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Life matters Award
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveNovember 27, 2018, 8:36pm
Female Athlete of the Week: Tia Akasaki, University Lab basketball The University Lab girls basketball team got off to a good start to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II season over the weekend and Tia Akasaki was a big part of that.
The 5-foot-3 sophomore point guard scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Jr. ‘Bows to a 52-31 win over reigning league champion Saint Francis at Klum Gym Saturday afternoon.
Akasaki hit a pair of 3-pointers and also had about "six or seven" assists, by her coach's estimation.
"She was pretty efficient on Saturday," fifth-year coach Kenny Kitamura said. "It was a pretty complete game. It wasn't only the scoring — she's been starting to hit her outside shot — but it's more the passes that have impressed me from last year to this year."
As a freshman, Akasaki averaged a team-best 8.5 points per game during league play and was named an All-ILH first team all-star.
"She's our first-ever freshman captain," said Kitamura.
This season the expectations are a little different for Akasaki.
"Last year she really came in looking to score and she did score a lot, but this year the difference has been that she she's embraced that leadership role of doing more on the court, so for example, we put her a lot of times on the toughest player on the other team and expect her to match them up in the man defense and play good D without fouling and on offense, she does a lot more than she she did last year, as far as making the right passes, even if it doesn't get the assist," Kitamura said.
"She's embraced that a lot more, so that's made her a better all-around player this year and made us a better team and she has a lot to do with that," he said.
Akasaki, along with freshman guard Makena Tong, did much of their scoring before halftime Saturday. Tong finished with 12 points.
The Jr. ‘Bows doubled up on the Saints, 14-7, by the end of the first quarter and outscored them in the second stanza, 17 to 3. With a 21-point halftime lead, Kitamura was able to empty his bench for much of the final two quarters.
"Tia didn't play much in the fourth quarter, so probably could have went for more (points), but we did sit her down," Kitamura said.
Akasaki has shown the ability to handle the basketball, but that's just part of the reason she's been such an impactful player for UH Lab.
"The part that gets overlooked is her tenacity," Kitamura said. "She's so competitive. We have to pull back the reins on her sometimes because she's so competitive."
Kitamura elaborated on Akasaki's competitiveness: "It's everything: team outings … just everything. She's the only player that challenges the coaches every practice, like one-v-one or playing horse," Kitamura laughed.
To a degree, the attitude has rubbed off on her teammates, Kitamura said.
"It's not like she's a big talker, but it has a good effect because it creates this kind of energy that it even challenges the coaches in a good way, like we wanna present more, we wanna give them more to work on because of that type of energy that she brings to practices," he explained.
Akasaki tried her hand at volleyball for the first time this fall and eventually taking over as the team's starting setter.
"She's that kind of coachable. That coaches loved her there, too," Akasaki said.
With the graduation of center Ti Posiulai and a preseason knee injury to senior guard Tyra Goo Sun — whose 8.1 points per game was second only to Akasaki on the team last season — much of the onus will fall on the sophomore's shoulders.
"I think with or without Tyra there is a lot expected of Tia. I mean, she will be the engine of this team," Kitamura said. "We're expecting — and she expects of herself — even more than she's producing now. We feel like the sky is the limit for her as far as how good she can be at our school."
UH Lab is coming off an 8-9 league record (13-14 overall) and a state-tournament appearance last February. Kitamura said the win over Saint Francis was the school's first in "three years, at least."
"We haven't beaten them in a long time, so it's big for our program," Kitamura said. "I mean, obviously they're not the same team they were, but in the big picture, bigger than that is just the way our team is showing up this year. I think we have big goals this year."
Akasaki and the Jr. ‘Bows (5-3 overall) improved to 2-0 in league play with a 53-33 win over Punahou II Monday night.
Male Athlete of the Week: Korvin Feagins, Saint Louis football Korvin Feagins saved his best for last.
In his final prep football game Saturday night, the senior cornerback posted a team-high nine tackles, intercepted three passes and even forced a fumble to help top-ranked Saint Louis to its third consecutive First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division State Championship with a 38-17 win over No. 3 Mililani at Aloha Stadium.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Feagins was one of many defensive standouts for the Crusaders, who recorded nine sacks and four takeaways while holding the Trojans nearly three touchdowns short of their average of 36.6 points per game.
"He was outstanding," Saint Louis coach Cal Lee said Feagins. "We have a good (pass) rush and all that, but you need coverage on the backside and he's been steady all year long. We try to put him on (opposing team's) top receivers and he does a great job and it really showed that night."
Lee, the winningest prep coach in state history, said there was a lot to be impressed with by Feagins' play against Mililani's high-powered offense and its quarterback, Dillon Gabriel, the state's all-time leader in passing yards.
"The fact of him being able to cover his receivers — and they've got good receivers now — and to be able to make plays," Lee said. "Three interceptions, I mean, wow, plus his tackling, securing the tackles. He had a hell of a game, a hell of a game, but you gotta like the way he plays with a lot of intensity. I love it."
Feagins' first intercepted came at a pivotal time. With his team leading 7-0 and the Trojans driving, Feagins picked off a Gabriel pass at the 6-yard line and returned it 19 yards to get the ball back to the offense with 8:19 left in the first half.
A few minutes into the second half, Feagins halted another Mililani possession with an interception near midfield that he returned all the way to the Trojans' 21-yard line.
"The way he goes after the ball, he's a very instinctive player," Lee said. "He's got good speed and good athletic ability and we're sure going to miss him next year."
Saint Louis recycled the turnover into a 1-yard touchdown run by Dayton Sam five plays later to stretch their lead to 31-3.
Mililani cut it to a 21-point deficit three plays into the fourth quarter and had a chance to cut into further after a Saint Louis fumble two plays into its ensuing possession. Four plays after that, however — on a 4th-and-12 for the Trojans — Feagins came up with another pick in the red zone.
The Trojans got the ball back midway through the fourth quarter, but turned it over for a fourth time when Feagins forced a fumble by Ryan Chang after a 13-yard pass completion from Gabriel. Kaiser Cambra-Cho recovered for the Crusaders.
Lee described Feagins as "quiet, but effective."
"He shows a lot of confidence. I know when he walks on that field that he's ready. I don't have to worry too much about him," Lee said. "He does his job."
Feagins got off to a hot start to the season with three picks in the Crusaders' first three games, including pick-6s against Waianae and Kahuku. He went seven games without notching a turnover until he doubled his season total in one game Saturday.
"He's a good athlete — he's a basketball player — so he's got the tools," Lee said of the first-year starter.
"I think the offseason training that he's done really helped him. These kids, they know that they're the next guy up and they want that position and they work hard at it and you see it out there. He brings a lot of energy," Lee added.
It was the sixth title for the Crusaders in the state-championship era. They are the only school to have claimed the Open Division title since its introduction in the 2016 season.
BOYS BASKETBALLForrest Bell, Waialua — Scored 17 points in a loss to Castle
Ja'Shon Carter, Kapolei — Scored 18 points in a win over University Lab
Duke Clemens, Punahou — Scored 27 points in a win over Mililani
Jydon Hall, Damien — Scored 25 points in a win over Saint Francis and scored 18 points in a win over Radford
Jake Holtz, Damien — Scored 22 points in a win over Campbell, scored 24 points in a win over Kalaheo and scored 23 points in a win over Radford
Kukilakila Kahalekai, Nanakuli — Scored 25 points in a loss to Hawaii Baptist
Makoto Kamata, Maryknoll — Scored 17 points in a win over Kapolei
Dimonyai Lacey, Radford — Scored 19 points in a win over Kamehameha II
Isaiah Lee, Kalani — Scored 18 points in a win over University Lab
Koby Moananu, Kaimuki — Scored 18 points in a loss to Campbell
Kameron Ng, Saint Francis — Scored 36 points in a win over Kaiser and scored 42 points in a win over Leilehua
Kordel Ng, Saint Francis — Scored 20 points in a win over Kaiser and scored 22 points in a win over Leilehua
Ryan Pardini, Kalaheo — Scored 17 points in a win over Punahou II and scored 21 points in a loss to Damien
Preston Ponteras, Kamehameha — Scored 20 points in a win over Kalani
Kaimana Preza, Campbell — Scored 17 points in a win over Kaimuki
Cyrus Singelman, Kaiser — Scored 20 points in a win over Campbell and scored 26 points in a win over Roosevelt
Everett Torres-Kahapea, Kailua — Scored 22 points in a win over Pearl City
Micah Visoria, Roosevelt — Scored 18 points in a win over Punahou II and scored 19 points in a loss to Kaiser
Max Wiemken, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 22 points in a win over Nanakuli
Mitchell Williams, Campbell — Scored 18 points in a loss to Damien and scored 31 points in a win over Le Jardin
Garret Wilson, Waipahu — Scored 21 points in a win over Castle
GIRLS BASKETBALLKaelyn Espinda, Kaimuki — Scored 24 points in a loss to Punahou
Pua Fonoti, Nanakuli — Scored 16 points in a loss to Kalani
Tama Fonoti, Punahou — Scored 15 points in a win over Kaimuki
Kamalu Kamakawiwoole, Kalani — Scored 26 points in a win over Hawaii Baptist and scored 20 points in a win over Nanakuli
Serenity Moananu, Maryknoll — Scored 18 points in a win over Castle
Jalen Tanuvasa, Maryknoll — Scored 17 points in a win over Castle
FOOTBALLKyler Aguiar, Hilo — Caught eight passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Waipahu
Kayden Alameda, Hilo — Made seven tackles, including four for losses, with two sacks in a loss to Waipahu
Jai Alapai, Kapaa — Caught a 52-yard touchdown pass on offense and made 2 1/2 tackles with an interception on defense in a loss to Lahainaluna
Matthius Aleaga, Waipahu — Made 4 1/2 tackles, all of them for losses, with 3 1/2 sacks in a win over Hilo
Ryno Banasihan, Kapaa — Rushed 25 times for 197 yards in a loss to Lahainaluna
Jordan Botelho, Saint Louis — Made five tackles, including 2 1/2 for losses, with 2 1/2 sacks and scored on a 74-yard fumble return in a win over Mililani
Zachary Camanse, Waipahu — Made seven tackles, including 3 1/2 for losses, with 2 1/2 sacks in a win over Hilo
Ryan Chang, Mililani — Caught eight passes for 98 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Saint Louis
Kahanu Davis, Kapaa — Threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another in a loss to Lahainaluna
Alfred Failauga, Waipahu — Rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in a win over Hilo
Nicholas Herbig, Saint Louis — Made 5 1/2 tackles, including five for losses, with four sacks and scored on a 5-yard blocked punt return in a win over Mililani
Keilan Ibaan-McCarthy, Kapaa — Made 9 1/2 tackles in a loss to Lahainaluna
Fatu Iosefa, Mililani — Made five tackles, forced a fumble, intercepted two passes and broke up another in a loss to Saint Louis
Deacon Kapea, Waipahu — Scored on a 38-yard interception return in a win over Hilo
Raphee Khae-Chawat, Kapaa — Made 11 tackles in a loss to Lahainaluna
Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo, Kapaa — Made a state-tournament record 55-yard field goal and also converted a 45-yard field goal in loss to Lahainaluna
Abraham Montero, Waipahu — Made 4 1/2 tackles, including four for losses, with three sacks in a win over Hilo
Darius Muasau, Mililani — Made 9 1/2 tackles, including 2 1/2 for losses, with one sack in a loss to Saint Louis
Joshua Niro, Hilo — Made 5 1/2 tackles, including one for a loss, had one sack and forced two fumbles in a loss to Waipahu
Raffy Pereno, Kapaa — Made nine tackles, including one for a loss, in a loss to Lahainaluna
Asher Pilanca, Mililani — Made 7 1/2 tackles and recovered a fumble in a loss to Saint Louis
Joshua Tihada, Lahainaluna — Rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries and also caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in a win over Kapaa
Kalen White, Hilo — Made 11 tackles, including one for a loss, and intercepted a pass in a loss to Waipahu
Roman Wilson, Saint Louis — Caught seven passes for 148 yards in a win over Mililani
Kalani's Halunajan, Birdsong defeated Roosevelt head-to-head for the grand championship.
The senior center scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the first half Saturday.
The two teams will face off Saturday in a 2 p.m. contest at Klum Gymnasium.
Tourney's Most Outstanding Player played through a MCL sprain Saturday night.
Iolani avenged Monday's loss to Saint Francis and locked up the ILH's final state berth.
Na Menehune captured sixth league title, the team's first since 2011.