Lafortune wins fourth OIA title
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAHIAWĀ — In his final year, Moanalua's Brady Lafortune wants to win it all, for himself and his team.
He's determined to accomplish it all, even with a torn ligament in his left ankle.
"I started feeling it in my second match," Lafortune said of a preliminary-round match at yesterday's O'ahu Interscholastic Association judo championships at Leilehua. "It's my senior year so I have to push."
Late in the afternoon, Lafortune defeated Kapolei's Tyler Kono to win the 132-pound weight class for his fourth straight league title. Lafortune won at 108 as a freshman, 114 as a sophomore and 121 as a junior.
"I had to use different throws, more of smaller throws and not big throws because putting too much pressure on it would aggravate it," Lafortune said.
Now he has a shot at a fourth straight state title, but before that is Friday's OIA team championships that feature the top four teams from the OIA West and East.
"Win states as an individual and team," Lafortune said of his goals for the season. "So far, we've never won as a team, only second place. It's my last year, I want to win everything, individual and as a team."
Nā Menehune placed five boys in the finals yesterday with three winning. Kelson Onigama won at 98 and Jacob Palimo'o won at 114.
Palimo'o defeated a familiar opponent in Roosevelt's Cody Fernandez in the final. Palimo'o competed at Roosevelt last year with Fernandez, and their matches have always been even since their youth days. Fernandez defeated Palimo'o in the regular season to help the Rough Riders win the East title.
"It's kind of weird because we're close friends," Palimo'o said.
The McKinley girls team made a strong statement going into the OIA team championships with three winning individual titles. Marina Higa won at 98, Marilyn Medallon won at 129 and Brittany Balanay won her second straight title at 109.
"Our team is pretty good, so far," Balanay said. "Everybody has been doing pretty good."
Balanay defeated Kapolei's Diane Mikuni in their final.
"I still have a lot to work on still," Balanay said of her season. "I think it's been going OK so far."
Kalani's Megan Yamaguchi won her third straight title after beating Roosevelt's Marisa Fukunaga at 115. Her judo season has been brief after recently returning from the Girls Folkstyle National Wrestling Championships. Sister, Morgan, also competed there.
Yesterday, Morgan won at 139.
"It's a relief. Finally we win together," said Megan, who won at 122 as a sophomore and junior.
Farrington's Logan Bucsit won at 121 after winning 114 last year and 108 two years ago. Teammate Keith Chargulaf-Tuilepa repeated at 275.
Myer Alakoa won for the second straight year at 198. He competes for Kalani and attends the Hawai'i School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Other boys champions were Roosevelt's Brad Pena (145), McKinley's Damon Hom Jr. (161), and Kahuku's Punahele Soriano (178) and Jheryl Makaiau (220).
Pearl City's Mei Ling Keiki won her third straight 172 title.
Other girls champions were Campbell's Jamie Kakugawa (103), Moanalua's Liko Fukumoto (122), Kahuku's Amber Ah Sue (154) and Castle's Patrice Yamane (220).
PUNAHOU GIRLS, PAC-FIVE BOYS CAPTURE ILH TITLES
Punahou won six weight classes en route to taking the girls team title at yesterday's Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships.
The host Buffanblu finished with 129 points in the team standings. The standings combine points from the regular season and yesterday's individual championships.
Punahou's winners were Erin Uehara (98), Nicole Taniguchi (109), Chrissy Chow (129), Mindy Chow (139), Kaimana Lundquist (154) and Tiara Kaye (172).
Pac-Five, which finished second, had winners in Kimmi Lum (103) and Angela Kim (220), both of whom attend University High.
Kamehameha had two champions in Bree Rapoza (115) and Tiare Mashima (122).
Pac-Five finished with 145 points in the boys team standings and had three individual champions and four runners-up.
Winning yesterday for Pac-Five were Brendan Chang (108), David Terao (121) and Sean Tachibana (132).
Kamehameha had four winners in Jacob Luning-Hoshino (145), Kainalu Matthews (161), Dane Paihi Pestano (220) and Kaulana Buchanan (275)
Punahou's Jordan Ng won at 114 and teammate Tyler Mizota won at 198. 'Iolani's Garret Chan won the 178 title.