Lady Chargers Basketball Team Anticipates Strong Season

Pearl City head girls basketball coach Miles Okamura and the Chargers are hoping to use the summer league as a springboard to the 2013-14 season.

“Our girls are a little more advanced than last year, and we have some JV girls coming up that are going to help us along with the varsity returnees, so we hope to be a lot better this year,” said Okamura.

“They all get along well with each other, and they like to have fun, but they’re serious when it comes to basketball. They ask a lot more questions this year, and they’re willing to learn.”

Okamura took over in the spring of 2012 with virtually no returnees. The team had graduated a stellar senior class that delivered the school’s first OIA overall girls basketball title only three months earlier under then-outgoing coach Mike Morton.

The youthful Chargers struggled to a 0-10 last season, but the outlook is much brighter this spring.

Three starters return this time around, led by senior-to-be Megan Ramos.

“She should be one of our leaders this year,” said Okamura, who is in his second stint leading the Pearl City program, having been head coach from 1985 to ’90.

“She’s a hard worker, she listens well, and she tries to keep everybody together.”

Also back are junior-to-be Jurey Jao and sophomore-to-be Ciera Sylva. The pair earned invaluable playing time as under-classmen last year.

“Jurey is one of our better ball-handlers, so she’s going to help us take care of the basketball. She also will be one of our better shooters.

Sylva is the younger sister of AJ Sylva, who was a Charger standout under Morton.

“She’s trying to be a leader,” he said of Sylva, a guard. “She tries hard and also keeps everything light. We think she’ll be one of our better shooters, too.”

Okamura also will have the services of sophomore-to-be Johnneen Kapua. A post-player, she started a handful of games last season.

“She’s a lot more serious this year: She wants to improve and get better, and she’s a lot more dedicated.”

The Chargers currently have 17 players in their Summer League, which runs June 10-July 5.

“The girls have been working hard, and their basketball mentality is more advanced with a year of experience,” he noted.

Pearl City’s Summer League field includes Island Pacific Academy, Hanalani, Nanakuli, Mililani, Kapolei, Waipahu and Waianae in addition to the host Chargers.

Pearl City’s games are scheduled as follows:

Island Pacific Academy, 6 p.m. June 10; Hanalani Schools, 6 p.m. June 12; Nanakuli High, 6 p.m. June 17; Waipahu High, 6 p.m. June 21; Waianae High, 6 p.m. June 24; Mililani High, 6 p.m. June 26; Kapolei High, 7 p.m. July 1.