Girls Basketball: Critical Games This Week For Windward

Here’s a look at Thursday’s 7 p.m. action for Castle, Kahuku and Kalaheo girls basketball teams and Kailua v. Kalani Saturday.

Castle at Kaimuki

The Knights got the “signature win” they needed Dec. 10 by upending Division I Kahuku 50-46. Add to that admirable showings in losses to Moanalua and Kaiser, Castle served notice it will be a post-season force in DII next month. Kaimuki was winless in three games entering the weekend, while this Saturday’s opponent, McKinley, was 1-2, giving Castle a chance to make a nice run over the holidays. The team is led by Darrien Dacosin, Brianna Hidalgo, Sierra Koki and sisters Shaney and Sheastel Tiumalu.

Kalani at Kalaheo

After tough road losses to Kailua and McKinley, Kalaheo finds itself in the midst of a five-game home stand, including a Kaiser game over the weekend. Following the Kalani game, Kalaheo also hosts Roosevelt Dec. 30 and Moanalua Jan. 3. After giving up 57 points to a good Kailua team in its opener, Kalaheo bounced back nicely on the defensive end, holding its last two opponents to an average of 40 points per game. Offensively, balance carried its recent win over McKinley, as nine players tallied, led by Sierra Yamaguchi (12), Tyler Meredith (12) and Esther Ilab (9).

Kahuku at Roosevelt

This is a key week for Kahuku, which follows up the Roosevelt game with another road test at Kaiser Saturday. Should they win both, they’ll be in position for a run during the season’s second half, as three of their last four games are at home. Early losses to Castle and Farrington put Kahuku in catch-up mode, so every outing is critical. Roosevelt has been impressive, having opened OIA play with home wins over Kailua and Kaiser.

Kailua at Kalani

Impressive wins over Kalaheo and Kaimuki, and a loss to league-leader Roosevelt were a solid start, as Kailua comes off an eight-day layoff after playing Kaiser last week. Beginning with the Saturday Kalani game, three of its last four games will be on the road – Moanalua Jan. 7 and Castle Jan. 13. Defense has been the Surfriders’ forte in their wins, as they yielded only 33.5 points per game in those encounters. Kailua has looked to Tara Takata, Taufau Williams and Patricia Vaimoana, offensively, in recent games.