Top Performers
Huntimer, Watanabe stepped up for Raiders, Rough Riders




Alexis Huntimer

Iolani basketball  •   #11  G  Junior

Any championship-winning team is sure to have a number of contributors and this year's Iolani girls basketball team was no exception.

The Raiders successfully defended their Snapple/HHSAA Division I State Championship by going 3-0 last week in tournament play to complete an impressive overall season record of 23-2.

Alexis Huntimer, a junior and second-year starter, was certainly a key part of that. The 5-foot-8 point guard was one of three Iolani players named to the all-tournament team.

In perhaps her best outing of the year Friday night, Huntimer scored a season-high 21 points despite sustaining a gash over her left eye in a 57-44 semifinal win over then-No. 3 Waiakea.

"She showed her grit and her toughness, that Waiakea game was amazing," Raiders coach Dean Young said.

Young said that at halftime — with his team nursing a 22-16 lead — he urged Huntimer to be more aggressive.

"I told her she's gotta look for her shot and what does she do? She bangs three 3-pointers in the second half," Young said. "Then she gets tripped and slams her head on the ground and had to run off the court to get her head glued, but she got her blood cleaned off her jersey and she comes spiriting back from the locker room straight to check back into the game — I don't think she even slowed down — and then she closes it out with 10 straight free throws."

Huntimer was a perfect 10 for 10 from the line Friday. She shot 4 of 7 from the field, including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers, and grabbed six rebounds to go along with three steals, three blocks and one assist — all without committing a single foul. She had just one turnover.

Huntimer's previous season-high in scoring was 16 points in a win over Kahuku in the preseason. During Interscholastic League of Honolulu play, her best output was a 11 points in a win over Maryknoll back on Dec. 17.

But scoring is just a tiny part of Huntimer's role for the Raiders.

"She's like my floor general, so I expect her to run the team and take care of the ball," Young said. "Offensively she's a pass-first point guard, but she's a deadly 3-point shooter and defensively she's uncanny. I mean, she's deceptively long and her hands are quick so she gets a ton of steals, tips and blocks and she's brings that toughness."

Huntimer's season-high in points came just one night after she went scoreless in a blowout quarterfinal win over Moanalua. Still, she made her presence felt in other ways. Huntimer recorded six rebounds, five assists, one steal and a block in the 65-31 rout.

"It doesn't always show up in the stat book, like that game she didn't even score, but she's the reason we were able to get out early with our press and then taper off and rest the starters, which was the game plan, to hopefully get out fast and be able to rest," Young said.

The Raiders held a commanding 26-6 lead after the opening quarter, thanks in part to Huntimer's suffocating defense.

"She's the spearhead of our press and the reason why our press is so effectively is 100 percent because of her. She creates all the havoc in our press, she creates most of our turnovers, either stealing balls, tipping balls, or forcing bad passes, so that's why she's my MVP," Young explained.

It was more of the same from Huntimer in Saturday's championship game against second-ranked Konawaena. She scored five points with four rebounds, five assists and two steals in the 55-46 win, again without a turnover.

"Defensively she was all over the court between covering the shooters and covering the center, (Caiyle) Kaupu. She spearheaded our press in the first quarter that got us a big lead and then at the end of the game we put the ball in her hands when (the Wildcats) were trying to foul and again she came through," Young said.

As a freshman two years ago, Huntimer served in a reserve role. However, a preseason injury to incumbent starting point guard Tori Maeda prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, forced Huntimer into the starting lineup.

"Although she was capable, I don't think she anticipated being given that role last year and being just a sophomore, I think she was just trying to not make mistakes and play good defense, but I think this year she's more running the team," Young said.

It's been a roaring success for Huntimer and the Raiders ever since.

"We always run a system where my point guard is my MVP and she fits that role to a T. We have a culture of being unselfish, making the extra pass and it really starts with the point guard," Young said. "She has incredible vision, she's super unselfish, she creates that culture where she's always looking to pass first instead of shoot and it affects everybody else; it's contagious."

During the fall sports season, Huntimer is a member of the Raiders' cross country team. That experience has served her well on the hardwood, Young noted.

"I think people who are successful in that sport have pushed past limits that they didn't think they could and I think every time you do that, you've just made yourself tougher mentally and I think that probably helps her late in the game when the other team is putting her on the free throw line and she's gotta known down free throws and I think that's probably helped with why she's so confident and so steady," Young said.

Off the court, however, it's somewhat of a difference disposition from Huntimer.

"She's really playful, just always laughing, joking around, goofing around — it's really different than when she's on the court," Young said. "On the court, she's deadly, but off the court she's such a goofball."

Iolani ran the table as the No. 1 team in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings from start to finish this season.

A few days out of his team's second state title in as many years — the program's sixth overall — Young was able to reflect upon the campaign his squad put together.

"It was a pretty special year," Young said. "This is a special group; they're really close and they all really get along well — all nine of them."




Drake Watanabe

Roosevelt basketball  •   #10  G  Sophomore

It did not take Drake Watanabe long to acclimate himself with his new teammates.

The sophomore sharpshooter has fit in quite nicely at Roosevelt — see his scoring average of 20.1 points per game — after transferring from Punahou in the offseason and continued to prove worth last week. Watanabe, a 5-foot-10, 150-pound shooting guard, poured in a game-high 20 points in the Rough Riders' playoff-opener last Wednesday night.

"He didn't force too many shots. He took shots that came to him," Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway said.

Watanabe made two 3-pointers — including one at a most crucial time late in the game — and was a perfect 8 for 8 at the free-throw line.

"Kaimuki hit a 3 late to tie it and he came back and hit a James Harden-stepback 3, so he stepped up big," said Hathaway, whose team held a 39-31 lead after three quarters but saw the Bulldogs send the game into overtime with a 21-13 scoring advantage in the fourth.

However, the Rough Riders pulled away in the extra period, when it held Kaimuki to just two points.

In addition to his offensive production, Watanabe provided 13 rebounds.

"That's what has impressed me the most about him," Hathaway said. "He's our leading rebounder, averaging over nine rebounds a game, so he knows how to go on the attack and get the ball well."

The 61-54 win over the Bulldogs put Watanabe and the Rough Riders in this Wednesday's Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II championship game.

It was Roosevelt's second time beating Kaimuki this season. Watanabe scored 23 points in the regular-season meeting on Jan. 21, a 66-60 win for his team.

Despite some tough defense against him this time around, Watanabe still reached the 20-point mark for the seventh time in 12 league games.

"Kaimuki was doing a great job playing D on him — a lot of teams know they have to key on him — but he was just going with the flow, wasn't trying to force, but he knew we needed to get the team going and still finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, so it's huge what he does for us," Hathaway said.

Watanabe leads all of Division II in points per game. He has knocked down 30 triples and 61 of 84 at the charity stripe (72.6 percent).

Hathaway said it was on the very first day of tryouts that he realized Watanabe is a dead-eye shooter.

"I had heard about him, I never really say him play, but I heard that he could shoot and play and that first night you could just see that he was good — he was legit," Hathaway said. "I was watching him shoot and right away I told one of my coaches that this kid might be one of the best shooters we've ever coached and that's saying a lot, but he's proven us right by shooting about 45 percent on 3s."

But that's just a part of Watanabe's game that Hathaway has grown to admire about the lefty.

"He can take it to the rim, he finishes well, he's got quick hands on defense where he anticipates passes well and he's a good kid. He's very coachable, he didn't come in with a cocky attitude, he just wants to win so he fit right in and right away we knew that this is a kid that needs to get 15 to 20 shots a night," Hathaway said.

While Watanabe possesses natural athleticism, the success certainly hasn't come without sacrifice.

"He puts in the work at practice, he's constantly listening and he works hard to try and improve. He's a kid that can play at the next level. Talent wise, he was given a lot of talent, but he works hard at it, too. He's not someone who comes in a slacks. In practice, they go at each other and it pushes them all to the next level."

That work ethic has set the tone on a squad full of youth. Watanabe aside, the Rough Riders' starting lineup features a freshman and another sophomore. Their typical seven- to eight-man rotation also includes two other freshmen.

"I love having Drake because I really think he's helped push our younger kids and coming from Punahou and being on that team that went to the (D1) state final last year, even though he didn't play as much, he has that experience and knows what it's like to get to the state championship. Plus, with him being younger, it's not like an older kid talking down to the them — he's right there with them — and it's pushed our guys, so I think it's been really good."

The semifinal win over Kaimuki locked up a berth in next week's Snapple/HHSAA State Championships.

Watanabe and the Rough Riders (7-5) will next face McKinley Wednesday night in the OIA title game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Tigers' Student Council Gymnasium.


BOYS BASKETBALL
Andre Adams, Lanai — Scored 26 points in a win over Hana

Jonathan Akaka, Hanalani — Scored 22 points in a win over Hawaii Baptist

Quintan Akaka, Baldwin — Scored 22 points in a win over Maui

Tino Atonio, Damien — Scored 17 points in a win over Saint Louis

Kaimana Baker, St. Anthony — Scored 27 points in a loss to Maui Prep

Hayden Bayudan, Damien — Scored 17 points in a win over Mid-Pacific

Mason Broyles, Waimea — Scored 23 points in a win over Island School

Riley Brunel, Le Jardin — Scored 17 points in a loss to Hawaii Baptist

Frank Camacho, McKinley — Scored 22 points in a win over Waialua

Micah Castillo, Hawaiian Mission — Scored 18 points in a win over Island Pacific

Keanu Chambrella, Lanakila Baptist — Scored 31 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Christian Academy

Oscar Cheng, Kahuku — Scored 22 points with eight rebounds and one steal in a win over Radford

Brandon Chung, Kalani — Scored 17 points in a loss to Radford

Malu Cleveland, Kaimuki — Scored 20 points in a win over Waipahu

John Dobashi, Island School — Scored 18 points in a loss to Waimea

Joaquin Donez, Seabury Hall — Scored 19 points in a win over Molokai

Mario Drummer, Kaiser — Scored 21 points in a win over Pearl City

Kobin Harris, Maui — Scored 18 points in a loss to Lahainaluna

Masyn Johnson, Seabury Hall — Scored 20 points in a win over Molokai

Marco Kahoohanohano, Kamehameha-Maui — Scored 31 points in a win over Kekaulike

Jaiton Kamaunu, Saint Louis II — Scored 17 points in a loss to Kamehameha II

Makalii Katagiri, Kamehameha II — Scored 21 points in a win over Saint Louis II

Andrew Lu, Island Pacific — Scored 20 points in a win over Assets and scored 22 points, including four 3-pointers, in a loss to Hawaiian Mission

DiAeris McRaven, Moanalua — Scored 19 points in a win over Mililani

Koby Moananu, Kaimuki — Scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Waipahu

Devontae Myrick, St. Anthony — Scored 17 points in a loss to Maui Prep

Sky Okamura, Christian Academy — Scored 35 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a win over Lanakila Baptist and scored 18 points in a win over Island Pacific

Noah Omori, McKinley — Scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in a

Rodger Phillips, Island Pacific — Scored 18 points in a win over Assets

Wade Pimsaguan, Waimea — Scored 21 points in a win over Island School

Tre Rickard, Lahainaluna — Scored 17 points in a win over Maui

Geremy Robinson, Moanalua — Scored 17 points in a win over Campbell

Damon Romero, Pahoa — Scored 17 points with four rebounds and three steals in a loss to Kohala

Drew Triplett, Maui Prep — Scored 29 points in a win over St. Anthony

Rodney Villanueva, Radford — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Kalani

Kelsen-Jaye Walker, Hawaii Prep — Scored 18 points in a win over Kohala

Carson Yoshida, Kekaulike — Scored 21 points in a loss to Kamehameha-Maui


GIRLS BASKETBALL
Mahalo Akaka, Maryknoll — Scored 15 points with six rebounds, one assist and a steal in a win over Lahainaluna

Teresa Anakalea, Damien — Scored 17 points with two steals and one rebound in a win over McKinley and scored 25 points with three steals, one rebound and an assist in a win over Farrington

Angel Asaah, Radford — Scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and one steal in a loss to Kekaulike

Hallie Birdsong, Kalani — Scored 22 points, including three 3-pointers, four rebounds and a steal in a loss to Maryknoll

Mahealani Choy Foo, Maryknoll — Scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, with two rebounds, two steals and one assist in a win over Kekaulike

Maya Claytor, Kahuku — Scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, with two rebounds and one block in a loss to Konawaena

Alexis Dang, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 18 points with 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists in a win over Seabury Hall, scored 15 points with six rebounds, three steals, one assist and a block in a loss to Hanalani and scored 15 points with seven rebounds and two assists in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Taylor Eldredge, Lahainaluna — Scored 14 points, including three 3-pointers, with 10 rebounds and one steal in a loss to Waiakea and scored 21 points with five rebounds, eight steals and two assists in a win over Moanalua

Kierstin Gummerus, Waimea — Scored 18 points with two rebounds, two assists and two steals in a loss to Hanalani and scored 22 points with four rebounds and two steals in a loss to Seabury Hall

Charli-Ann Hiers, Hanalani — Scored 15 points with three rebounds and an assist in a win over Campbell

Alexis Huntimer, Iolani — Scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers, with six rebounds, three steals, three blocks and an assist in a win over Waiakea

Manu Itula, Moanalua — Scored 13 points with 11 rebounds and two steals in a loss to Iolani

Caiyle Kaupu, Konawaena — Scored 37 points with five rebounds, four steals, one rebound and one block in a win over Kahuku and scored 19 points with eight rebounds, one steal and a block in a loss to Iolani

Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu, Iolani — Scored 16 points with four rebounds, two blocks and an assist in a win over Moanalua, scored 16 points with 15 rebounds, three steals, one assist and a block in a win over Waiakea and scored 20 points with five steals, four rebounds, one steal and a block in a win over Konawaena

Faith Mersburg, Hanalani — Scored 16 points with 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a win over Campbell and scored 16 points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals in a win over Hawaii Baptist

Jasmine Molina, Lanai — Scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a win over McKinley

Keala Montgomery, Lanai — Scored 15 points with 17 rebounds, two blocks and an assist in a win over Campbell

Jacie Nava, Hanalani — Scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, with 14 assists, three rebounds and two blocks in a win over Waimea

Dominique Pacheco, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 15 points with five steals and two rebounds in a loss to Hawaii Baptist

Ledjan Pahukoa, Kekaulike — Scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, with two rebounds, one assist and one steal in a loss to Konawaena and scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, with 10 rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal in a loss to Maryknoll

Lorraine Peralta, Farrington — Scored 16 points with five rebounds, three steals and three blocks in a loss to Kamehameha-Hawaii

Sasha Phillip, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 13 points with 13 rebounds and one steal in a win over Hawaii Prep and scored 11 points with 14 rebounds, one assist, one steal and a block in a win over Seabury Hall

Lauren Poniatowski, Campbell — Scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers, five rebounds, five steals and an assist in a loss to Lanai

Maria Ralar, Hanalani — Scored 23 points with six rebounds, two assists and one block in a win over Waimea

Madi Sagawa, Mid-Pacific — Scored 24 points, including three 3-pointers, with three steals, one rebound and one assist in a win over Damien, scored 15 points with five rebounds in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii and scored 15 points with four rebounds and one steal in a loss to Hanalani

Kaliana Salazar-Harrell, Konawaena — Scored 23 points, including five 3-pointers, with five rebounds, two steals and one assist in a win over Kekaulike

Lishae Scanlan, Hanalani — Scored 10 points with 11 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and an assist in a win over Hawaii Baptist

Sarah Schubert, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored 14 points with 12 rebounds and five assists in a win over Farrington and scored 11 points with 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in a loss to Mid-Pacific

Hazel Serapio, Waimea — Scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers, with seven rebounds, one steal and one assist in a loss to Hanalani

Kaye Serapio, Waimea — Scored 13 points with 14 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block in a loss to Hanalani

Keeli-Jade Smith, Waiakea — Scored 15 points with six rebounds, one steal and a block in a win over Mililani

Jennesice Sueing, Kalani — Scored 11 points with 12 rebounds and one block in a loss to Maryknoll

Anaulei Tuivai, Seabury Hall — Scored 28 points with 11 rebounds, four assists and one block in a win over Waimea and scored 14 points with 13 rebounds, five steals, three assists and a block in a win over Damien

Piohia Tuivai, Seabury Hall — Scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, with seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in a win over Waimea

Emi Wada, Hawaii Baptist — Scored 15 points, with three 3-pointers, two rebounds and one assist in a win over Seabury Hall

Jovi Wahinekapu Lefotu, Iolani — Scored 22 points with six rebounds and one assist in a win over Konawaena

Kylie Yung, Iolani — Scored 16 points with seven rebounds, four steals and one assist in a win over Moanalua


BOYS SOCCER
Mosiah Bautista, Kauai — Scored two goals in a loss to Kapaa

Elijah Dinkel, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored the lone goal in a win over Konawaena


GIRLS SOCCER
Anuhea Aluli, Kamehameha — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kekaulike

Teani Arakawa, Kekaulike — Assisted on two goals in a win over Pearl City

Brooke Bailey, Punahou — Scored the lone goal in a win over Aiea

Angela Cipriano, Hawaii Prep — Assisted on three goals in a win over Kauai

Raina Draper, Mid-Pacific — Scored two goals in a tie against Kapaa

Chenoa Frederick, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored two goals in a win over Waimea

Kayley Gardner, Waimea — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kalaheo

Zane Garrigan, Konawaena — Scored the lone goal in a win over Moanalua

Tori Ishikawa, Kapaa — Scored the lone goal in a win over Seabury Hall

Kaehukai Kaaihue, Kekaulike — Scored the lone goal in a win over Punahou

Kalia Kalua, Kamehameha — Scored the lone goal in a win over Kamehameha-Maui and scored two goals in a win over Konawaena

Kastle Lyman, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored two goals in a win over Radford and scored two goals in a win over Waianae

Talitha Melendres, Waianae — Scored two goals in a win over Nanakuli

Mackenzie Nitta, Mid-Pacific — Scored two goals in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Isabella Police, Hawaii Prep — Scored two goals in a win over Waimea

Alena Schenk, Sacred Hearts — Scored two goals in a loss to Waimea and scored three goals in a win over Seabury Hall

Tristyn Tanaka, Pearl City — Assisted on two goals in a win over Mililani

Caylie Uyema, Pearl City — Scored two goals in a win over Hilo and scored two goals in a tie against Konawaena

Kealani Warner, Kamehameha-Maui — Scored the lone goal in a win over Campbell

Nanea Wong Yuen, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored two goals in a win over Radford



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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