Thursday, July 31, 2014         


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Big blue waves at Lopes Classic

By Paul Honda


Farrington and Punahou were the marquee names in the St. Francis/Merv Lopes Classic, but Kamehameha-Hawaii and Kailua served notice by week's end.

Kamehameha-Hawaii, with tremendous quickness at every position, was a fullcourt trapping machine and capped its week in the final with a 53-41 win over Kailua.

Coach Dominic Pacheco's Warriors, who ousted Punahou in a semifinal, brought to mind images of past Big Island champions such as Hilo, which is not really a coincidence. Assistant coach Brandon Kauhi played for Hilo in the 1990s under Larry Manliguis.

The Surfriders, meanwhile, are steadily putting all the pieces together.

With springy big men Ethan Mahaulu and Chevy Mikaele and athletic combo guards like Kila Zuttermeister, Awa Poggi, Rhys Nakakura and freshman Keanu Vela, Kailua sprung a fullcourt press on Kamehameha-Hawaii with some success.

"We came out focused against a really good team," Kailua coach Tim Harrison. "We got some steals on the press. I think they were surprised by the press. It's the same press they run, man on man."

Kailua finished with 17 turnovers.

"If we can get our turnovers down to about 12, we can hang in the East," he added.

Junior 'Bows crack Top 10

It's been quite a voyage for the University High girls basketball team, which entered the Star-Advertiser Top 10 today at No. 10.

Staying there might be tough, though. UHS' best player, Quynne Eharis, has been under the weather lately.

"She probably won't play our next game," coach Bryan Nakamura said of his team's matchup with Lutheran tonight at Manoa Valley Recreation Center.

Dealing with adversity is nothing new for the Junior 'Bows.

Last year, four players went down with ACL injuries.

This season, Eharis is dominating and UHS (12-3 overall) is unbeaten in league play at 8-0. The addition of Word of Life transfer Channelle Maldonado has been a big boost. Maldonado scored 23 points, hitting six 3-pointers, in a win over Le Jardin on Thursday.

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