By Paul Honda
Beasts of the East on the hardwood tonight with No. 8 Roosevelt (10-2, 7-0) and No. 4 Farrington (8-2, 7-0).
This matchup is attractive in several ways, but more than anything, these are simply the two best teams in the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
In what is turning out to be a slightly down year in the OIA — less size, less experience and fewer playmakers than usual so far — Roosevelt and Farrington are the two heavyweights.
Down low, Farrington has three strong posts to challenge Roosevelt’s multi-faceted Mikela Thoemmes. The 5-foot-9 senior can go left or right on the block and is a solid free-throw shooter. Question is, how much pounding can she endure from Farrington’s big, athletic posts? It’s a matter of willpower: who will stick with her game in traffic?
On the perimeter, Farrington’s Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo has no peer in terms of all-around skill and athleticism. If her knee is healthy (tendinitis), she’s a difference-maker. Roosevelt is deep in the backcourt with role players, though Nicole Ramirez has clearly stepped up with more scoring ability and remains one of the league’s top deep threats.
So it might come down to this: when Farrington double-teams Thoemmes on the low post and she looks for open teammates, the Govs — and hustling defenders like Lucky Crichton — will naturally gravitate toward gunners like Ramirez. So who does that leave open at the arc or from mid-range? That’s a question that deserves an answer tonight.
Three hours (or less) to tip-off. See you at Richard Kitamura Fieldhouse.