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Sabres Basketball On Bye Week, Returns To Courts Jan. 6

Campbell girls basketball head coach Summer Aona has found that there is, indeed, strength in numbers.

As she began her third season late last week at the helm of the Campbell program, renewed interest shows in the large rosters on both the JV and varsity teams.

“We have big teams — full rosters — this year,” said Aona. “We have a lot of the JV kids from last year who have moved up to varsity and who have some playing experience, and we have 10 new players on the JV team who have made great strides.

“Many of them were with us during the summer.”

How much of an impact the newcomers can have remains to be seen, but Aona also will have some veterans on the varsity team after having put some of the younger players in the OIA on the floor in her first two years as coach.

Campbell finished 3-7 last season, and was designated as Division II for the post-season.

Under the OIA’s current scheduling format, the Sabers will again play both DI and DII teams from the West during the season.

As far as the January post-season goes, however, they will be back in DI.

“It is where we should be and always strive to stay,” Aona said. “(DI post-season) is a challenge for us because it is a different level.” And she’s counting on a trio of guards in Cydney Curran, Chante Dewberry and Dahlia Guillory to lead the way.

Curran is only a junior, but already is entering her third year as a starter.

“Cydney brings a lot of quickness, and she’s become more confident in her handling the ball,” Aona said. “She’ll be our main point guard and a shooting guard.”

Dewberry is a senior, who saw limited time last season because of an injury.

“She’s a smart player with good hands,” Aona said. “She’ll be one of our better defenders.”

Guillory is also a senior, but new to the program, having transferred into the school district during the off-season.

“She’s another good defender. She’s an in-your-face basketball player. She’s aggressive on defense.”

Campbell went 3-4 in a busy preseason, where the team appeared in tournaments hosted by Farrington and Hawaii Prep Academy on Hawaii island in addition to a single game with Kailua.

The Sabers were to open their 2014-15 OIA season late last week against Mililani before turning their attention to Tuesday’s road date with Pearl City.

Aona likes the timing of Campbell’s bye week. The Sabers won’t play again until Jan. 6, when they visit Waipahu.

“We’ve changed up our practice schedule this year to combine the JV and varsity to economize our practice time and help bring the JV kids up to speed,” she explained. “We always struggle with time in the gym because we have to share, so this will give us more time to spend with our varsity, and we’ll be able to have separate practices.

“I like the camaraderie we have right now with both groups,” she added. “They have a great capacity to learn, and they’re seeing how much can be accomplished with a positive attitude.”

Campbell’s remaining home schedule includes games against Radford Jan. 10, Waialua Jan. 14, Kapolei Jan. 16 and Aiea Jan. 22.