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Pearl City boys and girls teams each roll to another title

By Star-Advertiser staff


The incumbents from Pearl City won in a landslide.

The Chargers boys threepeated and the girls repeated in the Billy Tees/HHSAA Bowling state championship in Lihue on Friday.

The boys, who were led by Nicholas Azumi (third place), Ken Hayase-Fong (seventh) and Sheldon Naauao (13th), totaled 8,792 pins, beating runner-up Mililani (7,914) by 878.

The girls, who got top-10 finishes from Ashlyn-Rae Castro (third), Brianna Nakamura (fourth) and Alera Chock (sixth), amassed 7,761 to beat Mililani (7,264) by 497 pins.

Individual titles went to Mililani's Ronson Dagdag, who accumulated 1,933 pins in the boys competition, and Leilehua's Kacee Taniyan, who compiled 1,700. The runners-up were Island Pacific's Ian Shanks (1,928) in the boys and Kapolei's Shaianne Yockman (1,672) in the girls.

Pearl City boys coach James Hayashi was surprised by the runaway.

"Yeah, usually we don't win by that much," he said. "Tournaments are usually close."

"That's pretty awesome (to win by that much)," Pearl City girls coach Millie Gomes said.

Azumi led the way for the Chargers, rolling games of 267 and 268 on Thursday and 245 and 203 on Friday.

"I'm happy about it," Azumi said. "I was lining it up right (Thursday)."

"He actually held up the team," Naauao said. "I was very proud of him. I knew he had the potential to do it."

The 5-10, 270-pound Naauao, who gave up football to continue bowling and is happy about the decision, said he was surprised at his top-15 finish "because I didn't bowl too well. I bowled decent (Thursday). Today, I bowled all right."

Naauao, who bowls the anchor position, had games of 211, 215 and 188 on Friday.

"We prepared them very well, right after the OIAs, we prepared them by scrimmaging," said Hayashi, who stressed to his bowlers to "stay calm and relax and not to stress out."

In the end, he said, "my whole team bowled well."

Now, Hayashi can think about Pearl City becoming the first school to win four in a row.

Of the eight bowlers he used in the tournament, only two — Naauao and Shawn Nakanishi — are seniors.

"I'm very satisfied because this is our third triple crown (OIA West, OIA, state titles) in a row. If we win next year, it'll be a grand slam," Hayashi said.

Hayashi also won the sibling rivalry, beating his brother Greg, who is the coach of the Hawaii Baptist boys team that finished in third place.

When asked how he felt, younger brother James said "Not good. I wanted them to come in second. I'm just happy I beat them."

The Chargers' girls also will be in position for another title run, with only two of the six bowlers who competed being seniors.

"Next year, hopefully, we can replace our seniors with just as good bowlers," Gomes said.

But that's next year.

"We're just savoring and celebrating the moment on Kauai today," she added.

Gomes said this year's team, which included Kristin Frost (12th) and Chelsi Morishige (19th), is "very mature, very disciplined" despite their youth.

"They get emotional and they know how to pick each other up. They're a very close team."

Castro, who totaled 1,634, surprised herself with her performance.

"Last year I didn't place, so I wasn't expecting to place this year either," said the sophomore Castro, who had games of 224 on Thursday and 219 Friday. "I'm really happy about it. Very excited."

The senior Nakamura, who placed 13th last year, described her fourth-place finish as "the best feeling. We're much closer (than last year) and get along and that's what makes us a team."

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