Lunas, Farmers open state title bids
By Fred Guzman
After totally dominating their league opponents this basketball season, two highly-regarded MIL teams open title bids in their respective state girls’ tournaments Wednesday on Oahu.
Defending champion Molokai is seeded No. 1 in Division-II while Lahainaluna is seeded No. 2 in Division I. Both drew byes into the quarterfinals.
Lahainhaluna faces Roosevelt in a 5 p.m. game at Radford High. The Rough Riders advanced with a 62-49 win over Mililani.
Molokai meets Kaiser in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal game at Kalani High. Kaiser opened with a 54-38 win over Hawaii Baptist.
Both of the MIL’s other qualifiers suffered opening round losses.
In a D-I game, Kapolei pulled out a 37-35 win over Baldwin. Malia Chang led the Bears with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Baldwin made just 3 of 19 shots from the field in the first half – but managed to keep things close at intermission, trailing 16-13, by making seven of 10 free throws, and actually led in the third quarter.
The loss dropped Baldwin into the consolation bracket, with the Bears facing Pearl City, which lost its opener 51-46 to Iolani.
Despite 28 points – including four 3-pointers — by Sierra Jacobs, Seabury had no answer for HPA’s Tayler Wang in the D-II tourney. Wang scored 36 in leading Ka Makani to a 55-41 win over the Spartans. Seabury next faces University High.
BOY’S HOOPS: The MIL boys will stage their league tournaments starting Wednesday at War Memorial Gym with a pair of play-in games. Hana meets St. Anthony in a D-II showdown at 5:30, followed by Maui High versus King Kekaulike in a D-I game at 7 o’clock. Semifinals are set for Thursday, with the finals on Friday. The state tournaments for boys are scheduled for March 3-6 on Oahu.
VOLLEYBALL: Hawaiian Style’s 18-and-under girls volleyball team captured the silver division title in the Las Vegas Classic yesterday, winning all three of its matches on the final day of the competition.
SOCCER: Two teams from Maui captured championships in the President’s Day Cup youth soccer tournament held over the holiday weekend at the Waipio Complex on Oahu.
The Maui United 99 Red boys took top honors with a 1-0 victory over Rush Nike in the championship game, and didn’t allow a goal in six matches. Maui United defeated the Kula Thunder 2-0 in the semifinals.
The Excel 99 team won the under-9 crown, defeating Abunai 4-3 in the title game.
The Maui United under-10 girls also reached the semis, suffering a 2-0 loss to the Crew.
UH HOOPS: The University of Hawaii men and women continued to struggle over the weekend.
The Rainbows suffered their seventh straight setback with an 88-64 loss at New Mexico State despite a 25-point, 11-rebound performance by Roderick Flemings. UH dropped to 9-16 overall and 2-10 in the WAC.
The Rainbow Wahine also lost, falling 76-56 to Nevada. Keisha Kanekoa had 14 points for UH, but couldn’t prevent her team from suffering its sixth loss in seven games and falling to 0-6 in conference road games. Hawaii is now 9-16 overall and 3-9 in the WAC.
LOCAL BOYS: Former Baldwin High backcourt mates Cody Tesoro and Matt Heyd are enjoying success in their final seasons of college basketball.
Tesoro is averaging a team-high 17.8 points and also leads Linfield in assists, steals and 3-pointers.
He scored 20 in Linfield’s 74-70 weekend win over George Fox as Wildcats maintained sole possession of second place in the D-III Northwest Conference.
Tesoro erupted for a career-high 36 – including eight 3-pointers — in a recent 105-93 loss to NWC leader Willamette.
Following a slow start, Linfield has evened its overall record at 11-11 and is 9-5 in conference play.
Matt Heyd is averaging 10.5 points for La Verne, including 22 in a recent loss to Cal Lutheran. The Leopards are 7-15 this season, including 3-8 in the D-III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.