Kahuku's Akinaa beast in East
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Coming off a state runner-up season but carrying a bigger individual burden, Kahuku senior Nehoa Akina delivered in a big way.
Akina, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 17.2 points per game in the regular season and 20 ppg in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association playoffs to help the Red Raiders return to the league championship game.
For his efforts, he was named OIA Red Conference Eastern Division Player of the Year after a vote of league coaches.
Akina, one of the state's best pure shooters, not only had to score more this season but also take on much of the ball-handling duties with the graduation of last year's All-State point guard, Jray Galea'i.
Akina is joined on the OIA Red East all-star first team by senior teammate Shairone Thompson, Kalāheo senior wing Aaron Fernandez, Moanalua senior forward Marcus Monroe and Kaimukī senior guard Gabriel Stietzel.
Thompson, a 6-4 post, developed into a strong inside presence as the season went along. Fernandez, a 6-3 guard/forward, carried much of the scoring load for a young and inexperienced Mustangs team that managed to go 8-4 and take third place in the East.
Monroe, a 6-4 leaper, was perhaps the division's most exciting player — able to hit 3-pointers or slam down thunderous fast-break/alley-oop dunks. Stietzel, a 5-8 shooting guard, was a veteran leader on a rebuilding Bulldogs team.
Moanalua's Greg Tacon was named Coach of the Year after guiding Nā Menehune to the East title.
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