Winter Athletes Perform StatelyThe end of February means the end of high school sports winter action. Following some always unpredictable and intense KIF regular seasons, a number of our island’s best young athletes took their talents to other beaches and showed well at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships.
* The Kaua’i High Raider Wahine entered the Hawaiian Airlines Division II girls tournament as the fourth seed, but made their way to the championship game behind a dominant quarterfinal win over Honokaa (43-23) and a narrow semifinal escape over Hawaii Prep (34-33). Those wins made them the first KIF girls team to ever make the championship game.
Their dream run was ended by No. 2 seed Kamehameha-Kapalama in the title contest (57-36), but the runner-up finish sends the seniors off with a great accomplishment, while the team still brings back plenty of firepower to make another run next year.
One of the state’s top players, junior guard Kristle Henry, made the AllTournament Team, averaging 16.0 points per game. The Raiders finished the season with a 13-3 overall record.* Kapa’a and Kaua’i each made the Final Four of the Outrigger Hotels Division II girls soccer tournament after each qualified with strong KIF regular seasons.
Second-seeded Kaua’i was the third-place finisher, topping its familiar foe 2-0 in the third-place contest. Jannin Hashizume scored both goals for the Raider Wahine as they knocked off the Lady Warriors once again.
Kaua’i, which went unbeaten in KIF play, topped Kalaheo 3-2 in the quarterfinals, with Hashizume and Cascade Mayer each netting a goal before Malu Vegas had the eventual game-winner in the 71st minute. They were then knocked off by Hawaii Prep in the semis 3-1. Kaylee Tamura tied the contest at 1-1 in the 25th minute, but the Raiders surrendered a pair of late second-half scores to be ousted from the main draw.
Kapa’a won its way into the bracket with a play-in win over Pac-Five, following that up with a 3-0 firstround win over Seabury Hall. Taylor Ochoa, Rachel Hinkel and Tori Pezario each scored second-half goals in the shutout. They then upset fourth-seeded Waipahu 3-1 in the quarters. Ochoa and Hinkel scored again, while Cassie Wilson also found the net. Topseeded Mid-Pacific used a pair of first-half scores to knock out Kapaa 2-0 in the semifinals.Hinkel and Hashizume were each selected to the All-Tournament Team.
* The Kapa’a girls paddling team qualified for states with a time of 4 minutes, 22.221 seconds and improved upon that at the championship event, taking fifth place with a time of 4:21.849.
* Kaua’i freshman swimmer Yasmine Ware dominated the girls 50-yard freestyle event at the OC16 Swimming & Diving Championships, touching the wall in 23.84 seconds. No other competitor managed to break the 25-second mark.
Ware, Kate Machorek, Kaitlin Santos and Sophie Britzmann combined to take second place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and Machorek added a bronze in the 100-yard backstroke as the Raider Wahine team claimed fourth place overall among the 21 high schools competing.
Kapa’a’s girls team finished in 10th place, led by Anya Littlefield, who took second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle.
* The JN Automotive Group Division II boys soccer tournament took place this past week, but results were unavailable as of press time. The KIF champion Kapa’a Warriors (9-1-2) entered as the No. 2 seed and took on Makua Lani in their quarterfinal encounter.
* Still to come is the final tournament of the winter season at the Hawaiian Airlines boys basketball championship. Kapa’a will represent the KIF after another regularseason title. Games run from Feb. 23 to 25 at various sites on Oahu.