OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ATHLETES
Hawai'i Sting capture 'All-Net' national title
The Hawai'i Sting won the Girls 5th grade, 11-younger division at the National Junior Basketball All-Net National Tournament in Southern California last month.
The Sting won their pool by beating the Tustin Lightning, 35-20, at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center on March 24, and Hanford, 33-10, at Hope University the following day.
In the semifinals at Hope University on March 26, the Sting beat the Trabuco Eagles, 44-32. Later in the day, they beat the Willow Glen Lightning, 36-26, at Fullerton High School to claim the championship.
"Teams up there were a lot bigger than us, so we took advantage of our quickness and pressed from the start," coach Randy Yamura said. "In the tournament everyone scored and contributed on defense so it was a team effort."
Kiki Robertson, a student at Noelani Elementary, averaged 15 points a game for the Sting, including 25 in the semifinal game.
"She stood out. She had an outstanding tournament and was our go-to scorer," Yamura said.
Turner Wong, of Punahou School, and Uilani Young, of 'Aina Haina Elementary, each averaged about eight rebounds a game, according to Yamura.
In preparation for the tournament, the Sting played in a 12-younger boys league at Palolo gym. They didn't fare well, but the competition helped the team get ready for the NJB All-Net Tournament, according to Yamura.
He added it was the first Mainland tournament for all the players, and the team also enjoyed visits to Disneyland and Universal Studios.