A Mid-season Windward OIA Prep Basketball Review
As the boys’ Oahu Interscholastic Association’s prep basketball season reaches the midway point, MidWeek takes a look at the prospects for Castle, Kahuku, Kalaheo and Kailua.
Castle Record: (0-4 in the OIA White East)
What’s Next: Thursday at Kalaheo; Saturday at Kaimuki
Players to Watch: Joseph Lilio (11.5 points per game; 6th best in the league), Kela Shea (7.8), Keanu Furtado (6.8), Justin Pang (4.8)
Knights at a Glance: Castle has been competitive to date, but needs a win to see some reward for its efforts. Upcoming games with Kailua and Anuenue should figure big for the Knights, who need to pick up some wins to ensure a playoff berth. The top three teams from the White East will move into the post-season. The Knights were tied with Anuenue, which is also winless, for last at press time, making their upcoming game Jan. 29 the equivalent of an “elimination game” for a playoff spot.
Must-See Game on the Remaining Slate: Versus Kailua at home Feb. 1
Make Plans for the State Tournament If: the Knights can take care of business against their remaining Division II foes and get on a roll down the stretch and continue to win at the OIA DII Tournament.
Kahuku Record: 3-1 in the OIA Red
What’s Next: Versus Kalani at home Thursday; Kalaheo at home Saturday
Key Wins: Over Roosevelt (52-45 Jan. 3)
Players to Watch: Kawe Johnson (13.0 points per game; 5th leading scorer in the league), Lasselle Thompson (9.3), Hirkley Latu (9.0), Will Cravens (5.5)
Red Raiders at a Glance: The Red Raiders are always better late than early, as the bulk of their roster gets a late start in basketball because they are still competing for the nationally ranked Kahuku football program. With that in mind, a 3-1 start places Kahuku right on schedule to do some damage when it will matter most. The outcome of upcoming games with Kalaheo (Saturday) and Moanalua (Feb. 2) will figure big in how successful the Red Raiders are this regular season, not to mention their seeding for the upcoming tournament.
Must-See Game on the Remaining Slate: Versus Kalaheo at home Saturday
Make Plans for the State Tournament If: the Red Raiders continue to improve game by game. Kahuku has come around nicely after spending most of December looking to get in sync. Athletically, the Red Raiders remain one of the OIA’s most talented teams.
Kailua Record: (9-5 overall, 2-2 in the OIA White East)
What’s Next: Versus Anuenue at home on Thursday; versus Kaiser at home Saturday
Key Win: Over Kahuku (47-45 Jan. 5)
Players to Watch: Kirk Ronolo Jr. (first in the White in scoring at 17.3 points per game), Kekoa Ford (10.0) and Cason Kalei (5.5)
Surfriders at a Glance: Kailua has been impressive to date with wins over Division I schools Kahuku and Kaimuki as well as a near-miss versus Kalani. In the race to secure a No. 1 seed for the upcoming OIA White Tournament, no game is perhaps bigger than Saturday’s matchup with Kaiser, since the Cougars also will compete in DII during the post-season. As three of Kailua’s remaining opponents (Anuenue, Castle and McKinley) are a combined 1-11 at present, there’s a chance for Kailua to close out its regular season on a nice run.
Must-See Game on the Remaining Slate: versus Kaiser Saturday at home
Make Plans for the State Tournament If: the Surfriders come ready to play every remaining game. Kailua’s schedule lines up nicely for the Surfriders to earn a favorable seed for the OIA White Tournament as well as one of the league’s State Tournament berths.
Kalaheo Record: (15-4 overall, 4-0 in OIA Red East)
What’s Next: Thursday versus Castle at home. At Kahuku Saturday
Key Win: over Moanalua (41-40) Jan. 5
Players to Watch: Alec MacLeod (14.0 points per game), Derick Morgan (10.8), Kalei Zuttermeister (8.0), Elijah Erickson (8.5), Shem Sukumaran (7.5), Josh Ko (6.5)
Mustangs at a Glance:
As expected, Kalaheo hasn’t missed a beat in moving up to Division I this winter, as the veteran Mustangs were basically DI caliber last year when they won the Division II State Title. Defense remains the Mustangs’ forte, as they yielded an average of just 30 points per game to their first four regular-season opponents. Offensively, Kalaheo’s balance has paid huge dividends to date with any one of five or six players capable of having a huge scoring night.
Must-See Game on the Remaining Slate: Saturday at Kahuku
Make Plans for the State Tournament If: the Mustangs can stay on pace, defensively. Kalaheo has been one of the top defensive teams in the state to date and should be in the mix for a DII State Title.