Big seventh inning powers Kalani over host Moanalua, 10-6, in final regular season game

Big seventh inning powers Kalani over host Moanalua, 10-6, in final regular season game

Big seventh inning powers Kalani over host Moanalua, 10-6

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 13, 2024

HONOLULU — It’s not over till it’s over.

Visiting Kalani exploded for seven runs in the top of the seventh to stun Moanalua on senior day, 10-6, in the final OIA Division-I East softball game of the regular season.

“They never (gave) up to the very end,” said Kalani coach Iris Stremick. “Keep fighting, keep battling, even though energy is up against them.”

The victory helped the Falcons improve to 10-2 as they secured a first round bye in the 12-team league playoffs. They are assured of at least the East’s No. 2 seed and can finish as high as No. 1 with a Kaiser (9-2) loss to Castle (6-5) next Tuesday.

Naomi Stremick (3-1) earned the win in the circle for Kalani pitching three innings in relief of starter Kadie Carpio. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and had the go-ahead two RBI single in the top of the seventh to give the Falcons a 7-5 lead.

Ashlyn Sera also drove in two runs, including a solo home run to cut the lead to 5-4 in the seventh while Haley Ching scored three times with a home run of her own to round out the top batters for Kalani.

Malia Taga and Taryn Kimura each notched two hits to lead Na Menehune (9-3) in the loss.

Kalani rallies to earn gritty OIA East boys volleyball win over Roosevelt in five sets

Kalani rallies to earn gritty OIA East boys volleyball win over Roosevelt in five sets

Kalani rallies to earn OIA East boys volleyball win over Roosevelt in five sets

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 10, 2024

HONOLULU — The Kalani boys volleyball team has a knack for going the distance.

The Falcons rallied past visiting Roosevelt in five sets Tuesday night in an OIA East match at Earl C. Homer Gymnasium. Set scores were 25-21, 22-25, 14-25, 27-26 and 15-13.

It was Kalani’s fourth match this year that went five sets as the Falcons improved to 6-3 and moved into fourth place in the league standings with two contests left in the regular season.

“I think we did really great,” said middle blocker Camren Cheung. “I really like that we kept up the energy and the defense was really good. They were a tough opponent but I’m really excited for the next two games that we have.”

The Falcons also had to deal with the loss to starting middle Kevin Wu to injury during pregame warmups. Before the match they huddled around him on the athletic trainer’s table and rolled off six straight points to start the contest.

“It was really tough because he was one of our starting middles too, but definitely our bench played that bigger role and they came out and helped us too,” Cheung said.

Roosevelt (7-2) were loaded at the pins with hitters Ford Lyons, Trace Nakaahiki, Jonathan Yadao and a trio of middles in Nathanael Vo, Kenneth Her and Yu-Tang Hsu, but the Falcons had more depth pieces that played a difference down the stretch.

Outside hitter Eric Chan and opposite Grayson Barnhill held it down in the early stages of the match while Cheung was a big boost off the bench for Kalani in the final two sets. Kazuma Ishikawa also redeemed himself in the later stages of the match after a handful of errors early on and sophomore outside hitter Corey Tin came on strong when he entered the match in the fourth set.

The Falcons also used two setters with Kyler Shigemi getting the controls in the back row before getting spelled by the taller Hayato Sawada when the rotation moved into the front row. Libero Sky Voong was also key in keeping rallies alive and defensive specialist Kyle Nagano came up big with a diving dig that staved off match point in the fourth set to keep Kalani alive.

“It’s a six-man game, it’s never a one-man game,” said Cheung. “I think we fought really strong together.”

Kalani will finish the regular season with a road game at Moanalua on Thursday and a home game against Kailua next Tuesday while the Rough Riders will travel to Kaimuki and Moanalua to close out league play.

‘Aiea picks up key OIA D2 softball win with 15-4 mercy-rule victory over Kailua

‘Aiea picks up key OIA D2 softball win with 15-4 mercy-rule victory over Kailua

‘Aiea picks up key OIA D2 softball win with 15-4 mercy-rule victory over Kailua

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 5, 2024

‘AIEA — After Thursday’s games, one team stands alone atop the OIA Division II softball standings.

Host ‘Aiea moved into first place of the conference with just one week left in the regular season with a key 15-4 mercy-rule win over Kailua at ‘Aiea Annex Field Thursday afternoon.

Na Alii earned their eighth straight win to improve to 10-1 and have control of their own destiny after sweeping the Surfriders (9-2) and splitting the regular season matchups against Radford (9-2).

The home team jumped ahead early in the bottom of the first when starting pitcher Cayleigh Naito hit a three-run homer to put ‘Aiea up, 3-0.

Na Alii then followed that up with a five-run rally in the bottom of the second to go up eight runs.

Mahealani Alayon drove in three runs in the top of the third to get Kailua back into it before ‘Aiea brought home seven more runs in the bottom of the frame.

Alayon, who also pitched 1 and 2/3 innings in relief of starter Kailee Kalama, drove in one more run in the top of the fifth for the final score of the game.

Naito finished with five total RBIs for Na Alii while batting 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

Other ‘Aiea players with multiple hits include Sophia Kaneshiro, Alina Faufata, CJ Peneueta and Taja Souza.

Kaimuki roars back from huge halftime deficit, takes down ‘Aiea for OIA Division II Boys’ crown

Kaimuki roars back from huge halftime deficit, takes down ‘Aiea for OIA Division II Boys’ crown

Kaimuki Bulldogs rally from double-digit halftime deficit to win second OIA D2 title in three years. | Photo Credit: Paul Brecht, HSRN

Kaimuki roars back from huge halftime deficit, takes down Aiea for OIA Division II Boys’ crown

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED FEB 14, 2024

HONOLULU — The Kaimuki Bulldogs flipped the second-half script Wednesday night at McKinley High School, taking down the ‘Aiea Na Ali’i by rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit in the OIA Division II Boys’ Basketball championship for the program’s second OIA title in three seasons, 63-58. 

It wasn’t a pretty start for the Bulldogs as ‘Aiea shot 50% from the field in the first quarter to jump out to an 18-11 lead through eight minutes as Kaimuki struggled to find a consistent offense. Things worsened in the second quarter for the top team in the OIA’s D2 East division, watching ‘Aiea continue to light it up from the floor behind the two-headed offensive monster of Taylor Moku and Stefan Ognjanovic as Na Ali’i rattled off nine makes over 16 shots in the second frame to enter the locker room up big, 38-20. 

Despite being held scoreless through one half as his team struggled offensively, Kaimuki’s Jeremiah White remained calm and ready to help his team slowly chip away with 16 more minutes to play. 

“We just kept pushing, kept pursuing because we knew this wasn’t over,” White said of the Bulldogs’ unwavering confidence despite the deficit. “We’ve been down like this before, so we knew what to do. With the shot clock, it gives [us] more opportunities and more possessions as a team … We just leaned on each other as brothers and just kept fighting.” 

That confidence shined brightly to open the second half as the Bulldogs showed off their bite, outscoring ‘Aiea by 11 in the third quarter to reignite the Kaimuki faithful in attendance as Daysen Lupica poured in eight points in the frame to bring the game within single digits heading into the fourth, 46-39. 

That’s when White decided to take the game by the horns. 

The senior guard poured in 10 of his 15 points over the final eight minutes of regulation, going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe while all the guards for the Bulldogs fed forward Harmon Sio down low as Kaimuki completed the improbable comeback to down ‘Aiea in regulation, 63-58.  

“[Jeremiah] is a special guy, they don’t make [players like him] that often so I’m just happy he’s on our team,” Bulldogs’ head coach Greydon Espinosa said of his senior leader postgame.  

Kaimuki outscored ‘Aiea by 23 points after halftime, using Sio’s 19 points off the bench and White’s heroic fourth quarter performance to snag the Bulldogs’ second OIA Division II title in three years. Lupica poured in 19 points while handing out five assists for Kaimuki, who now enters the state tournament on a three-game win streak. 

‘Aiea was led by Shealand Kazama, who posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Junior guard Taylor Meki closed the night with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals while Santi Sarbeland collected 15 rebounds (six offensive rebounds) in the loss for Na Ali’i. 

Kahuku edges Campbell, 33-31, to win 10th OIA league title

Kahuku edges Campbell, 33-31, to win 10th OIA league title

Kahuku edges Campbell, 33-31, to win 10th OIA league title

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED FEB 1, 2024

PEARL CITY — There is a new champ atop the OIA girls basketball mountain.

Kahuku dethroned Campbell, 33-31, Wednesday night before a capacity crowd in the league’s Division I title game at Pearl City’s gymnasium.

The Red Raiders captured their 10th OIA crown in the process, their first since 2020.

“I’m proud of them, they worked hard” said Kahuku coach Artevia Wily-Ava. “They stayed focused, the energy from our bench carried over. Pretty excited that they got this.”

Junior guard Posia Wily led all scorers and earned ‘Yeah U Player of the Game’ honors with nine points, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

“She’s the one, she’s the leader that has to get all the girls refocused,” said Wily-Ava, the older sister of Wily. 

“She’s probably one of our strongest mentally, probably physically as well. She’s not that big, not that tall, but she’s the one that gets everybody refocused. She’ll push the pace and we can always depend on her when she pulls it out to start things over again.”

Wily said defense has been the main focus for the Red Raiders, who held the Sabers to just 23.9 percent shooting from the field (11-for-46). Kahuku also tallied 16 steals and four blocks in the matchup.

“I think especially during these last practices and towards the end of the season we worked on our defense a lot,” said Wily. “Our coaches were telling us to do the small things, the little things, get rebounds, box out, keep your hands up. We just needed to execute those things and it worked out for us.”

Tuisila Wily-Ava was also key with eight points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

Leading Campbell in the loss with eight points apiece were Jaynalyn Sotelo and Taysia Molina-Schulte.

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL LASQUERO