Some notes from last night’s Kapolei-Radford girls basketball game, which was the OIA regular-season opener for both.
• The smaller team, Kapolei, was relentless with its fullcourt press. Even the halfcourt matchup 2-3 zone was effective. The Hurricanes forced 21 turnovers, but committed 24 of their own. It’s a high number, but the fact that they could get the Lady Rams into a faster pace was important.
• With Radford’s backcourt struggling against pressure, the bigs had limited touches. Korie Johnson had just 11 field-goal attempts (4-for-11) and Kennedy Johnson had just four (2-for-4).
• All that pressure would give a veteran team open looks from long distance, but Radford is a work in progress and coach Brandy Richardson is exercising patience. The Rams were 0-for-5 from the arc.
• Defensively, Radford was good in stretches — 13 steals — but Kapolei’s experience and fastbreak mentality were key to getting a few more layups. The Rams shot 22 percent from the field (9-for-41). The ‘Canes fared better at 34 percent (15-for-44). Kapolei also shot 2-for-6 from deep.
• Radford had its chance to level the situation by hitting free throws, but shot 54 percent (13-for-24). Kapolei struggled until the final quarter, when Amahya Dycus hit six foul shots in a row. The ‘Canes were 10-for-14 from the charity stripe (71 percent) in the final quarter and finished 11-for-21.
• Kapolei center Malia Folaumahina might be one of the top sophomores in the OIA. She had seven boards and two steals and helped control the paint. Desiree Vega had five boards and was one of the hustlers who made a big difference. Souza had seven rebounds to go with her five boards.
• Back to the passing game. Of Kapolei’s 15 buckets, 12 were by assist, which is a ridiculously good percentage. Radford had six assists in nine field goals, which is a good rate, too.
All in all, former coach Jesse Baugh’s imprint is all over this team. He’s passed on, but the physical, fast brand of basketball, with every player ready and willing to hit the floor for loose balls, battle bigger players inside for boards, it’s great to watch.
Like coach Jim Aronica said, the ‘Canes “won’t back down to anybody,” which is precisely how Baugh taught the game. They’ve also carried on his great, positive attitude, even in tragedy. That’s a victory they can carry forever.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser