Top Performers
Romero, Phillip sparked Surfriders, Eagles last week




Male Athlete of the Week: Lydell Romero, Kailua basketball
Lydell Romero is making the most of his senior season on the hardwood.

The Kailua senior and fourth-year varsity player is averaging a league-best 16 points per game for the Surfriders boys basketball team.

Romero registered a couple more prolific performances last week in lopsided wins over Castle and Kaimuki. He scored 20 points in Thursday's 60-33 road win over the Knights and 17 points Saturday night in a 55-32 home victory over the Bulldogs.

Given Romero's work ethic, Kailua coach Wally Marciel is hardly surprised by his production this season.

"Lydell works very hard. He's the type of player that I don't need to push at all. He's self motivated, he works his tail off and there's only one speed for Lydell: go hard. He's that way in practices and in games, plus he's very athletic and that makes him very exciting to watch," Marciel said.

Romero plays on the wing and in the low post, according to Marciel. To be sure, battling bigs in the paint doesn't come easy at 6-1 and 150 pounds.

"He has to play at a higher level going against guys that are taller than him and he does a very good job defensively, grabs rebounds for us, attacks the bucket a lot of times and that's where he either gets a score or he gets to the line, so he's been really working hard on that — catch, fake, going to the bucket — and it showed against Castle and Kaimuki last week," Marciel said.

While Romero's offensive prowess can be noted by his statistics, his role on defense is also a key one.

"We like to put him opposite of the other team's best player and he defends their top scorer and overall he's had an outstanding year, but the biggest thing is he's a hard worker," Marciel said. " He works his tail off, he sets the tone for practice, that's for sure, and he leads by example. He works very, very hard in practice and he'll go the same speed when he's in the game."

Marciel added that Romero gained invaluable experience as a first-year starter last season, when he played alongside All-Hawaii First Team guard and All-OIA Eastern Division Player of the Year Everett Torres-Kahapea.

"I think contributing to his success this year is having a lot of playing time last year as a junior, but again, he works really, really hard," Marciel said.

In addition to Torres-Kahapea, the Surfriders also saw third team All-OIA East forward Isaiah Hopson graduate last spring. That left the onus largely on Romero and fellow senior Nainoa Peters, both of whom collected honorable mention all-league recognition last year.

"We went into the season wanting an overall team effort to pick-up the points that Everett was scoring, that was the goal going into the season and we did not want to add any pressure on Lydell or Nai to score more, so right now we're playing 11 to 12 guys per game and our goal is to spread that scoring out to everybody, but Lydell has come up and he's pretty much been playing in the post and getting putbacks and getting to the free-throw line quite often, but the one thing I keep going back to with him is his work ethic is unreal."

Although much of Romero's work on the offensive end of the floor this season has been in the paint, he does possess the ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter as well, as evidenced by his six 3-pointers in league play. He hit one triple against Castle and two more against Kaimuki last week.

"He's worked this year on his 3-pointer shooter and his 18-footers and he's been doing really, really well with that. He's very deceiving on the 3-point line, but he's been hitting them," Marciel said. "He's definitely improved on his outside shooting, but also his defensive skills and just being a leader on the court, because we are fairly young this year."

Romero and Peters are two of the team's four captains this season.

"It was no problem with Lydell stepping up and taking that on," Marciel said. "I think last year, getting a lot of playing time and being able to play with Everett for three years really built confidence up for him I think and now he just is very determined and he's grown this year as an overall player. He worked really hard during the summer, hit the weight room, got stronger and he's a little bit more balanced when he's taking shots now."

Romero is also a member of the school's track and field team, where he competes in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash events, along with the high jump and 4x400 relay. Romero played football for the first time in the fall and was a defensive back for the Surfriders.

"He's a great kid, very personable, very polite, I mean, I've had this young man for four years and he's grown tremendously into a very good player in the state," Marciel said.

Last week's pair of wins were much-needed ones for Kailua following a 13-point loss to Kalaheo the week prior.

"It's always big to gather yourself after a big loss like that against Kalaheo and it was very important that we came up and set the tempo against Castle and Kaimuki to prepare us for the rest of the season," Marciel said. "It was very disappoint for us losing to Kalaheo, but our guys came back Monday and we probably had our best practice the Monday after the loss to Kalaheo, so our guys adjusted and we actually had a week of good practices last week and I feel confident that our guys have bounced back."

Romero and the Surfriders (4-1) climbed one spot to No. 8 in this week's ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings. They will visit McKinley Wednesday, then host No. 7 Kaiser Saturday. Both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off.


Female Athlete of the Week: Sasha Phillip, Hawaii Baptist basketball
The Hawaii Baptist girls basketball team sought to bounce back after starting off 2020 with a heartbreaking loss.

It did just that.

One of the keys to the Eagles' three wins in four days last week? Sasha Phillip.

The 5-foot-8 senior forward averaged 19.3 points in wins over Sacred Hearts, Punahou II and University Lab, including a pair of double-double performances.

"She was really important," HBA coach Robin Yamaguchi said of Phillip, a four-year varsity player and third-year starter.

Phillip scored 14 points, including 8-of-9 shooting on free throws, and grabbed 13 rebounds, to go along with two assists, two steals and two blocks in Wednesday's 59-48 win over the Lancers.

"Against Sacred Hearts she rebounded very well and I thought much more than usual, she played real good defense," Yamaguchi said. "Sacred Hearts is somebody we really respect and I don't think we've beaten them for a while. They are a bigger team and a little bit tougher team and I told (our players) it'll be a battle and they kind of took on the challenge, so I was really proud of them for doing that."

HBA played without sophomore forward Hayley Taka (concussion) Wednesday, which put more responsibility on Phillip's shoulders, especially on the defensive end, where she sometimes matched up against Lancers' leading scorer Te'Hiwa Medeiros.

"She had to pick her up every now and then, so I thought she did a pretty good job," said Yamaguchi, who noted that Phillip drew several offensive fouls against Medeiros by taking charges.

"She rose to the the challenge because she's not the quickest of foot, but I think because of her determination she was able to hang in there. A couple times (Medeiros) came down, made a turn into the lane and Sasha was able to take the charge and they were pretty hefty charges," Yamaguchi said. "When somebody is coming down full blast, you gotta either stay in there and take it, or you run away, but she took ‘em, so that was good to see."

Two nights later, Phillip poured in a season-high 20 points — including a couple of 3-pointers — in HBA's 47-20 win over the Buffanblu. She also grabbed "at least 10 rebounds" in the victory.

Still, it was her work on the defensive end that impressed Yamaguchi the most.

"Once again she played good defense and then she looked inside a little bit more (on offense) and when the score started to get out of hand, she just decided to fade to the outside and start shooting 3s, which she loves to do," Yamaguchi said with a chuckle.

Phlilip's older brother, Ikaika, was a prolific 3-pointer shooter for the Iolani boys basketball team just a few years ago. Sasha loves to emulate his Ikaika's game, Yamaguchi said.

"She's trying to work inside more, but the same time she loves taking the 3, like her brother," Yamaguchi said.

Phillip, whose family resides on the north shore, tends to be easy-going, but she is doing her part to change that on the court this year.

"This year she's bringing a lot of energy. Before she was kind of laid-back, ‘I wanna shoot from outside like my brother,' but this year has been totally different. She's rebounding, she's hustling, she's encouraging people, it's a totally different girl," Yamaguchi said. "I'm really happy with her this year. Before she kind of would be sulking to herself, but this year she's really bonding and making the team move."

Phillip closed out the week with a 14-point outing in Saturday's 50-23 win over the Jr. ‘Bows. Much to the delight of Yamaguchi, Phillip drew a few more charges over the course of the game.

"Probably the most she's ever taken in all four years," Yamaguchi quipped. "She's really proud of those things. She was like, ‘coach, you saw? You saw?' I said, ‘yes, I did, Sasha.' I mean, she could score, but she was really proud of her defense, so I was happy for her."

Phillip's attitude about defense hasn't always been that way, however.

"She didn't like to play defense before, but now you can see that she really wants to try and play defense, really try real hard, (whereas) before it was like ‘I got other people behind me, so I'll let them handle it,' but now I think she feels like she's the stopper, so I think that makes her really valuable," Yamaguchi said of the All-Hawaii Second Team selection a year ago.

Yamaguchi added that despite the appearance of a rough exterior, Phillip — who also earned second team All-ILH honors last season — is actually anything but that.

"She pretends to be a real tough person, but inside she's a really, really nice person," Yamaguchi said.

The trifecta of wins last week helped erase the taste of a one-point loss at Mid-Pacific on Jan. 3 and more importantly kept the HBA (6-2) in the mix with division leaders Mid-Pac (7-0) and Hanalani (7-1).

"I think after the Mid-Pac game they kind of buckled down and we played a lot better defense because I think coming into the season we weren't as focused as we should be. I think they were still thinking that we can just come in and we'll be okay, but we kept on telling them that there's a target on our back," said Yamaguchi, who led HBA to a 25-6 overall record and a D2 state crown last year.

Phillip and the Eagles extended their win streak to four games with Monday's 62-29 win over Iolani II. They conclude the ILH regular season at Kamehameha II Thursday night. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium.

BOYS BASKETBALL
Andre Adams, Lanai — Scored 22 points in a win over Molokai

Jonathan Akaka, Hanalani — Scored 20 points in a win over Hawaii Baptist

Kaukahi Alameda, Hilo — Scored 20 points in a win over Kealakehe

Aiva Arquette, Saint Louis — Scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Iolani

Tino Atonio, Damien — Scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Punahou

Oscar Cheng, Kahuku — Scored 18 points with three rebounds, two steals, one assist and a block in a win over Anuenue

Andrew Dawson, Iolani — Scored 17 points in a loss to Saint Louis

Ethan Escobido, Hanalani — Scored 18 points in a win over Hawaii Baptist and scored 20 points in a win over Le Jardin

Bryce Forbes, Damien — Scored 16 points with 17 rebounds, one assist and one steal in a loss to Kamehameha

Andrew Kobayashi, Punahou — Scored 19 points in a win over Damien

Jackson Lincoln, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over University Lab

Zelston Militante, Nanakuli — Scored 24 points in a win over Waipahu

Makua Marumoto, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 26 points in a loss to Hanalani

Aiden Munden, Waialua — Scored 23 points, including six 3-pointers, in a loss to Campbell

Kordel Ng, Kamehameha — Scored 19 points with four assists, two rebounds, one steal and a block in a win over Damien

Sky Okamura, Christian Academy — Scored 22 points in a win over Hawaiian Mission

Noah Omori, McKinley — Scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Kaiser

Joshua Ponce, Waipahu — Scored 17 points in a loss to Nanakuli

Kaimana Preza, Campbell — Scored 17 points in a win over Waialua and scored 18 points in a win over Waipahu

Damon Romero, Pahoa — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, with six rebounds, two steals and an assist in a loss to Kamehaeha-Hawaii

Kody Seguancia, Roosevelt — Scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Farrington

Bernard Tobias, Leilehua — Scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Waialua

Cade Trujillo, Kamehameha II — Scored 24 points in a win over Punahou II

Deltha Viena, Pearl City — Scored 22 points in a win over Aiea

K-Jaye Walker, Hawaii Prep — Scored 27 points in a win over Konawaena

Drake Watanabe, Roosevelt — Scored 26 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Kahuku

RJ Wong, Farrington — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Roosevelt

Dylan Yamada, Punahou II — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Iolani II


GIRLS BASKETBALL
Aloha Akaka, Maryknoll — Scored 26 points, including 13-of-15 shooting on free throws, in a win over Kamehameha

Abigail Akamine, Lahainaluna — Scored 21 points in a win over Kekaulike

Theresa Anakalea, Damien — Scored 24 points in a loss to Kamehameha II

Angel Asaah, Radford — Scored 20 points in a win over Nanakuli

Hooliieasu Baptiste, Christian Academy — Scored 20 points in a win over La Pietra and scored 17 points in a win over Hawaiian Mission

Nina Batacan, La Pietra — Scored 17 points in a win over St. Andrew's

Hallie Birdson, Kalani — Scored 17 points in a win over Kalaheo

Chloe Clemons, Kalaheo — Scored 19 points in a loss to Kalani

Taylor Eldredge, Lahainaluna — Scored 30 points in a win over Kekaulike

Ceci Enos, Nanakuli — Scored 17 points in a loss to Mililani

Tatem Foster, Hanalani — Scored 20 points in a win over Iolani II

Breanne Fujimoto, Aiea — Scored 17 points in a loss to Waipahu

Jaydan Fullum, Island Pacific — Scored 16 points in a loss to St. Andrew's

Jovi Funakoshi, Mililani — Scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Nanakuli

Anela Gonzalez-Tremaine, Keaau — Scored 38 points in a win over Honokaa

Kierstin Gummerus, Waimea — Scored 19 points in a win over Kapaa

Tatianna Kamae, Kahuku — Scored 16 points with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in a win over Castle

Elizabeth Kanaulu, Waipahu — Scored 20 points in a win over Pearl City

Braelyn Kauhi, Konawaena — Scored 31 points in a win over Kealakehe

Caiyle Kaupu, Konawaena — Scored 20 points in a win over Christian Liberty

Kailyn Kupau, Sacred Hearts — Scored 16 points with five steals, two assists and one rebound in a loss to Hawaii Baptist

Kylie La Pountan, Waipahu — Scored 19 points in a win over Aiea

Marissa Layosa, Kauai — Scored 18 points in a loss to Waimea

Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, Iolani — Scored 23 points in a win over Punahou and scored 23 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Kamehameha

Lyxc Liana, Nanakuli — Scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers, in a loss to Radford

Malie Marfil, Kamehameha — Scored 16 points in a win over Punahou

Haley Masaki, Kamehameha — Scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Maryknoll

Te'Hiwa Medeiros, Sacred Hearts — Scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Punahou II and scored 15 points with 15 rebounds, five steals and two blocks in a win over Le Jardin

Leiah Naeata, Kahuku — Scored 20 points with five steals, four assists and one block in a win over Castle

MJ Peralta, Farrington — Scored 16 points in a win over Roosevelt

Kanoe Quintal, Pearl City — Scored 21 points in a loss to Waipahu

Olivia Reed, St. Andrew's — Scored 16 points in a win over Island Pacific

Paige Relph, Waianae — Scored 24 points in a loss to Mililani

Madi Sagawa, Mid-Pacific — Scored 21 points in a win over Damien

Kaliana Salazar-Harrell, Konawaena — Scored 30 points in a win over Christian Liberty and scored 31 points in a win over Kealakehe

Risa Sanchez, Kamehameha II — Scored 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in a win over Damien

Kayla Santos, Hawaiian Mission — Scored 17 points in a loss to La Pietra

Kaye Serapio, Waimea — Scored 16 points in a win over Kapaa and scored 22 points in a win over Kauai

Tia Sofa, Roosevelt — Scored 16 points in a loss to Farrington

Noelle Sua-Godinet, Kamehameha — Scored 16 points in a loss to Iolani

Kaena Tagabi, Honokaa — Scored 33 points in a loss to Keaau and scored 22 points in a win over Kau

Shaylen Tatupu-Timu, Farrington — Scored 23 points, including six 3-pointers, in a win over McKinley

Emi Wada, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 16 points with seven rebounds, three steals, one assist and a block in a win over Sacred Hearts

Jovi Wahinekapu Lefotu, Iolani — Scored 20 points in a win over Punahou and scored 19 points in a win over Kamehameha

Hope Wong, Kailua — Scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a loss to Moanalua


BOYS SOCCER
Nathan Daehler, Punahou — Scored three goals in a win over Kamehameha

Anthony Durocher, Kapaa — Scored two goals in a win over Kauai

Kody Fujioka, Pearl City — Scored two goals in a win over Campbell

Hunter Hoogenwerf, Kapolei — Scored three goals in a win over Leilehua

Kawika Kelii, Kapolei — Scored two goals in a win over Pearl City

Bryce Lee, Radford — Scored three goals in a win over Waialua

Reece Manatad, Kailua — Scored two goals in a win over Farrington

Liam McGehee, Mililani — Scored two goals in a win over Radford

Kohl Nakamura, Waipahu — Scored the lone goal in a win over Nanakuli

Caleb Onzuka, Damien — Scored the lone goal in a win over Mid-Pacific

Zanskar Stohler, Kalaheo — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kahuku

Dennis Tadeo-Gilbert, Mililani — Scored two goals in a win over Waianae

Isaac Vaka, Kahuku — Scored two goals in a win over McKinley

Kainoa Wong, Pearl City — Scored two goals in a win over Campbell

Logan Yamamoto, Castle — Scored two goals in a win over Kaimuki


GIRLS SOCCER
Anuhea Aluli, Kamehameha — Scored three goals in a win over Sacred Hearts and scored two goals in a win over PAC-5

Makana Blake, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals in a win over Kau

Leila Casison, Waipahu — Scored two goals in a win over Nanakuli

Angela Cipriano, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals in a win over Konawaena

Kahala Erskine, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals in a win over Kau

Morgan Jackson, Radford — Scored the lone goal in a win over Waialua

Jacie Kaneshiro, Kaiser — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kahuku

Kastle Lyman, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored the lone goal in a win over Honokaa

Eryka Napoleon, Kauai — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kapaa

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

Mehana Ortiz, Waianae — Scored three goals in a win over Waianae

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

Soraya Santos, Pearl City — Scored two goals in a win over Kapolei



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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