Lady Lunas look to continue incredible winning streak
LAHAINA – The Lahainaluna High School girls basketball team rang up their 150th straight Maui Interscholastic League victory last week and will most probably win their 15th consecutive conference championship under the leadership of veteran coach Todd Rickard.
The Lady Lunas won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I state championship in 2010 and maintained the position as the MIL’s top gun since then with their undefeated run and as a top five program in HHSAA basketball.
It appears to be a similar forecast for the 2018-19 campaign, as the team has started the season with two blowout victories in league competition.
Coach Todd, along with assistants Ian Aotaki, Michael Hooper, Jason Donez, Cheyne Dela Garza and Kaala Buenconsejo, gathers a young and inexperienced team in their quest for the MIL and HSAA titles.
The Lady Lunas have four seniors, no juniors, six sophomores and three first-year players on the roster.
“We are inexperienced and really need to get more competition against the stronger teams in the state. The girls are aggressive, skilled and quick, but we are trying to bring out the talent in them and we need more experience against the top teams in the state to do that,” explained Coach Todd last week from the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the Lahainaluna campus.
That senior leadership group is led by four-year players Susi Namoa, Erin Hookano and Teani Rickard, as well as two-year player Alexia Plaza. Sophomore returnees include Ashley Akamine, Abigail Akamine, Teani Buenconsejo, Aira Baguyo, Taioalo Wolf and ‘Ale’a Kimokeo; and first-year players are Piper Pascua, Kiera Kaniho and Taylor Eldredge.
“These girls have all put in the extra time in the off-season to get into top condition and get some competition in with travel teams in the summertime,” said Coach Todd. “We’ll stick with our motion offense and use full-court pressure defense. As I’ve said before, the team is talented and dedicated, and we just need to get more experience in game pressure situations with the top teams in the state.”
The MIL regular season and playoffs run to the end of January, with the HHSAA state championships slated for the first week of February in Honolulu. Lahainaluna home games will be played at both the campus gymnasium and at Lahaina Civic Center.