Thursday Games Critical For West Basketball Playoff Seedings
As the OIA boys basketball season winds down this week, the all-important playoff seeds are hanging in the balance with much still to be sorted out. Below is a preview of Thursday’s key games for West side teams, all starting at 7 p.m.
Campbell at Pearl City
Should the Sabers stay the course and win the Red West race, they will certainly have earned it, as their last three games were against the teams closest to them in the standings. Campbell was 5-0 as of late last week and was to play a 5-1 Mililani team Tuesday before having one day to prepare for this game.
Pearl City also is very much in the picture with a 4-1 mark. The Sabers close out Red West play at Waianae, which was 5-1 through its first six games.
Campbell and head coach Wyatt Tau have been relying so far on defensive play to set the pace, as they are yielding only 43 points per game. The Chargers have been true road Warriors, posting wins at Aiea, Kapolei and Waialua already. Pearl City’s season finale at home Saturday against Radford should also figure big in the Red West race.
Radford at Kapolei
This one can be put into the “must win” category for both teams, as they found themselves in a three-team race for final berths in the OIA tournament as of press time.
Back-to-back losses to Mililani and Pearl City undermined some of Kapolei’s momentum following a 3-0 start, but it will have a chance to move up if it can take care of business at home. Three of its final four games are at home, including the last one Saturday versus Aiea. Increasing offensive production is key down the stretch. They are 3-0 when scoring 50 points or more, but 0-8 dating back to preseason when giving up 46 points or more on the defensive end.
Radford posted impressive wins over both Waianae and Mililani to begin its West slate and was a couple of plays away from toppling league-leader Campbell before falling by four.
Aiea at Waialua
The OIA White tournament will offer new life to its teams after playing schedules packed with games against Division I teams under the OIA’s format. Both Aiea and Waialua hope to be among them, but there might only be room for one of the two, making this a game of epic proportions, given that they were tied at press time in the standings. Both are battling with Waipahu and Nanakuli for three playoff spots.
Aiea’s 72-64 win over Leilehua in overtime was a real boost for Na Ali‘i, who then embarked on a date with Nanakuli over the weekend and another with Waipahu Tuesday. A road date Saturday with Division I Kapolei awaits Aiea. Offensive play has been among its strengths to date, as the team averages 52.1 points per game. Na Ali‘i’s Bryson Naito
(14.3 points per game) and Amara Toure (8.3 ppg) are currently ranked 5th and 12th, respectively, in scoring in the OIA White.