Pearl City Bowling Teams Are OIA And State Champions

Within the Pearl City boys and girls bowling programs this fall, one phrase was always near the surface. “Triple Crown” is a common term for both teams, refering to their goal of winning the OIA West, overall OIA title and state championships again.

Both teams put the finishing touches on accomplishing those goals by sweeping team titles recently at the state bowling championships at the Kauai Bowl in Lihue.

After their success in 2011, anything less than a state title for either would have been disappointing, but they lived up to all expectations and bowled their best when it counted the most.

“It’s always special when you win a state championship,” said boys head coach Jimmy Hayashi. “During the last three games, the boys settled down and did better than their averages.” And they had a pair of top-10 finishers in both Nicholas Azumi (third, 1,910) and Ken Hayase-Fong (seventh, 1,712).

Bowlers from West schools fared well overall with Ronson Dagdag (1,933) of Mililani and Island Pacific’s Shanks Ian (1,928) grabbing the top two spots. Kapolei’s Antonio-Dorien Martos (1,718) also took fifth, ensuring all but one of the top five slots came from a West school.

Sheldon Naauao (13th, 1,672) and Ryan Kajihiro (20th, 1,618) also figured big in the Chargers’ point total. Keenan Kihara and Aaron Rafael also took part for Pearl City. The school’s bowlers posted a team total of 8,792 pins to top runner-up Mililani by an 878-pin margin. Hawaii Baptist (7,854) came in third, followed by Kalani (7,823) and Iolani (7,593).

Next year, the Charger boys will be going after what Hayashi calls the “Grand Slam” – a fourth straight state title. He will have some key parts in place to realize that goal with Azumi, Blaise Morishige and HayaseFong entering what will be their senior seasons next fall. Only Naauao and fellow senior Shawn Nakanishi completed their eligibility from this year’s team.

“It’s not easy (to win four in a row) – we have to make history here,” Hayashi said. “I want to congratulate our kids and thank the parents for their support.”

In the girls division, the team posted a total team pin fall of 7,761, nearly 500 more than second-place Mililani (7,264).

Leilehua’s Kacee Taniyan had a 1,700 pin fall to take the girls individual title, besting Kapolei’s Shaianne Yockman by 28 pins. Pearl City’s AshlynRae Castro finished third with 1,634 total pins.

Brianna Nakamura (fourth, 1,582), Alera Chock (sixth, 1,553), Kristin Frost (12th, 1,518), Chelsi Morishige (19th, 1,474) and Kylie Malilay (40th, 1,373) all collaborated for the team title. The girls team coach is Millie Gomes.