Trojan Girls Basketball Team ‘Unselfish’
For the Mililani girls basketball team, sharing the ball hasn’t been an issue, to hear head coach Patrick Basilio tell it. Indeed, should the Trojans be in the mix for a state title in February, they’ll likely look back on their cohesiveness.
“No one cares who’s doing the scoring on this team – our unselfish play has been (our strength),” said Basilio. “Our chemistry is coming together. Sometimes we’re too unselfish, wanting to pass up layups to kick the ball out (to perimeter shooters).”
Mililani, which opened OIA West play with a win over Waialua last Wednesday, went 7-2 in its preseason, posting impressive wins over Kamehameha-Hawaii island, Waiakea and Konawaena, among others. Its only losses came to Lahainaluna and Hilo High.
Developing cohesiveness was a theme for the Trojans in November, he noted. “I always tell them ‘we’re not a team, we’re a family.’ That’s the ‘F’ word we use around here. Our two trips to Hawaii island and to Maui really helped them come together nicely. Hopefully, we can make a nice run.”
Mililani was in regroup mode in preseason having lost four starters from last year’s 13-3 team (10-0 in the West) – standouts Kapili Amamalin, Kaylee Torres, Kira Arruda, and West Player of the Year Nayla Long.
The lone starter back in the fold is point guard Mikaela Limper. “Mikaela has done really well – she’s assumed the leadership role. She’s our lone captain now. On the court, she knows how to run the show, and the girls respect her for it.”
The Trojans got a boost in the off-season when Hanalani transfer Sarah Liva arrived on campus. Liva averaged 21.9 points per game last season with the Royals and competed on Chico Furtado’s Hawaii-Select traveling All-Star team this past summer. Liva is currently Mililani’s starting center.
“She brings a whole new dimension to us,” Basilio said. “Her presence down low is unbelievable. She can take over a game, and her unselfishness makes her a special player.”
Also figuring big in Basilio’s rotation to date are sophomore Shantell Appleby, junior Summer Bolibol, and seniors Zyriana Davies and Jerika Dacuycuy. “Shantell has been a huge complement to Sarah – when they’re on the court together, they mesh well. Summer is going to open some eyes this year. She’s always been a hard worker, and now she’s seeing the rewards.”
Davies and Dacuycuy both played last year, but have seen their roles expand considerably this season.
“Zyriana has been playing the best basketball I’ve seen her play,” Basilio said. “Unfortunately, she hit her head in preseason and had to miss the Waialua game, but she’ll be back this week. She’s really been getting after it. Jerika has been playing some good ball, too.”
Mililani returns to action Dec. 18, when the Trojans host Nanakuli. Their home slate also includes games against Leilehua Dec. 26, Waianae Jan. 3 and Campbell Jan. 13.