Friday, November 27, 2015         


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ILH gets down to business

By Paul Honda


The Kamehameha volleyball team won the Hawaii Invitational last week. The opportunity to face arch rival Punahou never materialized after Kahuku zapped the Buffanblu in the quarterfinal round.

"Kahuku played really well. Punahou is figuring out stuff and we are, too," Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said of the preseason tourney. "That was too bad. We're not playing Punahou until October."

The coming Interscholastic League of Honolulu season will be busier than usual. It is one week shorter, but the league will use a round-robin format in the second round rather than the usual single-elimination tourney format.

"This is the last week of back-to-back practices," Blake said, cringing just a bit. "We'll be playing matches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays."

Blake expects a lot of firepower out of Punahou, while 'Iolani and Hawaii Baptist lost a ton of All-State talent to graduation. Maryknoll and University, he added, have improved significantly. UHS has benefited from the arrival of Word of Life transfers.


Back on track

Two of the three football teams that canceled early nonconference games due to academic difficulties won over the weekend. Waipahu opened OIA White Conference action with a 28-8 win over Nanakuli, which had canceled a previous matchup with Waianae.

Kalaheo's academic burden has eased, as well. The Mustangs downed Waialua 33-13 on Friday.


Mules stand up

Leilehua's experiment with a stand-up defense -- primarily on passing downs -- had fairly good success against No. 3 Kamehameha. The Mules, who had linemen, linebackers and defensive backs standing over the line of scrimmage at different points, kept the pressure on Kamehameha's elusive quarterback, Christian Akana.

The speedster was corralled a couple of times, but Mules defensive coordinator Mark Kurisu kept the heat on. Kamehameha won 21-7 while facing the stand-up defense even on running plays, a testament to its composure as a unit.

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