Top Performers
Hookano, Lauti helped Castle, Damien rebound




Female Athlete of the Week: Tiari Hookano, Castle girls volleyball
Castle girls volleyball coach Grant Tolentino calls her the "energizer bunny."

In addition to being team captain, outside hitter Tiari Hookano is also the president of the student government and the senior class.

Outside of her extra-curricular activities, Tolentino added that Hookano is just a few points shy of having a 4.0 GPA.

She is also turning it up on the court lately, registering double-digit kills in wins over Kalani and Kailua last week.

But it's not her individual accolades that make her an irreplaceable part of the Knights' girls volleyball team - it's her ability as a leader and an effective communicator that deserves recognition.

No matter the score or the situation, Hookano is always motivating her teammates.

"She's constantly going and going and always talking. She'll just keep talking until she loses her voice," Tolentino said. "She's constantly clapping her hands and she's able to recognize when someone is down. There's a high level of play when she's on the court."

Tolentino also said that Hookano is the perfect mediator between the locker room and the coaching staff.

Sometime before the Knights' win over the Falcons on Sept. 24, Hookano voiced some of the team's concerns with the coaches, which led to an important midseason meeting that saw the program reevaluate some of the goals that was set before the season started.

Prior to this meeting, Castle had an up-and-down first half to the season.

The Knights suffered back-to-back losses to Kahuku and Farrington early in the season before earning a win over defending OIA Division I champ Moanalua, but they couldn't sustain their success and dropped a three-set contest to Kalaheo on Sept. 17.

That's when Hookano decided to take charge.

"What Tiari did was she recognized what the issue was as a team - because they're doing locker room talks - and that it could possibly hurt the team moving forward so she addressed that with us and said 'can we have some open dialogue with the team,'" Tolentino said.

"That's why we created an open-door policy. If you got got something on, come and tell us. We had to encourage the girls and we had a meeting where we got everything out on the table."

Since then the Knights (7-3) have been on a winning streak, winning their past four matches in straight sets.

"Tiari, she spearheaded that," Tolentino said. "She came and dialogued with me and the coaches. 'Hey, let's take action.' We took action and you can see the progression and the results of that."

Of course her play on the court has factored in as well. Hookano, a four-year varsity player, had some of her best hitting performances of the season with 10 kills in a 25-16, 26-24 win over Kalani and 12 kills and two aces in a 25-14, 25-21 win over Kailua.

Tolentino said that Hookano improved her hitting power from a season ago, but noted that it was a finesse effort that helped her pile up the stats against the Falcons and Surfriders.

He recalled his pregame talk with Hookano before the Kalani match.

"You weren't as powerful as a hitter last year, but you had all these different shots," Tolentino told Hookano. "This year I haven't seen you used all those shots yet so tonight what I want you to do is to switch it up. If you get the perfect set, everyone is going to expect you to hit the ball, but no one expects you to tip the ball. That's what she did, she listened and she had five to six kills on tips alone."

Hookano and the Knights will wrap up regular season play when they travel to McKinley Wednesday night.


Male Athlete of the Week: Logan Lauti, Damien football

Run and catch.

The Damien Monarchs got themselves a running back that can do both.

Junior Logan Lauti ran for a career-high 115 yards and a touchdown and added five receptions for 120 yards and another score to help visiting Damien snap a two-game losing streak with a 16-7 win over Kailua at Alex Kane Stadium last Friday night.

The victory helped the Monarchs (4-3 overall, 4-2 ILH Division I) stay within a game behind Iolani (6-2, 5-1) in the league standings with two games left in the regular season.

Lauti's career performance on the ground was a result of an increased workload in the backfield.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound RB had a total of 25 carries in six games before facing the Surfriders. He nearly matched that amount with 20 attempts in the win over Kailua.

"When one of your players gets hot, you keep feeding him the ball," said Damien coach Eddie Klaneski. "He is one of those players who wants the ball in his hands on every play. He made some great plays in both phases. He is very explosive when he runs the ball."

Klaneski described Lauti's running style as someone who "runs the ball with a mean intention.

"He hits the holes hard and reads his blocks well. He can run over you, around you or by you. He has power, quickness and speed. That's what you get when you do extra work everyday after practice. We actually have a group of guys who pull sled a lot and he is the leader of that."

Lauti also made his presence felt in the aerial game against the Surfriders, accounting for 120 of quarterback Duke Hoohuli's 186 passing yards. He also hauled in a 5-yard TD pass on the final play of the first half to give Damien a 7-0 lead at the break.

"It was part of the game plan to have him play some running back, but we didn't anticipate him having such a strong game in both the receiving and rushing game, but we definitely know he is capable of doing that," Klaneski said.

"Being a dual-threat player and understanding every position on offense makes him dangerous. He can play anywhere. We try to get him the ball anyway we can and we were happy with the way he performed on Friday."

Kailua scored the first TD of the second half, but Damien added a safety just before the end of the third quarter to retake the lead. Lauti then added an insurance score on a 6-yard run in the final period of play to help the Monarchs hold on for the win.

"The win was big for us in many ways. It stopped our two-game losing skid and gave us a little confidence back," Klaneski said. "We still have a lot of work to do to reach our potential. We haven't even scratched the surface yet."

Lauti and the Monarchs travel to Hugh Yoshida Stadium on Saturday to face the Leilehua Mules.


FOOTBALL

Vitale Afoa, Leilehua — Returned a fumble and an interception for a score in a win over Waipahu

Bubbah Aina-Chaves, Saint Francis — Racked up 219 yards from scrimmage and scored three times in a win over Kalaheo

Nathaniel Balangitao, Kalani — Rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown in a win over Waialua

Migguel Camacho, McKinley — Ran for 113 yards in a loss to Roosevelt

Jesse Canda, Konawaena — Caught eight passes for 120 yards and two scores in a win over Honokaa

Babu Capanang, Aiea — Had an interception and fumble recovery on defense while adding six receptions for 112 yards in a loss to Castle

Kayson Castillo, Aiea — Threw for 257 yards and three scores in a loss to Castle

Jayden de Laura, Saint Louis — Completed 13 of 17 passes for 243 yards and two scores and ran in another in a win over Campbell

Lancen Dung, Kamehameha — Had three sacks in a loss to Punahou

Jeremy Evans, Leilehua — Caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in a win over Waipahu

Jonah Faasoa, Kaimuki — Threw for 435 yards and three scores in a win over Kaiser

Alfred Failauga, Waipahu — Ran for 114 yards and a score in a loss to Leilehua

Tamatoa Falatea, Punahou — Caught nine passes for 164 yards and two scores in a win over Kamehameha

Dillon Gabriel, Mililani — Completed 30 of 47 passes for 309 yards and two scores in a win over Kahuku

Trequan Henderson, Moanalua — Picked off two passes and scored on a 38-yard interception return in a win over Radford

Kyle Kinney, Damien — Recorded two interceptions in a win over Kailua

Marist Liufau, Punahou — Made a game-high 13 tackles in a win over Kamehameha

Kilifi Malepeai, Mililani — Scored three touchdowns on the ground in a win over Kahuku

James McGary, Leilehua — Racked up 103 yards from scrimmage and had a rushing and receiving touchdown in a win over Waipahu

Koby Moananu, Kaimuki — Caught six passes for 185 yards and a touchdown in a win over Kaiser

Max Nichols, Leilehua — Threw for 250 yards and three scores and added another on the ground in a win over Waipahu

Kaua Nishigaya, Iolani — Ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Nanakuli

Sky Ogata, Roosevelt — Accounted for 302 total yards of offense and four touchdowns in a win over McKinley

Senituli Punivai, Castle — Ran for 129 yards and three scores in a win over Aiea

Micah Quillopo-Jamile, Pearl City — Caught six passes for 107 yards and a score in a win over PAC-5

Malik Rhines, Radford — Had three sacks in a loss to Moanalua

Robbie Sauvao, Kahuku — Ran for 104 yards and a score in a loss to Mililani

Alec Serrao, Kamehameha — Rushed for 131 yards in a loss to Punahou

Aperamo Sulu, Damien — Ran for 101 yards in a win over Kailua

Samsen Tanuvasa, Farrington — Rushed for 141 yards and two scores in a loss to Waianae


GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Keonilei Akana, Kamehameha — Had a double-double of 13 kills and 14 digs in a four-set win over Iolani

Vanessa Colling, Roosevelt — Had 16 digs with four kills and three blocks in a three-set loss to Farrington

Falanika Danielson, Mililani — Put down 10 kills in a win over Pearl City

Bailey Darnell, Radford — Had 10 kills and an ace in a win over Waialua

Naya Dong, Iolani — Recorded 16 digs and five assists in a win over Maryknoll

Tayli Ikenaga, Moanalua — Put down nine kills and three aces with 11 digs in a three-set win over Farrington

Saryiah Kahakai, Farrington — Had a double-double of 12 kills and 12 digs in a three-set loss to Moanalua

Kristen McDaniel, Iolani — Dished out 32 assists with six digs in a four-set loss to Kamehameha

Elena Oglivie, Iolani — Put down 18 kills with eight digs in a win four-set loss to Kamehameha

Sasha Petticord, Iolani — Had eight kills and seven blocks in a four-set loss to Kamehameha

Izzy Sakoda, Iolani — Recorded nine kills, five blocks, three aces and seven digs in a win over Maryknoll

Manu Seei, Radford — Dished out 18 assists and had an ace in a win over Waialua

Bryanne Soares, Kamehameha — Recorded 50 assists with 12 digs in a four-set win over Iolani

Naniloa Spaar, KS-Hawaii — Had 12 kills in a win over Parker

Amber Thi Nguyen-Cheng, Roosevelt — Recorded 10 kills with seven blocks and three aces in a three-set loss to Farrington

Jerica Vele, Farrington — Dished out 27 assists with nine digs in a three-set loss to Moanalua

Grace Wee, Iolani — Had 17 digs in a four-set loss to Kamehameha



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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