Westside Girls basketball team amid perfect season
LAHAINA — Mike Bates, coach of the Westside Girls basketball team of the Maui Menehune League for middle school age kids, has spent many years pacing the sidelines with Lahainaluna High School hoops leader Todd Rickard.
To be exact, it has been 13 years since Rickard and Bates began coaching in the youth leagues and at the high school level. It has been a highly successful run, particularly for the Lady Lunas, who recently won their sixth consecutive Maui Interscholastic League championship under Coach Rickard on Feb. 12, and last week stood poised to battle for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championship.
Coach Mike has solidified the Menehune League team here on the West Side to become a viable development program for the Lady Lunas.
Bates does not hesitate to identify the focus of his coaching. “We try to do everything the same way as the high school girls,” he said from the floor of the Lahaina Civic Center gym, as he put his players through their practice paces.
“We receive a strong coaching influence from the staff up there, and we base most of what we do on what they do. I’ve been coaching with Coach Todd since 1997 in the youth league, so we’re familiar with the way things are run.”
After a runner-up finish in 2009, Bates’ Westside Girls are on another strong run and are undefeated at 7-0 at the midway point of the current season. The Menehune League, which includes Lahaina, Kula, Kalama, Wailuku, Kahului and Kihei, began play in early November. Games continue through the first week of March, when the championship tournament takes place in Wailuku at War Memorial Gym.
Coach Mike cited the speed and quickness of his players as the strength of the team. “We are a very athletic team, so we take advantage of this in our pressure defense and motion offense. The girls really have a good attitude and a strong work ethic. Good spirit all the way,” he said.
The team roster of the 2010 Westside Girls includes Ho‘o Cabanilla, Lindsey Bates, Taylor Bates, Loke Rosenthal, Nina Faaumu, Misha Whitehead, Mele Pasikala, Andilyn Alavazo, Kelia Koloi, Folau Hafoka, Sydney McKinney and Stephanie Lawless.
Coach Mike concluded by thanking all the parents for their support of the team.
“Phyllis and Don Rosenthal are always there to help out, and I am really grateful to all the parents for supporting their kids in this program. I’m also thankful to them for helping us go to the state tournament in Honolulu again this year. We took the girls up last year, and I think it is important to show them what the big show is like and see what the big time is all about. It inspires them in a big time way,” he concluded.