OIA Titles, Thrilling ‘Almost’ Wins At State For Area Teams

A review of memorable 2014 sports stories from Windward Oahu schools

Kahuku makes state DI football semifinals

The team came within a few plays of making the state title game, narrowly losing to top-seeded Punahou 13-10 in the semifinals of the Division I state tourney Nov. 15 at Aloha Stadium.

A crowd of 10,455 watched as Kahuku took a 10-7 lead deep into the fourth quarter before a pair of Punahou field goals — the last with 30 seconds left — sealed its fate.

Kahuku was second to Mililani in the OIA, finishing 9-3 under first-year head coach Lee Leslie, whom new principal Pauline Masaniai hired to replace Reggie Torres.

Kalaheo girls win OIA White soccer title

Keeley York and Mayumi Ishikawa each scored a goal as Kalaheo beat Leilehua 2-0 for the OIA White girls soccer title Jan. 24.

For head coach Alan Heu and the team, it was their third trip in four years to the league title game and gave the team its sixth straight victory after a slow start of 0-6. The Mustangs came into the OIA tourney as the East’s top-seed, defeated Radford 1-1 in overtime the day before in the semi-finals. Losses to KS-Hawaii and Kapaa in the state DII tourney ended their bid for a title.

Castle girls make state soccer tournament

Castle posted a 10-5-1 record under head coach Millie Dydasco and went 8-2 in the OIA Red East to earn the division’s No. 2 seed for the OIA tournament. The Knights defeated Aiea 1-0 in the first round, then dropped games to Mililani and Kapolei (in the third-place game) by 1-0 scores.

The Knights lost to eventual champion Kamehameha in the first round of the DI state tourney, but rebounded to beat Hilo in the consolation round and tie with OIA East foe Kaiser.

Kalaheo, Kailua battle for OIA White VB title

After coming up a game short in 2013, the Kalaheo volleyball girls were on a mission all year to return to the OIA White title game. They stayed the course, even defeating DI teams on their way to a 7-4 mark. In the OIA White playoffs, head coach Roberta Downey’s team dispatched West top-seed Radford and then beat Kailua in a riveting Oct. 24 title match, 26-24, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17.

A season highlight was a seven-game winning streak that saw the team go 38 days without a loss before finishing 10-6 overall.

Kailua baseball advances to semifinals

Royce Komesu threw a four-hitter to lift Kailua past Baldwin, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the DI state tournament May 14. Seeded fourth, Baldwin had entered the game with a 14-1 record.

Kailua entered unseeded, but moved into the quarters with a 5-4 win over Aiea in a first-round game.

The 5-foot-8 senior right-hander turned in a gritty performance, even escaping a bases-loaded jam along the way. He allowed four walks and struck out six in the complete game win. Baldwin pitcher Noah Apolo was equally effective. Kailua had finished second at the OIA tournament, and 13-6 overall under head coach Corey Ishigo.

Castle golfer Kawada finishes strong

Castle’s Iris Kawada delivered big at the OIA golf championships April 22-23 on Turtle Bay Resort’s Fazio Course, compiling a twoday total of 150 to tie for the lead with Mililani’s Mari Nishiura through 36 holes. Kawada was edged out by Nishiura in a one-hole playoff, but returned for the 2014 David S. Ishii Foundation Golf Championships to be the highest OIA finisher, taking fourth overall with 143. League coaches voted her OIA East Conference All-Star.

Harrison, Kalaheo boys basketball team to states

The Kalaheo boys basketball team entered 2013-14 as the two-time defending state champion, having won titles in DII and DI, respectively, the previous two years. Head coach Alika Smith’s team looked poised for another deep post-season run before injuries ultimately undermined momentum, especially when standout Kupaa Harrison hurt his ankle and was out for his final three games. The Mustangs finished 12-6 overall and third at the OIA Red tourney. They lost to Waiakea in the state consolation final.

Kailua girls basketball team in state tourney

The Kailua girls made a second straight appearance at the state basketball tournament in February, this time in DI. They went 7-3 in the OIA Red and finished fourth in the conference tourney under coach Mandy Llamedo and won a berth at states with a 49-46 win over Leilehua in the quarterfinals; they were defeated by Maryknoll in the first round at states to finish the season at 12-8 overall.

Great year for Windward girls volleyball

In addition to Kalaheo’s DII OIA title, Castle, Kailua and Kahuku all qualified for their respective state tournaments.

Kahuku went 13-1 overall, including a 10-1 mark in the Red East, and won the state consolation round. Kailua (9-9) lost to Kalaheo in the OIA DII title game. Castle (9-8) qualified for the DI state tournament.