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Two entertaining girls games Friday, one more tonight
January 25, 2014 - Robert Collias
The No. 1-ranked Lahainaluna girls basketball team continued its unprecedented roll through the MIL — its 75-17 win over Maui High Friday night is the Lady Lunas' 92nd MIL victory in a row, dating back to 2008.
On Feb. 8, in the HHSAA's new "regional" format for the state tournament, the Lunas will host their quarterfinal at the Lahaina Civic Center. For the first time this season, there will be four three-team pods where the league champions host through the quarterfinals before the final four meet at the Blaisdell Arena Feb. 14-15.
This, IMHO, is a fantastic idea and helps even the playing field for the Neighbor Island champions. The only other state tournament to adopt this format this year is boys volleyball, but it should spread to every 12-team event, if you ask me.
Lahainaluna is 27-1 overall, has beaten all of the top contenders in the state and is the favorite to win a second state crown — lofty heights for an MIL D-I basketball team, perhaps only reached by the 2010 state-champion Lunas led by Maiki Viela and Milika Taufa.
Record-wise, the only other MIL unit in the Lunas' stratosphere was the 2003 Maui High boys team that featured a starting lineup of Gene Rivera, Tevita Finau, Maafu Finau, Efren Oasay and Van Komatsu — with Kynan Metoyer leading the bench. That team started 27-0, watched several phantom fouls take Tevita Finau out of its state semifinal loss against Saint Louis, and finished 28-1, third in the state.
Prior to the Lunas' romp, Molokai added to its hoops legacy with an impressive win over Lanai to claim the lone MIL D-II state berth.
Tonight, a rematch between Maui High and King Kekaulike in a D-I second-place playoff will decide the MIL's final state berth in girls basketball. The game is set for 7 at Baldwin gym.
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