November 13, 2018, 6:15pm
Female Athlete of the Week: Lily Wahinekapu, Iolani basketball
The girls prep basketball season has started off swimmingly for Iolani and Lily Wahinekapu.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore guard averaged 18 points over the weekend and helped the Raiders win all of their three games at the Matsumoto Law Group McKinley Black and Gold Classic over the weekend.
Coming off a runner-up finish in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and a fifth-place finish at states, Iolani opened up its 2018 campaign with wins over Kahuku, Lahainaluna and Kalani — a trio of state-tournament qualifiers last February.
In Thursday's 72-46 win over the Red Raiders, Wahinekapu hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with nine points, behind Taylor Wu's team-high 25 points and Kyra Tanabe's 15.
With Wu departing for a recruiting trip after the game, Wahinekapu picked up her production, pouring in 24 points in a 65-51 win over the Lunas Friday night. Wahinekapu closed out the weekend with a 21-point effort in Saturday afternoon's 68-49 victory over the Falcons.
"We're really happy with how Lily played, especially when Taylor left on her recruiting trip and wasn't with us for the second and third games of the tournament and that's where you could see Lily really step up and take on that primary scoring role," Raiders coach Dean Young said. "She did an excellent job being aggressive, inside and out, took good shots and she had the ball in her hands at the end of the game a lot."
Wahinekapu averaged 11.5 points per game as a freshman starter last year and earned honorable mention All-ILH and All-Hawaii distinction.
"You're looking at an athletic girl that is very talented with her shot, as well as her finishes with both hands," Young said. "She's got multiple moves, mid-range, at the rim, she's a good ball handler. She's a good three-point shooter, she hit some big ones but she can also attack the rim well and she's good in transition, so as a scorer she's very versatile."
Young noted that Wahinekapu was especially clutch in the second half of Friday's game, when the Raiders were able to build upon a one-point halftime lead and eventually pull away from Lahainaluna.
"She played a big role. Every time that Lahainaluna was trying to climb back into it we hit a big shot and usually it was Lily that was hitting that big shot. Of course, she's getting that shot off of the ball movement of her teammates, not so much one on one action, but off of what her teammates can get her," Young said.
While Young said he expected a bump in production from Wahinekapu this season, it will have to come without All-ILH first teamer Tori Lynn Maeda, who is expected to miss the entire season with an ACL and meniscus injury.
"We got thrown a big curveball in July when Tori Maeda went down. We're not expecting her to return. I think there's always a chance and we can hope, but we have to prepare like she's not going to be able to come back and so we've seen Lily really step up and, you know, it's easy to defer to a four-year varsity senior point guard, but with Tori not on the floor, especially later in the game or in tight situations we've really seen Lily be willing to take on that role, getting those points or shooting those free throws at the end of games," Young said.
As a result of Maeda's injury, sophomore Alexis Huntimer — who scored 18 points against Kalani Saturday — has assumed the starting point guard duties, but Wahinekapu will also share that load.
"Luckily Alexis is a cross country runner so she has a lot of stamina, but when Alexis is not in the game, then we'd like Lily to run the point," Young said.
All three games over the weekend were rematches of state tournament contests. Iolani routed both Kahuku and Kalani, but fell short against Lahainaluna by a bucket.
Young is hoping the start to the preseason bodes well for his team this winter.
"It was a big boost for us to win those three games," he said. "Knowing that there's life after Tori Maeda and the way that we're going to accomplish it is through hard work and playing as one team — that's the only way we're gonna be able to do it — so to see us playing unselfishly and moving the ball was nice to see and hopefully it's something we can build on because those are three very quality teams that we faced, (but) I expect all three to be much better come January so we need to keep working hard."
Wahinekapu and the Raiders (3-0) return to action Friday when they visit Mililani, another team coming off a state tournament appearance. Tip off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Male Athlete of the Week: Elijah Lemalu, Kaimuki football
Elijah Lemalu got it done in all three phases of the game.
The 5-foot-8 senior contributed on offense, defense, and special teams to lift Kaimuki to a 28-27 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii to open the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II Football State Championships.
"He can play every position on the field," Kaimuki coach David Tautofi said of Lemalu. "I got to see what he could do as a freshman in the offseason my first year of coaching and it gave us a good look. He's a brilliant kid and knows how to control his emotions."
Lemalu provided an early spark for Kaimuki as he came in untouched off the edge to block a punt that led to Blade Pfeiffer-Kekoa's scoop-and-score as the Bulldogs took an early, 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Tautofi described Lemalu as soft spoken and he lets his playmaking abilities speak louder than words. He has also matured as a leader.
"He wants to get the most out of it and understands both sides from where the coaches are coming from since it's his last season," Tautofi said.
KS-Hawaii tied the game at 7 then took the lead, 14-7 on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kaimi Like to Izayah Chartrand-Penera.
Jonah Stephens tied the game at 14 in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run to finish a 14-play, 60-yard drive.
The Bulldogs would score again in the period with Lemalu finding the end zone. Lemalu took the direct snap and weaved through a jungle of bodies to score on a 17-yard run, giving the Bulldogs their first lead since the first quarter.
Lemalu's biggest run of the night came in the fourth quarter where he charged up the middle and was initially stopped by Kilohana Haasenritter, but spun away for a 54-yard run all the way down the the KS-Hawaii 20-yard line. He finished the night with 97 rushing yards on 11 carries.
"We didn't put him at running back until the OIA championship game against Roosevelt since we have a lot of depth at running back. But he can hit the holes and turn on the jets. We put him in the right position to succeed and he has a lot to offer and it couldn't have been a better decision for us," Tautofi said.
Lemalu's big run helped set up Naomas Asuega-Fualaau's go-ahead touchdown run. On the ensuing PAT try, Lemalu rolled to his left and lobbed a pass to Pfeiffer-Kekoa for a 7-point lead, 28-21.
He also plays on defense and recorded five tackles against the Warriors.
"He's just a playmaker on defense," Tautofi said.
Seeing Lemalu grow from the time he was a freshman until now, Tautofi had nothing but praise.
"The younger guys on the team want to be like him and look up to him. A lot of people don't see the struggles and only the results. What he has overcome inspires others and it makes you proud and guys like him. That's what it's all about and it is fulfilling to see how much he has grown."
Aloha Akaka, Maryknoll — Scored 18 points in a win over Lahinaluna
Abigail Akamine, Lahainaluna — Scored 22 points in a loss to Maryknoll
Kalena Halunajan, Kalani — Scored 16 points in a win over Campbell and scored 26 points in a loss to Kamehameha
Alexis Huntimer, Iolani — Scored 18 points in a win over Kalani
Kamalu Kamakawiwoole, Kalani — Scored 20 points in a win over Campbell and scored 16 points in a loss to Iolani
Kailyn Kupau, Sacred Hearts — Scored 13 points with seven steals, four rebounds and an assist in a win over Waipahu
Dallas Martinez, Sacred Hearts — Scored 11 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block in a win over Waipahu, scored 15 points with nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a loss to Mililani and scored 13 points with four rebounds, six assists, six steals and a block in a win over McKinley
Haley Masaki, Kamehameha — Scored 16 points in a win over Kalani
Shelby McDaniel, Kalani — Scored 15 points in a loss to Kamehameha
Te'Hiwa Medeiros, Sacred Hearts — Scored 14 points with seven rebounds, two steals and an assist in a win over Waipahu
Susitina Namoa, Lahainluna — Scored 16 points in a loss to Iolani and scored 20 points in a win over Kamehameha
Kalina Obrey, Kamehameha — Scored 16 points in a win over Kalani
Madisyn Sagawa, Mid-Pacific — Scored 19 points in a win over Kahuku
Kyra Tanabe, Iolani — Scored 15 points in a win over Kahuku
Hadassah Lasi Tuiolemotu, Kapolei — Scored 18 points in a win over Kailua
Taylor Wu, Iolani — Scored 25 points in a win over Kahuku
Kyler Aguiar, Hilo — Caught seven passes for 61 yards with a touchdown and rushed for another scored in a win over Maui
Naomas Asuega-Fualaau, Kaimuki — Rushed 22 times for 158 yards and a touchdown in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii
Kealii Barrett, Waipahu — Made 9 1/2 tackles, including two for losses in a win over Waipahu
Zachary Camanse, Waipahu — Made five tackles, including two for losses and two sacks in a win over Iolani
Izayah Chartrand-Penera, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Caught six passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns and made six tackles with a pass break-up in a loss to Kaimuki
Alfred Failauga, Waipahu — Rushed 38 times for 162 yards and a touchdown in a win over Iolani
Atu Falekaono, Maui — Made seven tackles, including two for losses, and one sack in a loss to Hilo
Leif Fautanu, PAC-5 — Made 9 1/2 tackles, including two for losses, with one sack in a loss to Roosevelt
Kekai Kaimikaua, Roosevelt — Made 4 1/2 tackles, including two for losses, with one sack, forced a fumble and recorded a pass break-up in a win over PAC-5
Carter Kamana, Iolani — Caught nine passes for 90 yards in a loss to Waipahu
Deacon Kapea, Waipahu — Intercepted three passes and made one tackle in a win over Iolani
Kaimialoha Like, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-35 passing with one interception in a loss to Kaimuki
Viliami Makoni, Maui — Made seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in a loss to Hilo
Kyler Mento, Iolani — Made 11 tackles in a loss to Waipahu
Jonah Miyazawa, Iolani — Made eight tackles, including one tackle for loss, and one sack in a loss to Waipahu
Shayden Molina, Iolani — Made 9 1/2 tackles, including one for a loss, forced a fumble and recorded a pass break-up in a loss to Waipahu
Lanakila Pei, Iolani — Made 8 1/2 tackles, including one for a loss, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in a loss to Waipahu
Blade Pfeiffer-Kekoa, Kaimuki — Scored on a 25-yard blocked punt return in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii
Evan Ramirez, PAC-5 — Made 10 1/2 tackles, including one for a loss, in a loss to Roosevelt
Kaleo Ramos, Hilo — Rushed 25 times for 139 yards in a win over Maui
Cameron Russell, Maui — Recovered two fumbles, intercepted a pass and made two tackles in a loss to Hilo
Kamuela Santa Maria, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Made 7 1/2 tackles, including 1 1/2 for losses, and forced a fumble in a loss to Kaimuki
Cheydan Sasaki-Kalamau, Roosevelt — Made 6 1/2 tackles, including five for losses and five sacks in a win over PAC-5
Noah Sumimoto, PAC-5 — Intercepted a pass, made three tackles, including one for a loss and had one sack in a loss to Roosevelt
Mone Tongi, Maui — Rushed for a touchdown and also scored on a 57-yard fumble return in a loss to Hilo
Isaiah Villanueva, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Made seven tackles, including 1 1/2 for losses in a loss to Kaimuki