Waialua Girls Basketball Team Is Young But Experienced

The Waialua girls basketball program will turn to a familiar figure this winter to continue its rebuilding process, as former longtime Bulldog boys coach Virgilio Basilio has stepped into the head coaching slot.

The Bulldogs had been without a girls basketball program for two seasons before Michael Moon restarted it last season. Moon stepped down at season’s end after laying the foundation, clearing the way for Basilio.

“It’s a new challenge and something different,” said Basilio, whose team’s public unveiling was at the Hanalani Tournament last weekend. “Coach Moon taught the girls well. Although we’re still relatively young, the returnees have good skills.”

In addition to spending 15 seasons with the boys program, including the last eight as its varsity head coach, Basilio also coached in the school’s football program. His staff includes daughter Brittney, who starred at the school from 2005-2008 before going on to play for University of Puget Sound.

The coaching staff inherited a team made up mostly of underclassmen, although most of the returnees logged big minutes last year. Adding to the preseason intrigue is the addition of Oklahoma transfer Kaedy Hatchett, slated to be starting point guard.

“She played varsity last year (at her previous school) although only a ninth-grader,” he said. “She handles the ball really well, and she has terrific leadership qualities. We’re excited about her.”

Basilio also is counting on a pair of seniors in Kamryn Lendio and Liliana Marks to set the tone for his team early on. “Hopefully, the young girls will look up to them. Liliana will be one of our (starting) posts. She’s about 5-foot-7, 5-8, which is tall by our standards.

“Kamryn is a good athlete, who just played in the (sixth annual OC16 Senior Girls) Volleyball Invitational at Mililani last week,” he added. “We’re looking for leadership from both of them.”

The rotation also should have juniors Kiana Pa’akaula-Reis, Kayla Kapika and Via-Mae Pascua, as well as sophomores Gabriella Delgado and Gemelie Hatchie.

“They’re really green right now, but I like their willingness to learn and grow as basketball players,” Basilio said. “Our junior returnees have a lot of skill.”

Waialua returns to action Saturday hosting La Pietra from the ILH. Waialua’s OIA West opener is Dec. 4 at Mililani. The Bulldogs won’t field a JV team this winter, sending its freshmen right up to the varsity instead. Waialua’s home slate includes games with Pearl City Dec. 10, Campbell Dec. 18, Waianae Dec. 26, Nanakuli Jan. 3 and Leilehua Jan. 9.

“Hopefully, we can build up the program and add a JV team (in 2014-15),” Basilio said. “We’re looking to the future with all of these youngsters.”