LAHAINA — After leading the Lahainaluna High School junior varsity basketball team to unprecedented success — a 37-2 record and three Maui Interscholastic League championships in his tenure as their coach — Casey Brummel moved up to the varsity to serve as LHS basketball program director Todd Rickard’s top assistant with the boys team.
Brummel, a native of Missouri, played collegiate basketball at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Education during his Vulcan years.
He signed on as a dorm counselor and substitute teacher shortly thereafter and started his coaching career.
“I am really excited about the changes that are taking place with Lahainaluna basketball,” Coach Brummel said from courtside at the Jimmie H. Grieg Gymnasium on campus last week.
“I can’t wait to play a game at home before a packed crowd at the (Lahaina) Civic Center, where we will be playing all of our home games this season. It’s really exciting to think about this new team and the new attitude we hope will carry us to a MIL championship. We are optimistic about that.”
Brummel will be assisted by Dan Williams, Jeff McCabe and John Dudley in guiding the Lunas this season. Lahainaluna finished in third place in the MIL last year with a 7-5 record.
Coach Casey and his staff welcome back only three returning players from that team — seniors Sam Kiek and Gibson Mariano, as well as junior TJ Rickard — but nevertheless feel that they have a well-rounded squad.
“We have good size, quickness, speed and athleticism,” said Brummel. “Our major weakness is that we are inexperienced with only the three returnees, but we are looking for the JV players that are moving up to make the transition and step up.”
The Lunas will also be looking to several senior crossover athletes from the football team to step up as well. Seniors Paula Toa and Ridge Lanoza will exchange their gridiron cleats for hard court sneakers, and classmates Ty Vanderlaan and Nathan Kahaialii also will contribute.
Junior varsity players moving up include juniors Lucas Williams, Chase Rogers, Michael Huliganga, Micah Arcangel, Kaea Rickard, Amanaki Vakalahi, Jarren Cabajar, Llumel Magana and Ralph Salmasan.
Ray Brito is the coaches assistant for the 2009-10 campaign.
Coach Brummel reported that this year’s team will play an up-tempo game on both offense and defense.
“We’ll play in-your-face, nonstop pressure defense from start to the final buzzer. We want to be relentless and score quickly and play up-tempo offense. We’ll have some set plays for specific defenses, just like the girls (Lady Lunas) do.”
The Lunas will host the Lahainaluna Invitational Tournament this weekend (Dec. 17-20) at Lahaina Civic Center, and then open up the MIL season on Jan. 5 at Baldwin. The team’s 12 league games will be followed by the MIL Tournament and the state playoffs in early March.
“I am really looking forward to this season, and I am thankful to Coach Todd and to (Athletic Director) Scott Soldwisch for this opportunity. I also appreciate the help of Coach Dan (Williams) in taking care of the administrative and fund-raising side of coaching the team. I hope to see some big crowds at the Civic Center,” concluded Coach Casey.