POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2011
Every year, for the past decade, Mike Taylor has one simple expectation of his Punahou girls basketball team: work harder than anybody else.
That work ethic parlayed into another Interscholastic League of Honolulu title over the weekend, the eighth in Taylor's long run as head coach.
"They all get along and support one another through times of good and times of adversity," Taylor said.
They did it with power inside via Hailey-Ann Maeda, but the pieces are coming together elsewhere.
Veteran guard Mysha Sataraka continues to bring explosiveness to the floor, but Julia Brand has emerged as a multiple threat on both ends and Reina Furuya is finding her long-range stroke.
"We haven't reached our potential yet, so these next eight days of competitive practices is key to our success next week," Taylor said of the break before the state tourney.
The Pearl City girls basketball team squeezed into the state tourney as the sixth and final qualifier out of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference.
The Chargers return to the big dance despite having no returning starters from last year's squad. "The girls are amazing," coach Mike Morton said.
The Leilehua athletic community is continuing on after the death of junior varsity boys basketball coach Gerald Caravallo, who died of a heart attack recently.
Caravallo, 48, was in his third season as JV coach. "Coach Gerald, or 'Coach G,' as we call him, always spent time with family," Mules varsity coach Patrick Wetzel said. "As good as he was as a coach, he was even a better person. Gerald was very personable, humble and caring. Our whole season is dedicated to him."