaulike 58-45 and Castle over Moanalua 41-38.

King Kekaulike is also playing the Hanalani tournament, but I’m still waiting to receive scores and stats. Send all info to phonda@staradvertiser.com. Pleeeease.


  1. Bigshot November 10, 2018 1:12 pm

    Wow! Maryknoll its like they transplanted these outside league girls an created his team. Good coaching coach! Its like a 808 transplant! Lol got skills

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