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Lanakila Baptist beating the big boys

One of the most alluring late-season chases is in Interscholastic League of Honolulu boys volleyball.

But it isn’t necessarily about nationally ranked powers in Division I. While Hawaii Baptist, the king of ILH D-II volleyball, is entrenched at the top, new challengers Lanakila Baptist and Academy of the Pacific are making noise.

Lanakila Baptist, a tiny Ewa school without a gym, has already upset D-I teams Mid-Pacific and Saint Louis.

AOP, with an infusion of first-year players from its basketball squad, hasn’t played MPI or Saint Louis yet, but has already edged Lanakila Baptist. The Dolphins (6-3) and LBA (4-2) are the top contenders for the second and final state tournament berth from ILH D-II.

Lanakilia Baptist practices on the school’s outdoor court.

"With this group of boys, they also won an intermediate championship when they were younger," athletic director Mike Schwab said. "Now they’re getting their time in the sun and their hard work is paying off."

Protacio has speed to spare

Mid-Pacific senior Justin Protacio is putting his fleet feet to work at record pace.

Protacio, a second baseman who has signed with the University of Kansas, has stolen 21 bases already this season. He’s been caught just four times. He swiped two bases against Kamehameha on Saturday before catcher Moku Kukonu threw him out on a third try.

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