Leiah Naeata, Maya Claytor power Kahuku over Moanalua for OIA title

Kahuku's Leiah Naeata and Maya Claytor finished off an undefeated run to the OIA title. Photo by Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku is OIA girls basketball champion again, and the work won’t end.

The Lady Raiders did what they do best — crash the boards — en route to a 47-27 title-game win over Moanalua on Wednesday night at James Alegre Gymnasium. Five Lady Raiders hustled for at least five rebounds, and as a team they collected 19 offensive rebounds.

That nearly matched the 20 offensive caroms Kahuku grabbed in a semifinal win over Mililani. That night, Kahuku had a 45-20 edge on the glass. On Wednesday, it was 43-20.


Relentless.

“We executed well enough to get a win,” Kahuku coach Latoya Wily said. “We weren’t satisfied with the missed layups and shots in the paint, but we are happy to take another title home.”

>> CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE GAME

Kahuku (17-7 overall) went unbeaten in OIA play, winning 14 games. The Lady Raiders did plenty enough with rebounding and defense. For roughly 16 minutes, they shut out Moanalua during a 26-0 run. That opened the lead to 36-7 late in the third period.

Moanalua’s 2-3 zone was at Kahuku’s mercy. Na Menehune opted to go without their fullcourt press, and Kahuku still had 19 turnovers. Moanalua’s chances took a hit, bit by bit, with each 3-point bomb by Kahuku’s Maya Claytor. She finished with 18 points, hitting 5-for-10 from deep.


Leiah Naeata, who led the charge on the boards with nine rebounds along with nine points and three steals, had four offensive hauls.

“I knew Maya was going to make her 3-pointers, but when she misses, that’s where I got my rebounds,” the junior said.

Kahuku has a bye in the opening round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA State Championships and will play next Thursday. Naeata doesn’t expect a break come Thursday.

“We’re probably going to have practice tomorrow, get ready for the tournament. We’re hungry as a team,” she said.


“We’l keep pushing hard at practice,” Claytor added. “No breaks.”

“These girls work their butts off every day in practice and they earned it,” Wily said. “As long as we are getting better every week, every season, we are happy. We are always proud of them.”

COMMENTS

  1. Busta January 30, 2020 6:50 am

    The Queens from the North once again run the OIA YESSAH!


  2. Kalilimoku Hunt January 30, 2020 9:54 am

    Great job Lady Raiders, we are all so proud of you. Keep up the good work and take the State tournament as well. Hard work pays off and you can do it all this year.


  3. kaneoheboy January 30, 2020 1:42 pm

    the accompanying picture shows the girls wearing a “back to back 2020 Champs” t shirt, guess someone must have gotten them printed before the game. Pretty confident bunch counting their chickens before they hatch! If they had lost, the t-shirts would have definitely have become novelty/trivia item. Like their confidence. great win! shoot for state champions!


  4. Benjie Medlock January 30, 2020 6:48 pm

    🙌🏾💪🏽👏🏽 Great job girls!!! Love reading the news after your games. Cheering from Arizona.


  5. really January 31, 2020 8:38 pm

    Naeata makes this team go. She controls pace. She sets up the offense. She gets open looks for her teammates. Her court vision is amazing.

    Some games others will score more or rebound more. But without her, they barely make the OIA Playoffs in my opinion.


  6. really January 31, 2020 8:39 pm

    @kaneoheboy

    Moanalua wasn’t beating them. Printing shirts was a safe bet.


  7. 1SLAND3RZ February 2, 2020 6:18 pm

    @Really it has become obvious that the two times Naeata didnt get the player of the game you try to make comments like that, be proud that your daughter or niece (your comments show you are family or an outside coach possibly) has teammates who pick up her slack. She is not in the best shape for her position, luckily for her she has teammates who are. Without her teammates, Naeata would not have been on a team who won 2 OIA Championships. Your opinion is very bias and funny. If Naeata play ILH , she will be sitting on the bench. Anywhere else, she will be sitting on the bench. Stop with these stupid “Without Naeata, Kahuku is nothing” comments. People who understand the game, know that ONE cannot win alone. Also, I think their team has improved so much. Especially the ones who arent year around players like they mentioned on TV. There are only 2 year around players, and if you want to keep putting Naeata way above the rest- take a closer look. Her skill level isnt far above the rest for someone who plays year around basketball. Any coach would love to have players like these girls, who are willing to play together and work together. I know from experience that once parents start making their children think they have to score all the points for glory, players become selfish and it ruins it for the team. Embrace the team basketball that is being played and enjoy the moment!

    @kaneoheboy you are right about those shirts! But those girls deserved it! Proud outsider rooting for these girls! I love the progress and I hope they dont stop


  8. 1SLAND3RZ February 2, 2020 6:32 pm

    @Everyone who reads these comments, I apologize for my long comments. I am a retired coach and I love this game and I love when players and team get better. I love watching great team basketball as well. What I dont like is when parents overrate and over hype their own children by criticizing or discrediting other players. We can all have our favorite players and favorite teams, and of course if we only look at all the good things and highlight every player would be great. Allow these players to get better and be better athletes through hard work not just by counting their points and good things and ignoring all the turnovers and misses, etc. I hope my comments dont give a negative response to any of these young players game. I love watching great basketball and when a team is able to include every player and every player plays their role, the game is much more beautiful!


  9. HawnMB February 13, 2020 8:32 pm

    Leah is the best player on that team. And she would not sit on the bench in the ILH.


  10. really February 27, 2020 9:54 pm

    @ 1SLAND3RZ,

    You really don’t understand basketball. Naeata makes this team go. You ask any coach around the state and they will tell you the same. As for starting on an ILH Team? You do realize she starts on her 808 Basketball Team the features several prominent ILH players right?

    You also realize that she started several games for Team Aloha last year at the Elite is Earned Tournament that had about 6-7 of the top ILH players on the team right?

    Do you do any research or just ramble off at the mouth?

    When Naeata didn’t play against Maryknoll they lost by 28. They couldn’t even bring the ball up. Funny thing is, she plays 1.5 month later and they upset Maryknoll in states. Why is that? Oh yeah, the flu bug right?

    Maybe Kahuku loses if Maryknoll is 100% healthy. But losing by 28 and then winning by 16 is a 44 point swing with only 1 player coming back. That’s more than coincidence.

    We thank you for buying the kids their uniforms. But, please stop being ridiculous. 99% of the girls can’t even dribble with their left hands.

    And let me guess, her 30+ outburst last year in the OIA’s was luck right?


  11. really March 1, 2020 8:07 pm

    Here are some quotes from 2 coaches:

    Pua Straight: “Leah is big and strong. She is smart, unselfish, and has a great ability to create plays for her teammates.”

    Chico Furtado: “Clearly the leader of that Kahuku team. Unselfish to a fault sometimes, always looking to involve her teammates. Big strong guard that is hard to defend.”


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