Yamashita carried banged-up 'Iolani
After hobbling its way to a runner-up finish in the Interscholastic League of Ho-nolulu and state tournament berth, 'Iolani walked away with top postseason honors in a recent vote of ILH Division I girls basketball coaches.
Senior Lori Yamashita was named Player of the Year and Eddie Maruyama was named Coach of the Year for their roles in leading the Raiders through an injury-filled 11-3 league season.
Yamashita, a 5-foot-4 point guard, was a steadying factor on both sides of the court. She set the tempo and quarterbacked the offense with sure ball-handling, and also led the way on the other end with tight defense in the backcourt.
Yamashita's leadership was especially important after fellow guards Kylie Maeda and Lahela Usui suffered leg injuries. Yamashita herself fought off cramps to finish with 15 and 12 points in two key regular-season victories over Mid-Pacific.
And in the season's pivotal game — a winner-take-all playoff for the state berth — Yamashita scored 16 points to help the Raiders hold off MPI, 60-55.
Yamashita is joined on the ILH DI all-star first team by 'Iolani junior Usui, Punahou junior posts Jennifer Ching and Hailey Maeda and sophomore guard/forward Mysha Sataraka, and Mid-Pacific senior posts Keaton McFadden and Jenna Savusa.
Ching, Maeda and Sataraka helped the Buffanblu win their third straight league championship and eighth in the past nine years.
McFadden and Savusa helped the Owls finish 8-6 in the ILH and come within a whisker of a rare state tournament berth.
Maruyama, the Raiders' co-athletic director and former longtime boys coach at Moanalua, returned to the sidelines after a 12-year hiatus.