Top Performers
Camacho, Akaka paced Tigers, Spartans to wins last week




Male Athlete of the Week: Frank Camacho, McKinley basketball
As the lone third-year varsity player for the McKinley boys basketball team, much is expected out of Frank Camacho this season.

So far, so good.

Camacho, a 6-foot, 160-pound senior, is averaging a team-best 13.3 points per game through the Tigers (3-0) first three games of the regular season. He scored a game-high 21 points in Thursday's 56-41 win over Castle and followed that up with 10 points despite very limited playing time in a 54-27 rout of Anuenue Saturday night.

"Especially with our team, we understand that when he's making his shots or he's in rhythm, we want to kind of go through him, so at all costs he knows he has the green light with me, but I think with his teammates, he knows his teammates are supporting him and he understands that that is part of his role to help out our team," McKinley coach Duane Omori said of Camacho.

It took Camacho a little bit to get going against the Knights.

"In the first quarter he didn't score too much, but in the second quarter was when he got going and it came in bunches. He found his rhythm with his turnaround jumper," Omori said, who added that Camacho's role on the team is crystal clear.

"We rely on him for his points. I think what he brings is a lot of instant offense for us and I think our players all knows that we want to make sure that he at least touches the ball once (each possession) because we're hoping that the defense will make their adjustments and then we have to make our adjustments after that, but he draws a lot of attention," Omori explained.

Camacho possesses a nice touch from the mid-range and can often make something out of nothing, Omori added.

"He's tough to guard one-on-one. When we become stagnant in our offense at times, we're fortunate to be able to depend on him to get us going because he can always create his own shot. When the (opponent's) defense is playing us tough and we need some momentum to pull through, it's nice than we can depend on him to get us out of that drought, so he brings a lot of offense to the team," Omori said.

With a relatively short roster, the Tigers often rely on Camacho to play in the post, where he creates a mismatch against opposing bigs.

"I think even as a 6-footer he can play against taller guys because he creates his space for his mid-range jumpers and then he'll pull up outside on the perimeter and shoot 3-pointers also, but he's got a soft touch around the rim and good foot work. He'll change his pace and he's in control — it's not like he's forcing something — he's balanced and he's just a smooth offensive player," Omori said.

Camacho, a year-round basketball player and one of three team captains, has improved his statistics — and taken on a growing leadership role — with each season that has passed since his varsity debut in the 2017-18 season.

As a sophomore, Camacho was the team's third leading scorer at 8.8 points per game. He picked up honorable mention All-OIA recognition that year.

"We were (a) D1 (team) his sophomore year and we did pretty well," Omori recalled. "He was a great complementary player on our team. We had a lot of seniors that year, so he was fortunate that he didn't have to be responsible for a lot of things, but he was a very valuable player because he was another scorer in addition to our two main scorers."

Camacho upped his production as a junior last season, when he averaged a team-best 12.9 points per game and was a third-team All-OIA East pick.

McKinley failed to quality for the league's D1 tournament last year, one season after it reached the semifinal round. Omori knows that Camacho's experience will have to come into play if the Tigers are to make a deep postseason run as a D2 team this winter.

"He's the only player that has any kind of playoff experience, so I'm sure if we're fortunate enough to get into the playoffs, or even into states, he's more accustomed to the environment," Omori said.

It's not just Camacho's workload on the court that has increased this season.

"I think he's learning to be more of a leader this year, which is not in his personality, but he knows that he needs to be one of the leaders on the team," Omori said. "He's become a lot better with his leadership. I think he was fortunate his sophomore year that he had a lot of people that kind of guided him through things. Last year I wanted him to be a leader, but this year I think he's kind of understanding more about not just how much he scores, but coming to practice on time, being in practice, little things like commitment in the weight room and he's able to make an impact on all the other players on our team in that way."

Omori said that Camacho has always been a "great kid.

"He's very personable and someone that has always been very respectful to me and I think that goes a long way, especially with kids nowadays, but he has always been respectful. Even though sometimes we don't always agree, he's always respected me as a coach and he gets along well with his teammates as well. He has a great personality and gets along with everybody," Omori said.

As much as McKinley tends to lean on Camacho for scoring — his defense remains a work-in-progress, his coach notes — Omori knows the senior can only carry the team so far offensively.

"We want him to be able to help our team by being able to spread the ball more because I think we're gonna need more than him to beat the elite teams — we can't rely on one person — so he's working on that too, but as a team I think we compete. We're one of the smallest teams, but we've been competing and we hope to continue that and we know that defense is very important for us," Omori said.

Camacho and the Tigers sit in first place in the OIA D2 East standings. They will continue league play at Kalani Thursday and at home Saturday against Kaiser. Tip-off for both games is scheduled for approximately 7 p.m.


Female Athlete of the Week: Aloha Akaka, Maryknoll basketball
Aloha Akaka is in the midst of a stretch of solid basketball.

The 5-foot-8 Maryknoll junior was selected as MVP of the Glendora (California) Tournament, which wrapped up on Dec. 30. Akaka averaged 13.5 points in the Spartans' four games (all wins) to capture the title of the 16-team tournament.

Akaka opened the tournament with 11 points in a 67-22 rout of Garfield the day after Christmas. She followed that up with 12 points, including a couple of 3-pointers, in a 64-57 win over Yucaipa the next day before notching two more triples and 16 points in all in a 49-37 win over Murietta Mesa on Dec. 28. Akaka closed out the tourney with a 15-point effort in last Monday's 70-45 win over host Glendora in the championship game.

"The competition was okay," Spartans coach Chico Furtado said. "We played one team that was pretty weak, but we played some pretty good teams. Glendora had a couple good players and I thought it would be a lot closer, but we just played really well, hit some shots, jumped on them, caused some pressure and it got to a point where because we were shooting the ball so well, (Glendora) kind of folded and it all starts with Aloha distributing the ball to the right people."

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Akaka's work was her twin sister, Mahalo, who splashed six of Maryknoll's 12 3-pointers against Glendora.

"Those were all off of kick-outs on Aloha getting to the basket and dishing it out," Furtado noted. "Through four games up there, Mahalo, Aloha and Serenity (Moananu) all had like 55, 54, 54 (combined points scored), so it was solid, but I just think Aloha did all these other things that make us go and that's kind of the difference with her athleticism, her length and being able to run the floor."

It wasn't just on the mainland that Aloha Akaka proved to be effective. Upon Maryknoll's return to league play, she picked up here where she left off in California. Akaka netted a game-high 15 points in Friday's 45-42 win over No. 5 Kamehameha at Clarence T.C. Ching Gymnasium. She shot 6 of 7 from the free-throw line and hit her 16th triple of the season — her fifth in ILH action.

Furtado said Akaka's 3-pointer came early on and was much-needed after the Spartans fell behind the Warriors.

"Right off the bat we fall behind 6-0, but she hits a 3," Furtado recalled. "I thought she just kept us in the game by making plays when we needed ‘em and then I think defensively she needed to guard (Kamehameha's) Malie Marfil."

Marfil posted a team-high 13 points for the Warriors. She got to the free-throw line 15 times, however, and the Warriors shot 16 of 35 as a team from the charity stripe.

"They went to the free-throw line way too much, but for Aloha, on top of handling the point (guard duties) against them, she has to defend their best player, but that's how it's going to be," Furtado said. "She attacked the basket hard, grabbed rebounds for us and when you're in a low-scoring, possession-for-possession game, you need your better players to make plays, so we're trying to tell all of them how well we do lives on their shoulders and again, it all starts with Aloha, then it trickles over to Mahalo and Serenity and that particular game we got great minutes from Lilly Koki and Kyla Neuman hit a couple 3s early to give us a 10-point lead (at halftime)."

Maryknoll held a 25-15 advantage at the intermission, but Kamehameha surged ahead 35-31 after three quarters.

"Turnovers reared its ugly head," Furtado said. "Aloha's gotta get better at handling ball pressure and we all gotta get better at helping her with that."

The Spartans saw talented point guard Jalen Tanuvasa, an All-ILH first team pick last year, leave the team and school after transferring to a school in Las Vegas over the summer. However, Furtado said while much of the ball-handling duties are now relegated to Aloha Akaka, she is not alone in the matter.

"Between Serenity, Mahalo and Lilly, they're all capable of handling the ball as a secondary ball handler, but right now Aloha is kind of our do-it-all guard. She can shoot, she can guard, she's long defensively, she rebounds, she gets a lot of tips and when she doesn't play well, we struggle," Furtado said.

Furtado added that Aloha was ready and more than willing to move from her natural wing position to the point following Tanuvasa's departure.

"It's not Jalen, where you give her the ball and get out of the way and she's going to do everything, and (point guard) is not the position Aloha has played, but she's embraced it and she wanted to do it, that's the kind of mentality she has," Furtado said of the two-sport standout.

Aloha Akaka has also proven to be a pivotal piece on the Maryknoll softball team the past two years.

"She kind of has that same mentality in softball — ‘give me the ball, I'm gonna pitch' — and that's all part of that mentality she has as an athlete; she's not going to run away from the moment," Furtado said. "The biggest moment is when she wants to get involved, which is good for us, we need that and I think Aloha is just the consummate combo everything. The athleticism, the running, the jumping, she can shoot that 3, attack, defend and she can do all these things we ask her to do."

Furtado, a vice principal at the school, has seen the Akaka twins grow up on the basketball courts since they first went to Maryknoll in the "fifth or sixth grade."

"They kind of dominated basketball and softball when they were younger and they're now in the position where they're being challenged a bit and I'm telling them they gotta embrace that challenge. They answered the call (Friday) night, so I think that's what we're going to continue to do, is lean on our trio of juniors with Aloha being the head of that with the ball in her hands and making decisions on where to go with it," Furtado said.

Akaka's production has steadily increased over the years. As a freshman she garnered little playing time on a senior-heavy roster and averaged a mere 1.5 points per game. However, she averaged 11.4 points per game during her sophomore campaign last year, when she picked up second team All-ILH honors.

"She is a good kid and the thing is those (Akaka twins), they don't react, they don't have a whole lot of highs and lows. Instead they have an even temperament and they don't get overly excited when things go right and they don't get too down when things go wrong," Furtado said. "Practice is so much fun with those twins. They don't have a mean bone in their body, they're very good with their teammates, they don't take their talent for granted, they don't walk around with their head in the clouds and chests out — they just like competing — and it makes it easier as a coaching staff because they're so easy to deal with."

The Spartans (2-4), ranked third in this week's ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings, are coming off a 44-35 loss at No. 1 Iolani Tuesday night. They will host No. 5 Kamehameha Thursday, before closing out the week at No. 4 Punahou Saturday afternoon.

BOYS BASKETBALL
Koby Agbayani, Kohala — Scored 16 points in a win over Hilo

Jonathan Akaka, Hanalani — Scored 19 points in a loss to Kamehameha-Hawaii

Kaukahi Alameda, Hilo — Scored 20 points in a loss to Kohala

Kiai Apele, Waiakea — Scored 16 points in a win over Honokaa

Joshua Balais, Radford — Scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Leilehua

Hayden Bayudan, Damien — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Mid-Pacific

O'shen Cazimero, Kohala — Scored 26 points in a win over Hilo

Oscar Cheng, Kahuku — Scored 16 points in a win over Farrington

Mario Drummer, Kaiser — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Castle

Lokana Enos, Kahuku — Scored 16 points in a win over Moanalua

Clayton Fung, Keaau — Scored 17 points in a win over Parker

Kanoa Gibson, Mililani — Scored 16 points in a win over Aiea

Jake Holtz, Damien — Scored 19 points in a win over Mid-Pacific

Ryder Hsiung, Punahou — Scored 21 points, including four 3-pointers, with 10 rebounds, one assist and a steal in a win over Saint Louis

Justin Ishida, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 18 points on six 3-pointers in a loss to Hilo

Andrew Jones, Kalaheo — Scored 18 points in a win over Kailua

Landyn Jumawan, Leilehua — Scored 19 points in a win over Radford

Elijah Kahue-Parker, Mid-Pacific — Scored 18 points in a loss to Damien

Jorden Kaloi-English, Waianae — Scored 21 points in a loss to Nanakuli

Noah Kameehonua, Punahou — Scored 16 points in a win over Science Hill

Andrew Kobayashi, Punahou — Scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, with two assists and two steals in a win over Saint Louis

Halelu Kuamoo-Castro, Nanakuli — Scored 16 points in a win over Waialua

Zelston Militante, Nanakuli — Scored 23 points in a win over Waianae and scored 22 points in a win over Waialua

Aiden Munden, Waialua — Scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Waipahu

Nathaniel Okamoto, Aiea — Scored 16 points in a loss to Kapolei

Darius Olloway, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 18 points in a win over Hanalani

Chaz Omura, Saint Louis II — Scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Sacramento Adventist

Rayson Padilla, Hilo — Scored 20 points in a win over Hawaii Baptist

Blaze Peleki, Campbell — Scored 17 points in a win over Radford

Nainoa Peters, Kailua — Scored 20 points in a win over Roosevelt and scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Kalaheo

Geremy Robinson, Moanalua — Scored 27 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Kahuku and scored 21 points in a win over Roosevelt

Lydell Romero, Kailua — Scored 16 points in a win over Roosevelt

Ethan Rudometkin, Mililani — Scored 17 points in a win over Aiea

Keegan Scanlan, Waiakea — Scored 17 points in a win over Honokaa

Liko Soares, Maryknoll — Scored 16 points in a win over Mid-Pacific

De'Zhaun Stribling, Kapolei — Scored 18 points in a win over Aiea

Kaee Tamara, Anuenue — Scored 16 points in a loss to McKinley

K-Jaye Walker, Hawaii Prep — Scored 18 points in a win over Kau

Tre Walker, Hawaii Prep — Scored 16 points in a win over Kau

Drake Watanabe, Roosevelt — Scored 27 points, including six 3-pointers, in a loss to Kailua

Amari Westmoreland-Vendiola, Kahuku — Scored 17 points in a win over Moanalua

Deltha Viena, Pearl City — Scored 17 points in a loss to Kapolei


GIRLS BASKETBALL
Mahalo Akaka, Maryknoll —
 Scored 22 points, including six 3-pointers, in a win over Glendora

Theresa Anakalea, Damien — Scored 31 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Le Jardin

Tiare Arquero, Damien — Scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Le Jardin

Aira Baguyo, Lahainaluna — Scored 15 points in a win over Kamehameha-Maui

Maya Claytor, Kahuku — Scored 15 points on five 3-pointers, with three assists, three steals, two rebounds and one block in a win over Kalaheo

Taylor Eldredge, Lahainaluna — Scored 16 points in a win over Kamehameha-Maui

Kamille Febo-Santiago, Christian Liberty — Scored 18 points in a loss to Keaau

Brooke Ferriera, Christian Liberty — Scored 15 points in a loss to Keaau

Breanne Fujimoto, Aiea — Scored 14 points with two rebounds, two assists and one steal in a loss to Radford

Mariah Galletes, Leilehua — Scored 16 points in a win over Nanakuli

Anela Gonzalez-Tremaine, Keaau — Scored 36 points in a win over Christian Liberty

Mandi Haraga, Kalani — Scored 14 points in a win over Kailua

Sarah Huston, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 14 points in a win over Kau

Destiny Hicks, Nanakuli — Scored 13 points in a loss to Leilehua

Tatianna Kamae, Kahuku — Scored 17 points with five assists, five steals and four rebounds in a win over Kalaheo

Lily Koki, Maryknoll — Scored 13 points in a win over Kamehameha

Kylie Machida, Le Jardin — Scored 17 points, including five 3-pointers, in a loss to Damien

Malie Marfil, Kamehameha — Scored 13 points in a loss to Maryknoll

Mailana Mattos, Radford — Scored 13 points in a win over Aiea

Jordyn McCutcheon, Molokai — Scored 13 points in a win over Lanai

Leiah Naeata, Kahuku — Scored 14 points with seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block in a win over Roosevelt

Haley Ostrander, Lanai — Scored 16 points in a win over Molokai and scored 13 points in a loss to Molokai

Dominique Pacheco, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 19 points in a win over Kau

Myla Pellegrini, Iolani II — Scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Mid-Pacific

Kanoe Quintal, Pearl City — Scored 15 points in a loss to Kapolei

Madi Sagawa, Mid-Pacific — Scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Iolani II

Lishae Scanlan, Hanalani — Scored 17 points with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in a win over Sacred Hearts

Sarah Schubert, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 16 points in a win over Kau

Manutagi Seei, Radford — Scored 14 points in a win over Aiea

Tia Sofa, Roosevelt — Scored 14 points in a win over McKinley


BOYS SOCCER
Micah Carson, Kealakehe — Scored the lone goal in a win over Hawaii Prep

Frank Heffernan-Kojima, Kahuku — Scored two goals in a win over Farrington

Kaiki Ikeda, Roosevelt — Scored two goals in a win over Kaimuki

Konner Jacang, Aiea — Scored two goals in a win over Radford

James Kaneshiro, Waipahu — Scored two goals in a win over Waialua

AJ Kiesal, Kapolei — Scored two goals in a win over Waianae

Noah Larson, Kailua — Scored the lone goal in a win over McKinley

Rei Naiki, Kalani — Scored two goals in a win over Roosevelt

Ian Ngonethong, Kaiser — Scored the lone goal in a win over Moanalua

Ky Niccore, Waimea — Scored two goals in a win over Kauai

Lucas Shearer, Kaiser — Scored two goals in a win over Castle

Makoa Vanaman, Waimea — Scored two goals in a win over Kauai


GIRLS SOCCER
Naia Burkhart, Kapaa — Scored two goals in a win over Island School

Kaya Camara, Kauai — Scored the lone goal in a win over Waimea

Angela Cipriano, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals and assisted on another in a win over Kealakehe

Chenoa Frederick, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored two goals in a tie against Hilo

Angelina Gonzalez, Roosevelt — Scored four goals in a win over Kalani

Tiare Ilar, Campbell — Scored the lone goal in a win over Mililani

Takara Kiesel, Kamehameha-Maui — Scored three goals in a win over Seabury Hall

Alyssa Leong, Kaiser — Scored three goals in a win over Castle

Kirra Lindman, Kapaa — Scored two goals in a win over Island School

Kaycee Manding, Waipahu — Scored three goals in a win over Waialua

Ahyin Nawahine, Kahuku — Scored two goals in a win over Farrington

Sheyliene Patolo, Aiea — Scored four goals in a win over Radford



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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