A starter in four state final fours, Lahainaluna High School's Ana Lauese leaves a legacy that no other Maui Interscholastic League basketball player can match.
Tiana Camarillo knows all about legacies, and that her Seabury Hall team could be starting one.
Each of the 5-foot-6 forwards led their school to a league title this year, and they are The Maui News MIL Players of the Year for Divisions I and II.
Lahainaluna High School’s Ana Lauese helped her teams claim league championships in 2012
GLEN PASCUAL photo
Lauese has seen the best of Lunas basketball, finishing a 56-0 career in league play. Starting in four straight state semifinals is something not even her predecessors at Lahainaluna can claim.
"It makes me feel strong," Lauese said after being told of receiving the honor from the league's coaches. "I'm kind of sad that it is over - I have enjoyed being coached by coach (Todd) Rickard and just being able to play around good athletes like Milika (Taufa) and Maiki (Viela)."
Viela just finished her freshman season as a guard at Gonzaga and Taufa her sophomore year as a center at Indiana.
Lahainaluna has had the last eight MIL Players of the Year in D-I, and stands alone in many other ways: the team's current 73-game league win streak is 19 more than any other MIL team in any sport; the Lunas' 2010 basketball state crown was the first for an MIL D-I team; and their four state semifinals in a row are also unprecedented for MIL girls teams - in addition to the title two years ago, they have finished third once and fourth twice during that run.
The only other MIL team with four state final four appearances in a row is Baldwin baseball from 1967 to 1970.
Lauese said she has learned toughness while playing forward for Rickard.
"I was usually playing against big girls, like, twice my height," she said. "It made me a better player, it definitely has. It taught me aggressiveness. Milika taught me leadership and Maiki, she just wanted to go out there and win."
Lauese, who plans to continue her career at Foothill (Calif.) Junior College, is joined on the D-I first team by the Lunas' Paige Casil and Jade Chihara, Kamehameha Maui's Tori Cambra and King Kekaulike's Taylor Fernandez. Lauese and Fernandez are the only returnees to the All-Star first team from last season.
The Spartans' Allie Rudow is also on the D-II first team, along with Molokai's Brianna Tangonan and Kalyn Kaulia-Makaiwi and Lanai's Kahelelani Zablan.
"I think it is a great honor and I appreciate the team and the coaches who have guided us through all the challenges we have faced on and off the court, so it feels good," Camarillo said.
Rickard and Seabury Hall's Heidi Burger were voted MIL coaches of the year.
Camarillo, along with twin sister Tiare, followed older brothers Kamaka and Kalae into sports. Kamaka was an MIL All-Star in basketball and Kalae played two seasons for the University of Hawaii men's volleyball team.
"With my brothers, they always give me tips about being a leader," Tiana Camarillo said. "And always help me gain confidence in games."
Behind Camarillo, Seabury ended Molokai's four-year run as MIL D-II champions. When the Spartans got to the state tournament, however, a two-game exit followed.
"It was nice to win MILs, but we know we have a lot of work to do for next year," Camarillo said.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org