Kalani Basketball on top once again


Senior Kaylie Espinas dribbles around a Roosevelt opponent. Photo by Noah Tamura 2018.

Noah Tamura, Sports Writer

Both of the Kalani High School basketball teams had great seasons. The girls’ varsity team won the Division One OIA Championship after being crowned Division Two OIA Champions last year, while the boys’ varsity team repeated as Division Two OIA Champions. The girls’ team finished with 15 wins and 10 losses and the boys’ team finished the season with 15 wins and 5 losses.

Senior Kaylie Espinas dribbles around a Roosevelt opponent. Photo by Noah Tamura 2018.

This year’s Girl Varsity basketball team consisted of:

# NAME                                         POS HT YR
1 April Kochi                                  G 5’0 12
3 Chara Higaki                                  G 5’0 12
4 Daesha Viela                                  G 5’1 11
5 Lile Oyama                                  G 5’0 10
10 Alayna Akiona                   G/F 5’7 9
11 Aiya Souphilavong                      G 5’3 11
15 Kaylie Espinas                   G/F 5’6 12
20 Logan Luke                               F/C 5’8 12
21 Heidi Kishaba                                  G 5’4 11
22 Amelia Haraharp                      C 5’9 11
23 Kandyce Woods                      C 5’10 11
24 Kira Niemi                                  C 5’8 9
Source: scoringlive.com

Senior Kapaa Nishimura goes up for a basket. Photo by Noah Tamura 2018.

This year’s Boys Varsity basketball team consisted of:

# NAME                                         POS HT YR
0 Zach Salas                              G/F 5’9 11
1 Ryan Higashionna                      G 5’9 11
2 Javan Montiho                              G/F 5’10 11
3 Isaiah Lee                              G/F 6’1 11
10 Logan Matsuoka                      G 5’8 12
11 Max Pepe                              G/F 5’11 12
21 Steve Dole                              G/F 5’11 11
23 Kapaa Nishimura                  G/F 6’3 12
24 Akira Karasawa                  G/F 6’2 12
25 Rylan Suzuki                                  G 5’7 11
34 Trey Joslin                                  F 5’11 12
35 Brandon Chung                      F 6’2 10
42 Jared Ki                                  F 6’3 12

Source: scoringlive.com

Between the two teams, there were a total of 10 seniors, 11 juniors, two sophomores, and two freshmen.

Every team has a captain or several captains to lead the team in the right direction.

“I felt like that was an important role to partake in because the team will look to you in times of need,” Kaylie Espinas said, one of the captains for the girls’ team.

Senior Kapaa Nishimura shoots. Photo by Noah Tamura 2018.

The captain for the boys’ team, Akira Karasawa, had similar thoughts about his role as a team leader.

“The responsibilities of being a good role model made me become more mature and open-minded for others,” Karasawa said.

Although both teams came out victorious, there were some struggles throughout the season which every team needs to find a way to overcome. Some struggles during the girls’ season were having to deal with injuries and maintaining a strong mental attitude, whereas the boys had to deal with not enough guys putting in 100% effort on everything that they did. Both teams fought through the struggles and defeated their competition to reach their winning goal.

Although Kaylie and Akira are going to be graduating in May, they both learned something from playing the game of basketball.

“I learned that the way you practice is the way you play, and the amount of effort you’re willing to put off the court will show on the court,” Kaylie said. “It’s more of a game against yourself than the other team because you have to keep pushing yourself to play through all the rowdiness and mistakes.”

“From the game of basketball, I learned that everyone has a certain role that you’re best at and you have to utilize it and trust each other to paint the beautiful painting of the game of basketball,” Akira said.