In a wide open OIA girls basketball race, Roosevelt has the motor to outrun, maybe, every foe.
Coach Joe Cho’s squad used a stifling fullcourt press to overwhelm Farrington on Wednesday night, 44-22, at the Rough Riders’ gym. It was still close, 15-8, at the half, before Roosevelt used the press for a 20-3 third-quarter run.
The on-ball pressure was constant, setting up a string of steals by freshman Makalah Richardson (14 points) on long passes by the Lady Governors. Roosevelt is now 4-0 and leading the OIA East standings. Farrington dropped to 3-1.
After the game, it wasn’t the win or perfect record — Roosevelt is 7-0 overall — that was a topic of discussion. It was the new restrictions, which include no spectators and mandatory mask wearing for players.
“It’s really hot. It’s hard to play with the mask on,” senior guard Makayla Furuto said.
Cho’s squad isn’t tall. Richardson is the tallest at 5 feet, 9 inches, and the starting five is athletic.
“Coach wants us to hustle on the court and play our best,” senior guard Kamryn Layug-Delovio said.
Roosevelt never let up with the on-ball pressure against the strong Governors.
“We did well running the court and pressuring the ball. We work on it a lot,” Furuto added. “It’s a little tiring, but we always try and push ourselves.”
The halfcourt offense against Farrington’s zone is a work in progress.
“We’re not looking for our runner,” senior guard Melody Furuto noted.
Senior Ka‘ili Heen is a co-captain along with Layug-Delovio, Melody Furuto and Makayla Furuto. There are some areas that need improvement, Heen said.
“Communication on the court. Here and there, not all the time. I feel like some people get more focused too much on basketball instead of talking to their teammates,” she said.
Richardson scored 10 of her 14 points in the runaway third quarter. At 4-0, the Rough Riders on a positive trend toward, maybe, an OIA Division I championship.
“I say we can. We just have to work on a couple things like communication and teamwork,” Richardson said. “And when we’re going crazy, to relax a little.”