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Girls Hoops Teams Up For Action

For Windward’s five girls basketball programs, the Nov. 3 starting date can’t get here fast enough.

Castle, Kailua, Kalaheo, Kahuku and Le Jardin all had promising moments last year on the hardwood and are looking to continue their upward mobility in 2014-15. In fact, Kailua and Castle appear poised to take the next step in their respective divisions, if all goes according to plan.

* Kailua has high hopes following a 12-8 campaign a year ago when it went 7-3 in the OIA Red and finished fourth at the conference tournament to earn a berth for the Division I state tournament.

Third-year coach Mandy Llamedo is building her team around post player Patria Vaimaona, who is back to lead Kailua for her senior year after averaging 12.4 points per game last season.

Also expected back is guard Taufau Williams, who is now a junior. Vaimaona and Williams were both named Second Team all-stars at the end of last season. Williams averaged 17.5 points per game to finish third in the OIA Red in scoring.

* Castle finished 7-9 last season, the first for Knights head coach Joe Lilio, including a third-place finish in the OIA White (Division II) post-season tournament. In the process, the team also earned a berth in the Division II state tourney, where it beat Kohala in a first-round game.

During the regular season, which pits Division I teams against DII teams, the Knights also beat a trio of DI schools in Kahuku, Kaimuki and McKinley.

Junior guard Sierra Koki is among the key returnees. She averaged 12.4 points per game last winter as a sophomore.

* Le Jardin Academy had a breakthrough season of sorts, going 11-8 overall and 7-4 in the ILH (Division II). The Bulldogs also earned a berth in the DII state tournament.

* Kahuku went 5-5 in an injury-riddled season, just out of qualifying for the Division I state tournament.

* For Kalaheo, 2013-14 was a rebuilding year with a young roster and a new coach in former Mustang standout Shaina Ava. The Mustangs went 1-9 in the OIA White East.