February 26th, 2009

One of the first things you learn about high school sports in Hawaii is to never underestimate neighbor-island teams — especially in basketball.

But did anyone expect Kapaa to knock off Kahuku?? I certainly didn’t. Kahuku is big, athletic and fast. But Kapaa proved to be tenacious and tough, and despite not having as much depth as Kahuku, the Warriors ran with the Red Raiders and came out ahead 60-56 in one of the biggest upsets I’ve seen in nearly 40 years of watching Hawaii prep sports.

Kapaa won despite point guard Jessilyn Artaho-Aki being sick with the flu. She made the big 3-pointer and free throws to ice it. Guard Mai’lika Napoleon (20 points) and center Jondi Das (17) had big games.

“They’d have three players on the ball, so we knew someone had to be open,” Kapaa coach Terry Maguire said. “And they made the shots when they had to.”

Maguire rolled the dice with a pressing defense, and thanks to great conditioning, it worked despite the Warriors’ short bench.

I guess I can’t write that column I was thinking about saying that Kahuku shouldn’t have been in Division II. Maybe Kapaa belongs in Division I. 

– By Dave Reardon

3 Responses to “Kapaa!!!”

  1. Red:

    Mr. Reardon the Red Raiders dont belong in Div. 2. Have you been following their season and seen the average score that they have been beating these other teams by? Congratulations to Kapaa for playing a perfect game last night allowing them to beat Kahuku but c’mon if you think because of that one game Kahuku should still be D2 than you smoking something.

  2. dreardon:

    I’d have a bigger problem with Kahuku being in Division II if its student population were larger. They’re a small school, and that’s what Division II is for, small schools — (doesn’t mean small schools can’t be in Division I however). As far as their talent level goes, they’re probably better than most Division I schools. But talent level is not the primary barometer of who should and shouldn’t be in what divisions. I’ve got a much bigger problem with huge population schools putting themselves in Division II. There’s no other way to describe that than “weak.”

  3. Reiko Eoh:

    Wow, sounds like a classic! Congratulations to the Kapaa Warriors. Yes you did!

Leave a Reply