Na Alii hold off Sabers
Maui High hosts first varsity game at newly named Izumi ‘Shine’ Matsui Athletic Center
KAHULUI — The sign above the entrance to the Maui High School gymnasium reads “Izumi ‘Shine’ Matsui Athletic Center.”
It has yet to be officially dedicated, but it hosted its first varsity action on Wednesday night as the King Kekaulike girls walked away with a 52-46 win over the Sabers in a Maui Interscholastic League Division I basketball game Wednesday.
“It’s kind of what we’ve been preaching through the offseason and through now,” King Kekaulike coach Cy Peters said of the close win. “We’ve been trying to get these girls to not quit, believe. We’ve been kind of down there the past couple, three years, finishing in last place. We’re trying to change that, play with heart, and they showed it tonight.”
After trailing 24-23 at halftime, the Sabers took the lead 20 seconds into the third quarter on a drive to the basket by Neil Mae Bumanglag.
Na Alii took the lead back 29-27 on an inbounds play that Temahh Shaw converted with 4 minutes, 55 seconds to go in the third quarter — the lead grew to 33-27 after an 8-0 run.
Honey Let Padasdao made a pair of free throws for the Sabers to cut their deficit to 48-46 with 1:26 to play, but Kuulei Araneta scored inside and Namahana Kaeo-Young added a breakaway layup to seal the win for King Kekaulike.
Shaw and Kaeo-Young each scored 10 points to lead Na Alii (2-0).
Last Friday, Maui High beat King Kekaulike in Na Alii’s preseason tournament. Padasdao finished with 15 points to lead the Sabers on Wednesday.
“We obviously wanted to win our first season game,” Maui High coach Gilbert Silva said. “We already played Kekaulike and we knew they were tough. They came over here to win and that’s a great attitude. We came to win, too. We have some injuries, but we’ll come back.”
The official dedication ceremony for the late Matsui will be a week from today at 4 p.m. in the gym itself — it is free and open to the public. There is no game that day, but the Maui High boys and girls teams will be practicing.
“It’s going to be a ceremony for the alumni, family of Shine Matsui and the Maui High community to come together and honor our past,” Sabers athletic director Mike Ban said.
Matsui worked at Maui High for nearly three decades — as a teacher, football coach and athletic director — at both the old Hamakuapoko campus and the Kahului campus that opened in 1973.
“He did a lot for the community, a lot for the kids at the time — I know he did a lot for the Maui community and the Japanese community, taking kids over to Japan to play football, baseball. He also was a big proponent of girls sports.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
KING KEKAULIKE (52)
Cailyn Ukida 8, Charlie Abreu 6, Liane Tomita 9, Namahana Kaeo-Young 10, Daeja Callo-DePonte 0, Temahh Shaw 10, Tanisha Valdez 0, Kuulei Araneta 9.
MAUI HIGH (46)
Honey Let Padasdao 15, Brianna Guzman-Kee Chong 9, Kylenna Rieta 2, Kristi Echiverri 2, Neil Mae Bumanglag 8, Kamaile Cugal 10, Mayghen Thornton 0.
King Kekaulike 10 14 11 17–52
Maui High 7 16 8 15–46
W L Pct. GB
King Kekaulike 2 0 1.000 —
Lahainaluna 2 0 1.000 —
Kamehameha Maui 0 1 .000 1 1⁄2
Maui High 0 1 .000 1 1⁄2
Baldwin 0 2 .000 2
King Kekaulike 52, Maui High 46
Lahainaluna 62, Baldwin 19
Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
King Kekaulike vs. Lahainaluna at Lahaina Civic Center, 7:30 p.m.