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Lunas — boys and girls — roll on at MIL wrestling

February 22, 2014 - Robert Collias
It was the final girls match of the evening, but the sly smile on Lahainaluna sophomore Lalelei Mataafa's face told a story.

Mataafa delivered her winning scorecard in the MIL wrestling championships to the front table with her 1-year-old niece Te-lia Mataafa-Grove — the daughter of MMA fighter Kendall Grove — in her arms.

Mataafa smiled at the possibility of the youngster following in her footsteps someday — Mataafa's focus for the state tournament next weekend was completely apparent. In 21 career matches over two seasons now, Mataafa has never been past the first round.

"I'm ready," she said. "I'm just wondering if my opponents are."

With that atmosphere in a crowded Lahaina Civic Center in mind, here is the start of my story from last night's finals:

LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School wrestling programs have arrived at a destination where individual Maui Interscholastic League titles don't register celebration dances.

The Lunas simply have bigger things in mind.

Lahainaluna rolled to its ninth consecutive boys MIL team title Friday night in front of a packed house at the Lahaina Civic Center with 10 champions in 14 weight classes — the team's 258 points were 105.5 better than runner-up Baldwin.

An expected close battle in the girls race turned into a relative runaway for the Lunas, who recorded their fifth straight crown with five champions. The Lahainaluna girls had 141 points, 37 more than Molokai, which had three champions.

The Lunas' boys earned 12 berths in the state tournament, and the girls claimed 10. Only MIL finalists qualify for the state tournament.

"I got my first goal done right now, being MIL champ, and there's nothing less that I want to do than be on the top of the podium at states," said Bubba Jaramillo, the state champion at 140 pounds last season who rolled to the 147-pound title Friday, his second straight MIL individual crown.

Click here for the rest of the story.


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