Top Performers
Kamakawiwoole, Forbes lead top performers




Male Athlete of the Week: Bryce Forbes, Damien basketball
Bryce Forbes is quickly making a name for himself this basketball season.

The 6-foot-6, 165-pound junior has been a key piece for an undefeated Damien team is turning heads with an 8-0 start to the preseason. Forbes turned in a couple of double-digit scoring performances in wins over Punahou and Castle last week.

In Monday's 65-57 win over the Buffanblu, Forbes posted a game-high 18 points. He accounted for both of his team's made 3-point field goals and shot 10 of 11 from the free-throw line against the reigning Division I state champions.

"I thought he was unbelievable because I know in big games, he steps up and that's the type of moments that he lives for, to prove that he can play basketball," Damien coach Alvin Stephenson said.

Forbes also made his mark on the defensive end of the floor and on the boards.

"His poise and his toughness were impressive. The scoring was good, but just seeing him lock in defensively and rebounding and being one of the leaders out there and a team player, pumping the guys up, that kind of caught me off-guard a little bit because he's kind of a quiet guy," Stephenson said. "He can get pumped up with the boys a little bit, but for the most part he's very soft spoken."

Two nights later, Forbes scored 12 points and was one of six Monarchs to score in double digits in a 86-33 rout of Castle.

Stephenson said the Radford-transfer showed a different side to him Wednesday.

"To me, he took his game to another level because in that game he probably easily could have scored 30 (points), but he told all us coaches that he's not gonna shoot that much because he wanted to get the ball to the guys who don't play a lot because they're a part of the team, too," Stephenson said. "He made a conscious effort to get it to them, so when you have a guy like that who is thinking of the team and not himself, you've got something pretty special."

As for what makes Forbes effective on the court, Stephenson said he presents a unique set of tools.

"When people see him they think he's a center, but he's not, so his skill set is very high and we're blessed to have him," Stephenson said. "He's definitely a matchup nightmare because if you put a big on him he'll get by him because he's quick. Usually other teams put bigs on him because he's tall, but they end up backing off of him and now if he's center on him, he can pump fake and get them up in the air and can draw the foul and he's a pretty good free-throw shooter, so that's helped us a lot."

Stephenson likens the skill set of Forbes, who can play the shooting guard, small forward or power forward positions — to that of a former NBA MVP Kevin Durant.

"If you look at him play, he kind of reminds me of KD with his slender build. He's tough, that's one thing I love about him that he's starting to do now is he's starting to rebound on the offensive and defensive sides pretty well and he shoots with the best of them in the state," Stephenson said.

One thing Forbes doesn't possess is a lot of varsity experience. He sat out his sophomore season at Radford, which makes him immediately eligible to play for the Monarchs this season.

"People just don't know him so they're trying to figure him out and his skill set is very high — he can go out to wing, he can go to post — and then you look at his stature because he's so skinny, people think that he's not strong, but he's a pretty tough kid," Stephenson said.

Forbes, whose mother serves in the U.S. Army, has acclimated himself nicely to the Kalihi campus since transferring in.

"Ever since he's been here all the teachers have talked about how nice he is and how he has a good demeanor. He's a happy-go-lucky type of guy, always smiling, his parents are great, they're very supportive of him, so it's been great having him with us," said Stephenson, who is in his eighth season as head coach.

The Monarchs reached the Division II state title game last February. Stephenson is hopeful the strong start this season foretells a bright future for the program.

"The win over Punahou was huge for us because they are the top dogs on the island every year and the goal was to always try to get to that level of the Punahous and the Iolanis; that's the ultimate goal," Stephenson said. "I'm as surprised as everybody else because I know these kids put in a lot of work, but you never know what's going to happen until the game is played."

One year prior to taking over the program, Stephenson served as an assistant coach for the 2011 season. It was the last year that Damien competed at the Division I level.

"We were getting smashed and you'd see the kids' confidence waiver. We'd play those teams like Punahou, Kamehameha and Iolani and we'd fight, but it would get to a certain point like the kids would think, ‘We're not gonna beat them, so why keep fighting?,' " Stephenson said. "For us as a program, to see where it was when I first got the program and to where it is now is really rewarding. That win over Punahou was huge for the students here, the team, the coaches, all the families. It was like we climbed that mountain and can say that we're there with them and now we just have to stay persistent and stay with them and for us, we have to get better with each game, but in my opinion we still haven't played our best basketball."

Forbes and the Monarchs came away with a 53-34 win at Kapolei Tuesday night. They next play against Kailua on the opening day of the Saint Francis tournament Monday night.

Female Athlete of the Week: Kamalu Kamakawiwoole, Kalani basketball
A weekend trip to the Big Island proved to be a fruitful one for the Kalani girls basketball team and in the thick of it all was Kamalu Kamakawiwoole.

The 6-foot senior led the Falcons (8-2) to a 3-0 mark at the Konawaena Invitational Preseason Tournament in Kealakekua. Kamakawiwoole averaged 17.6 points in wins over perennial state tournament teams Konawaena (66-54, Thursday), Hilo (60-51, Friday) and Lahainaluna (50-41, Saturday).

"It was a good weekend. I think now, more than anything else the team knows that they belong there," Kalani coach Chi Mok said. "It wasn't just one team that they beat. They beat three good, tough teams in three tough games, so it's good to see that not just being able to beat teams by 20, 30 points, but also being able to pull out close games and also a couple of those games we came back from being down, so they now know they're right there at this level with the top-notch teams."

Call it the Kamalu effect. Mok said the Maryknoll-transfer has elevated the level of play of the entire team since joining the a Falcons team that is coming off an Oahu Interscholastic Association championship and sixth-place finish at last February's Division I state tournament.

"I think the other girls look at her and they scrimmage with each other in practice and know they can compete against her, so that gives them added confidence in what they can do and that automatically raises our team confidence," Mok said. "And then just her presence on the court affects the other team as well, so she not only boosts our team, but also affects other teams in how they prepare and adjust to us."

Kamakawiwoole posted back-to-back 20-point games against the Wildcats and Vikings and went for 13 against the Lunas. She hit at least one 3-pointer in each game and shot 15 of 16 from the free-throw line for the tournament.

"I thought she was a difference-maker. She definitely stood out as one of the better players in the tournament, if not the best in that tournament," Mok said.

Mok pointed out in addition to her offensive production, Kamakawiwoole did a lot on the defensive end that doesn't always garner attention.

"Just her ability to affect the other team's shots, her length makes it hard for them to pass, those things don't show up in the stats," Mok said. "We like to press so she's basically the safety who reads the interception, so she gets a lot of steals that way and then when the other team gets into the half court we like to put a lot of pressure on the guards, so if they do get past our guards she'll be the person in the back with her length to make their shot hard and that frees up our guards a little bit to make them more aggressively."

Mok said what impressed him most about Kamakawiwoole's weekend was her competitive spirit.

"I know she has a lot of friends on the outer islands and the outer island teams and just the way she competed and put friendship on the side while she was on the court, her competitive nature, it really shows that she wanted to win," Mok said of the second team All-Hawaii selection last season. "I wouldn't say it caught me by surprise, but it's how competitive she is and how much she wants to win; it's something that I'm realizing moreso when I'm working with her now."

A recent day of practice provided Mok further insight into the character of Kamakawiwoole, who played in three state championship finals at Maryknoll.

"She took it upon herself one day to talk to the team and just kind of let them know what it takes to get to that championship game and that we have what it takes, so that showed a lot of leadership on her part," Mok said.

Kamakawiwoole is averaging a team-best 17.4 points per game with 11 made 3-pointers on the season. She is shooting at a 85.7-percent clip from the free-throw line and has eclipsed the 20-point mark four times this year.

"Offensively she can take you to the basket and drive on you, she can shoot the ball from deep and then she also, once in a while can get the ball inside and she has some nice post moves as well so its really hard to guard her as far as who to guard with. If you put a big on her she can drive past you, if you have a smaller guard on her, she can (receive) the pass inside so it makes it challenging for the other teams," Mok said.

Kamakawiwoole also provides versatility — "She can basically play any position," Mok says — and has become a focal part of the Falcons' first unit.  

"She fits right into our system. We like to run, we like to transition and then we also did expand a little bit to gear toward her talents," said Mok, who was selected as the OIA East coach of the year last season. "We let her handle the ball a little bit more than I would let any of our bigs handle the ball, so we revamped a little bit of our offense."

Although Kamakawiwoole spent the last three years attending Maryknoll, she previously attended Kaimuki Middle School, where she played with many of her current teammates.

"She gets along with everyone very easily and she just joined the team but she knew the girls for a while and so it didn't take her long to mesh with the team on the court," Mok said.

Kamakawiwoole and the Falcons open league play this week with a pair of road games. They will visit Moanalua Wednesday and travel to Kalaheo Saturday.


BOYS BASKETBALL
Kaukahi Alameda, Hilo — Scored 21 points in a win over Waimea, scored 20 points in a win over Kealakehe and scored 19 points in a win over Pahoa

Ezra-Koby Barnes, Waianae — Scored 23 points in a win over Waipahu

Les Falatea, Punahou — Scored 20 points in a win over Leilehua

Bryce Forbes, Damien — Scored 18 points, including 10-of-11 shooting on free throws, in a win over Punahou

John Gilbert Ramos, Waianae — Scored 20 points in a win over Waipahu

Justin Ishida, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 18 points, including five 3-pointers, in a win over Kamehameha II

Jack Jack, Kaimuki — Scored 26 points in a win over Pearl City

Kukilakila Kahalekai, Nanakuli — Scored 35 points in a loss to Farrington

Elijah Kahue-Parker, Mid-Pacific — Scored 18 points in a win over Moanalua

Jem Kouch, Farrington — Scored 19 points in a win over Nanakuli

Isaiah Lee, Kalani — Scored 26 points in a win over Campbell

Kawika Lee, Iolani — Scored 21 points in a win over Roosevelt

Jeffrey Mangahis, Lanakila Baptist — Scored 20 points in a win over Island Pacific

Jeremy Marquette, Damien — Scored 18 points in a win over Castle

Kameron Ng, Saint Francis — Scored 21 points in a win over Campbell

Kordel Ng, Saint Francis — Scored 23 points in a win over Kailua

Reece Pascua, Lahainaluna — Scored 26 points in a loss to Kalaheo and scored 19 points in a loss to Leilehua

Derek Payne, Island Pacific — Scored 26 points, including six 3-pointers, in a loss to Lanakila Baptist

Kaimana Preza, Campbell — Scored 22 points in a win over Roosevelt

Colin Ramos, Mid-Pacific — Scored 19 points, including 10-of-12 shooting on free throws, in a win over Moanalua

Geremy Robinson, Moanalua — Scored 20 points in a win over Honokaa and scored 19 points in a win over Leilehua

Ty Shishido, Roosevelt — Scored 28 points in a win over Baldwin and scored 24 points in a loss to Campbell

Tanner Siu, Kamehameha II — Scored 18 points in a loss to Hawaii Baptist

Kanoa Smith, Kalaheo — Scored 18 points in a win over Radford

Isaiah Sugiura, Moanalua — Scored 19 points in a win over Honokaa

Everett Torres-Kahapea, Kailua — Scored 18 points in a win over Waianae and scored 22 points in a loss to Saint Francis

Micah Visoria, Roosevelt — Scored 24 points in a win over Honokaa and scored 24 points in a win over Baldwin

Max Wiemken, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 18 points in a loss to Crater (Ore.)


GIRLS BASKETBALL

Jazelle Dorser, Waiakea — Scored 17 points in a win over Mid-Pacific and scored 15 points with five rebounds and two steals in a win over Sacred Hearts

Kaelyn Espinda, Kaimuki — Scored 23 points, including 12-of-15 shooting on free throws, in a win over Waipahu, scored 14 points with 15 rebounds, three steals and an assist in a win over Hawaii Baptist and scored 15 points with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in a loss to Sacred Hearts

Kalena Halunajan, Kalani — Scored 25 points in a win over Konawaena and scored 16 points, including 10-of-12 shooting on free throws, in a win over Hilo

Kelsie Imai, Waiakea — Scored 11 points with 13 rebounds, two assist, one steal and a block in a loss to Iolani and scored 18 points with four rebounds, six assists and two steals in a win over Sacred Hearts

Trisadee Kahunahana, Saint Francis — Scored 15 points in a win over Iolani II

Caiyle Kaupu, Konawaena — Scored 22 points in a loss to Kalani

Mel Lum, Punahou — Scored 16 points in a win over Moanalua and scored 17 points in a win over McKinley

Joy Luna, Christian Academy — Scored 18 points in a loss to Waialua

Te'Hiwa Medeiros, Sacred Hearts — Scored 20 points with nine rebounds in a win over Radford and scored 14 points with eight rebounds, one assist and a steal in a win over Kaimuki

Leiah Naeata, Kahuku — Scored 15 points in a loss to Maryknoll

Briarra Nakihei, Castle — Scored 16 points with seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and a block in a loss to Waiakea

Kalina Obrey, Kamehameha — Scored 17 points in a win over Kaiser

Trinity Ozoa, Waialua — Scored 19 points in a win over Christian Academy

Dominique Pacheco, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 16 points in a win over Pahoa

Dahlis Sablay, Mililani — Scored 17 points in a win over Mid-Pacific and scored 18 points in a win over Moanalua

Madisyn Sagawa, Mid-Pacific — Scored 26 points, including five 3-pointers, in a loss to Waiakea

Jalen Tanuvasa, Maryknoll — Scored 23 points in a win over Kahuku

Keila Tsutsui, Hanalani — Scored 16 points in a win over Damien

Kimberlee Ung, Campbell — Scored 18 points with five rebounds, four steals and two assists in a loss to Castle

Dionna Woodson, Moanalua — Scored 19 points, including 10-of-15 shooting on free throws, in a loss to Mililani

Taylor Wu, Iolani — Scored 24 points with three rebounds, two assists and five steals in a win over Waiakea and scored 18 points with three rebounds, three assists and two steals in a win over Kaimuki

Shayla Young, Castle — Scored 15 points in a win over Kamehameha II


BOYS SOCCER
Jonathan Demotta, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored two goals in a win over Kau and three goals in a win over Honokaa

Jake Schneider, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals in a win over Keaau and two goals in a win over Hilo

Kai Sigler, Kalani — Scored three goals in a win over McKinley


GIRLS SOCCER
Zoe Balmoja, Waialua — Scored three goals in a win over Nanakuli

Kiara Cuyo, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored three goals in a win over Kau

Roycie Faye, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored three goals in a win over Honokaa

Sunshine Fontes, Pearl City — Scored two goals in a win over Leilehua and four goals in a win over Waipahu

Heather Kolona, Kapolei — Scored three goals in a win over Radford

Xailynn Lyman-Mahoe, Waiakea — Scored three goals in a win over Keaau

Shaley Mercado, Kaiser — Scored four goals in a win over Kalaheo and scored four goals in a win over Farrington

Eryka Napoleon, Kauai — Scored three goals in a win over Waimea

Bryana Yoshida, Kapolei — Scored three goals in a win over Radford



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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