Moanalua’s Higa joins fray at 97 pounds

The heaviest competition in girls wrestling this year seems to be at the lightest weight class.

Oahu’s girls assembled at Nanakuli for a round robin tournament on Saturday, and the action got off to a quick start with Roosevelt’s Menjam Tamang sticking Raven Rafael and Amanda Higa of Moanalua stopping Damien’s Paige Franczyk.

Amanda Higa, Moanalua
Amanda Higa, Moanalua

They met a round later with Higa beating Tamang 6-4. Higa pinned one more girl to take first place over Tamang, who debuted at No. 8 in the girls pound-for-pound rankings, bounced back to pin her next opponent as well.

Higa finished fourth at states last year behind Tamang and wrestled at 102 pounds this year until taking fourth at the Paani Challenge behind Tamang, Punahou’s Bailey Hoshino and Ira Navarro of Lahainaluna.

Hoshino, a defending state champion, moved up to 102 pounds after losing twice to Tamang last month but it didn’t help her results. Hoshino lost to Roosevelt’s Xiaolin Mai 12-1 on Saturday to finish second there.

There are only four state placers under 102 pounds this year: Tamang, Higa, Hosino and Waianae’s Alexis Nelson.

Nelson competed at 107 pounds on Saturday and finished second after an 11-6 loss to Mikayla Abe of Pearl City.

Kamehameha’s Donavyn Futa, who won a state title as a freshman two years ago but took last year off, made her first appearance of the season at a stacked 117-pound class.

Donavyn Futa, Kamehameha
Donavyn Futa, Kamehameha

Futa finished second behind Kalani’s Czarina Pineda-Abaya but ahead of fellow former state champ Kalissa Pundyke of Campbell on Saturday.

Futa pinned Sydnee Teylor Aiwohi Vincent of Waianae in her first match while Pineda-Abaya was busy sticking Pundyke. Futa pinned Pundyke in her last match of the day but lost 6-5 to Roosevelt’s Yuting He.

If they all stay at 117, there will be four former state champs at that weight class at the end of the year, with Alexis Encinas of Lahainaluna and Pearl City’s Alexis Ford joining them.

Encinas and Roosevelt’s Macy Higa, who beat Hilinai Meyer of Kamehameha 7-1 at 112 on Saturday, presumably own 112 and 122 is ruled by Teniya Alo of Iolani.

That leaves quite a logjam.

Here are the complete results from Nanakuli:
Nanakuli RR Brackets


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