Leilehua And Mililani In Hunt As Basketball Playoffs Loom

As the boys OIA prep basketball season reaches the midway point, MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander takes a look at the prospects for Leilehua, Mililani and Waialua.

Leilehua Mules

Record: (3-2 in OIA Red West)

Signature win: over Mililani (45-36) Jan. 11

What’s next: Versus Kapolei at home Friday; next Monday versus Waipahu at a site still to be determined

Must-see game remaining: Kapolei. If anyone can handle the Hurricanes, it might be the Mules.

Players to watch: Troy Ross (12.2 points per game; seventh overall in the Red conference in scoring), Pomai Cozo (9.2), Torenzo Vereen (4.7)

Mules at a glance: Of the Mules’ last five games, three will come versus Division II teams and another against a struggling Waipahu team.

That leaves Friday’s game with Kapolei as the difference between a “good” regular season and a “great” one. A win over Kapolei, which was still unbeaten heading into the weekend, would also figure big in a more favorable seeding for the upcoming OIA post-season tournament.

Mililani Trojans

Record: (3-3 in OIA Red West)

Signature win: Over Campbell (48-44) Jan. 16

What’s next: Versus Waipahu at home Friday; next Monday at Waialua

Must-see game remaining: Waipahu

Players to watch: Bryson Naito (6.8 points per game), Mene Perese (6.7), Ian Namu (6.5)

Trojans at a glance: With three of their four remaining games against Division II teams, there’s an opportunity for a momentum-gathering late run.

The Trojans’ Division I matchup is Waipahu, which was just 1-4 through its first five games. Mililani has done it with offense to date, as the defending OIA runner-up and still-undefeated Kapolei has put up more points than the Trojans. Mililani is 0-3 when being held to under 36 points.

Waialua Bulldogs

Record: (1-4 in OIA White) Signature win: Over Waipahu (64-60) Jan. 16

What’s next: At Radford Friday; next Monday versus Mililani at home

Must-see game remaining: Radford. Although Radford is in Division I, this is a very winnable game for the Division II Bulldogs, and a win would be a huge boost for the team.

Players to watch: Xavier Repollo (16.0 points per game; currently leading the White Conference in scoring), Keevan Cuadro (7.8), Jeren Dingal, Kamana Equines, William Blaser, Isaiah Temblor-McShane

Bulldogs at a glance: With four teams competing for three berths for the upcoming OIA tournament, it goes without saying that every game is a must-win the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs also lost the head-to-head meetings with Aiea, Nanakuli and Waianae, so it doesn’t own a tie-breaker with any of them. A win over Radford could keep Waialua in the mix.