Stellar Talent Edges Lady Surfriders Closer To East Hoops Crown

One week does not make a season, but for Windward girls basketball teams, the outcome of this week’s games will have a huge impact. Windward Islander looks at each public high school team’s prospects at mid-season.

Castle Knights

Record to date: 3-2

Must-see game ahead: versus Farrington Wednesday at home

Knights at mid-season: Castle is in great shape, having defeated all three of its Division II opponents to date. It hopes to keep the momentum this week as it prepares for its biggest game of the year — Farrington. The defending OIA DII champion was 4-1 at press time and held a one-game lead over Castle. The winner of this one will have a leg up in the race for the East’s top seed at the OIA DII tournament. This matchup also features two of the league’s top players, Molimau Heimuli of Farrington and Castle guard Darrien Dacosin (10 points per game). Dacosin is coming off a season-high 16-point performance in a win over McKinley last week, while Heimuli is DII’s leading scorer, having recorded a league high of 33 in a recent win over Kalani.

Kahuku Red Raiders

Record to date: 3-2 Must-see game ahead: versus Kailua Wednesday at home

Red Raiders at mid-season: The team is about to enter its most demanding stretch, beginning with last Tuesday’s Kaiser game (a 60-49 loss). That was followed by games against Roosevelt and Kaimuki. The Wednesday game could be its biggest challenge to date against league-leader Kailua. Balance has carried Kahuku, as Cheyenne Teo is the only Red Raider among the top 25 scorers in DI. Kahuku will close out its slate with three straight games against DII teams (Farrington, Castle and Anuenue), so there’s a chance for its to make a run prior to the OIA DI tournament.

Kailua Surfriders

Record to Date: 5-0 Must-see game ahead: versus Roosevelt Jan. 20 at home

Surfriders at mid-season: The team’s 5-0 start was hardly a surprise, given that coach Mandy Llamedo led Kailua to a state tournament berth last year, but its start was still impressive. Wednesday’s trip to Kahuku will be huge for Kailua and its prospects for winning the OIA DI East crown, as will the much-anticipated Roosevelt game. Solid defensive efforts have helped Kailua so far, as it’s yielded an average of just 38 ppg in wins over Castle, McKinley, Moanalua and Kalani. (Kailua’s win over Anuenue was by way of forfeit.)

The frontline has been stellar behind veterans Patria Vaimaona and Delcie Williams. Vaimaona entered last weekend third in DI scoring at 19.5 ppg, while Williams was 10th overall, scoring at a 15.0-ppg clip.

Kalaheo Mustangs

Record to date: 0-5 Must-see game ahead: at Kaimuki Jan. 20

Mustangs at mid-season: Since the top three East team will earn berths at the OIA DII tournament, there is still much work to be done as the Mustangs search for their first win. Kalaheo’s main competition for the third and final playoff berth are Anuenue and McKinley, as both were also winless at press time. With that in mind, a home date with the Tigers Friday is critical. After the Kaimuki game, Kalaheo closes its season against DI Kailua Jan. 22.

Mikayla Hanson has been a bright spot for the Mustangs of late, leading the team in scoring in the games against Kahuku and Roosevelt.