Farrington Hoops Coach: Windward Teams Tough To Beat

Should the OIA basketball champion come from the Windward side next month, no one would be surprised, and Farrington head coach Allan Silva can be counted among them. Now in his 10th season with the Governors, Silva knows that his most rugged competition often comes from Kalaheo or Kahuku.

“They (the Windward schools) will all be factors,” said Silva, a longtime Kaneohe resident. “Kahuku is really improved, and although we just beat Kalaheo, it’s just another game. Kalaheo is Kalaheo. We have to prepare to go and play them again when we meet. Kailua has had some close games. It is going to be very competitive. Every school is well-coached.”

Silva has won two state titles at Farrington, most recently in 2011, but may have his most gifted bunch this year. The team beat Kalaheo twice in preseason and also edged last year’s state runner-up Maryknoll in overtime in addition to beating Kamehameha, Campbell and Leilehua, among others.

Silva’s team has discovered that there is, indeed, strength in numbers. His rotation might be the biggest in the state. “Practice is very competitive,” he said. “We’ve found that a lot of the guys from the bench have stepped up. The kids know that there’s someone to replace them if one isn’t getting the job done.

“We’ve had some very talented players here, but I’ve never had a team with this much talent across the board. In our last game, everybody played and everybody scored. It’s not a done deal if you’re starting. We have five or six kids on the bench all ready to play.”

Farrington, which was to play Castle over the weekend, has been starting games lately with a lineup that includes Jacob McEnroe, Isaiah Smith, Isaiah “Z” Visorio, Van Hugo and Seu Luafatasaga. The rotation also includes Division I football prospects Manly Williams and Mason Semisi. Williams will attend University of Hawaii on a football scholarship, while Semisi is being heavily recruited as the Feb. 5 signing day approaches.

Farrington plays a few Windward teams this season – Jan. 17 at Kalaheo, Jan. 30 at Kailua (Silva’s alma mater), and Feb.1 at home against Kahuku (the outcome of this one could impact the East champion).

It went 11-3 overall in preseason and will play 11 games in 31 days during its regular season with its East counterparts. The longest stretch for Silva’s team between games, once the OIA East slate begins, is five days at the midway point. “I’ve never seen a schedule (as condensed) like this one,” Silva said. “By Feb. 20, the whole season will be over.”

In other action this week, Kalaheo hosts games Wednesday versus Anuenue and Saturday versus Kailua. The Mustangs finished their preseason at 14-5. Also on Wednesday, Kailua hosts Kalani, Kaimuki visits Kahuku, and Castle plays at Moanalua. Castle travels to Kaiser Friday, while Kahuku visits McKinley. All games begin at 7 p.m.