OIA Preview: Kalaheo plans to reload, not rebuild
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
|Sophomore point guard Bre Carson, who sprained her ankle Thursday, is expected to be ready for Kalaheo's season opener Friday. Carson scored 21 in a preseason game against Konawaena.
Advertiser library photo May 19, 2001
The Mustangs have won 49 OIA games in a row since 1998. But Richardson now plays for University of California-Santa Barbara.
"We lost our big girl, but we've got bigger girls. Our strength is size," coach Chico Furtado said.
The OIA season opens tonight in the Eastern Division and tomorrow in the Western Division. With the addition of Kapolei in the West, there are 11 teams in each division.
Game times have been changed. Varsity games will start at about 6:30 p.m., following 5 p.m. junior varsity preliminaries.
Kalaheo will try to prove that size matters when it opens its Eastern Division championship defense Friday at Kaimuki.
Furtado will start a front line of 5-10 returning starter Brina Fritzsche, 5-11 sophomore Latoya Wily, a transfer from Kahuku, and 5-9 senior Kalena Hatori.
Furtado says Hatori "will be a big key for us. She is all arms and she's a terror on the offensive glass. ... She will cause mismatch problems on offense and havoc on defense. She'll stop the other team's best player. She is not a top scorer but does all the other things coaches love for kids to do."
Sophomore Bre Carson returns as starting point guard. She scored 21 points in preseason against Konawaena but "needs to get better against pressure defense," Furtado said.
Freshman Shantel Marumoto is the other starting guard.
The Mustangs were 12-1 in preseason, losing to Punahou. Kalaheo had five players in double figures in a 22-point victory over Konawaena and made eight or more 3-pointers in three preseason games.
"We have eight sophomores and freshmen on our roster. We are building from the ground up," Furtado said. "If we can defend, we can be successful."
Coach Jesse Victorino of McKinley, the last team to beat Kalaheo in an OIA game (the 1997 championship game), says that even without Richardson the Mustangs are the team to beat.
"Until somebody beats Kalaheo, they are the top team," Victorino said. "You've got to knock off the champs to be the champs."
The Eastern Division is strong. Furtado, Victorino and other coaches figure seven or eight of the 11 teams are title contenders.
"Every game is up for grabs. Whoever brings their game and gets the breaks wins that night," said Mike Zane, Kalani's 10th-year coach.
Only two of the 11 Western Division teams had winning records in preseason.
OTHER TEAMS TO WATCH
6-2 preseason. Senior Cherilyn Ligot is the Governors' go-to-scorer (10 points per game average in preseason). Coach Jenic Tumaneng calls senior Xania Cadoy "a defensive pest. We're looking forward to her matchups with the league's high-scoring guards." He says point guard Jennifer Hampton has matured.
10-1 preseason; defeated Kamehameha for title of Kahuku tournament. Kahuku lost Latoya Wily to Kalaheo but got transfer Kelci Naihe, a 5-8 point guard, from Texas. She's averaging 19 ppg and, according to coach Mona Ah Hoy, is very similar to 2000 Kahuku grad April Atuaia, who started this year for the University of Hawai'i.
Karla Tailele has moved from point to No. 2 guard and Mereani Lewenilovo returns at forward. "Most of our volleyball girls are playing; we have a lot of leaping ability," Ah Hoy said. "If we can improve on our defense, we're going to go far."
10-1 preseason. Several coaches say 5-8 junior forward Dalia Solia may be the best basketball talent in the state. She scored 29 at Konawaena, 22 against Waiakea and has had point/rebound double-doubles several times. "She could play every position," coach Mona Fa'asoa said.
11-2 preseason. 5-6 senior point guard Ashley Takata closed with a flurry of 30-plus-point games to win the O'ahu scoring championship last season with a 21.5 average. She already has a couple of 27s this year.
Coach Mike Zane calls senior forward Chenty Bonifacio "the rock of our team, she keeps everyone steady." Freshman volleyball star Tamari Miyashiro plays "all over the place," Zane says, and 6-footer Jodi Ann Segawa, who has had arthroscopic surgery on both knees the last two seasons, hopes for a healthy senior year.
7-2 preseason. Junior co-captains Amy Kotani and Patti Hardimon give the Menehune a backcourt nucleus, which coach Roy Dias hopes to augment with 5-10 junior post Marleen Leautu and junior guard Christina Sierra.
10-5 preseason. No seniors start for Tigers. 6-1 junior Amber Lee averaged 19 ppg in preseason in the low post. Victorino says 5-10 Ceslie Ma'afala is one of the best rebounders in the state. Senior sub Chyloh Rodrigues can jump-start the offense with her 3-point shooting.
6-5 preseason. Although the Rams are young, with three seniors and five sophomores getting most of the playing time, they are viewed as the team to beat in the Western Division.
That might because of 5-6 senior point guard Heather Massey, who is the only OIA player so far to be offered an NCAA Division I scholarship. She'll sign with Nevada next month.
- Castle: 4-5 preseason. Senior Shantel Tilton returns and should get scoring help from Ven Agullana and Annie Garrett.
- Kailua: 7-2 preseason. Junior Loke Lastimosa is a three-year starter at point guard. 5-11 senior Connie DeCaires and senior Alberta Lui are among 10 returnees.
- Kaiser: 7-2 preseason, in which the Cougars were inconsistent, coach Lisa Mann said.
- Roosevelt: 6-4 preseason was bedeviled by minor injuries, veteran coach Bobby Keanini said. Ashlie Dutro, 5-1 senior point guard, averaged 14 points.
- 'Aiea: 2-6 preseason. The defending state champs have 10 first-year players. 5-1 senior Jasmine Dias, and junior Noe Colburn, who was hurt during preseason, are coach Fran Villarmia-Kahawai's only experienced players.
- Campbell: 2-8 preason. Junior forward Jamie Kua and senior low post Hoku Leiato are coach Nathan Macadangdang's returnees.
- Kapolei: 0-6 preseason. The Hurricanes are making their varsity debut under coach Michael Oyama with only freshmen and sophomores. They practice outdoors and will not play a home game.
- Leilehua: 2-10 preseason. Coach Elroy Dumlao says the Mules were more competitive than that record indicates. "We played Kalaheo to the wire." Senior wing Heidi Garcia leads a "very young team."
- Mililani: 2-5 preseason. The Trojans lost by only 4 points to Kaimuki and 8 to Kahuku. Senior guard Darci Watanabe averaged 13 ppg.
- Pearl City: 7-5 preseason. Junior shooting guard Christie Ayers anchors the Chargers, who have only two seniors and count on four sophomores.
- Nanakuli: 1-7 preseason. Junior wing Lehua Yap averaged 11 ppg for a young team.
- Waialua: 2-4 preseason. Junior guard Glenelle Matas has the Bulldogs' sharpest bite.
- Wai'anae: 3-4 preseason. Sophomore Tiare Holbron scored about 10 ppg.
- Waipahu: 1-8 preseason. Senior forward Sharon Amisone is the Marauders' best.