Prep Game Of The Week – 1/28/15
WAIANAE vs. NANAKULI
JAN. 29 @ 7 P.M.
@ NANAKULI HIGH SCHOOL
I love this matchup. I saw Waianae in a preseason tournament and thought, “Wow, they have a long way to go,” especially after moving up to DI this season. They started off slow, but then pulled off a win against Kapolei and had a good showing against Campbell and Pearl City. I may have to rethink Waianae … but not this week! I saw Nanakuli play and reviewed tape of their game against Aiea, and I believe in the Golden Hawks. At this point, unless you count Louis Hulama, they don’t have any bigs. What they do have are five or six guys in the 5-10 to 6-0 range that are strong, athletic and disciplined. They’re tough zone defenders, and that comes from their new head coach, Wes Pacheco. This is a team that was lost last year and had a hard time competing. Yet a year later, with the same players, they are looking solid and may make some noise at the DII level. I pick Nanakuli by a point!
OK, I get it. Nanakuli is favored, and Chris is trying to pick a winner. (It would be long overdue, don’t you think?) The great thing about sports is that the favorites don’t always win. I got to see Waianae play twice in early December. They moved up to DI level this year and, yes, there have been growing pains. The Seariders don’t have a very impressive win-loss record, but in league play they’ve shown signs of improvement. They beat Kapolei, and overall have been much more competitive, with a 1-3 record. With only three OIA games left, the Seariders have learned valuable lessons and gained experience. I really like the play of junior guard Natano Namulauti, who is averaging 10.5 points a game. Tyger Rohr and Ikaika Trueman-Reed both average over 10 points a game as well. Also, Waianae has done a good job hitting free throws. Four of their starters average over 80 percent from the line. This game will come down to the last two minutes, and the team hitting its free throws will win, and that team will be Waianae.
Tune into the Sports Animals
Chris Hart and Gary Dickman
Weekdays, 3-7 p.m.