Lunas win MIL opener

Three-time defending league champions beat Na Alii

Lahainaluna High School’s Koa Evalu-Robinson goes up for a shot as King Kekaulike’s Kaleb Chun defends during the third quarter of the Lunas’ 66-35 win over Na Alii on Wednesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School boys basketball team lost three senior leaders from last season, including Maui Interscholastic League Division I Player of the Year Jeremi Santos.

The Lunas found a few candidates to fill those roles Wednesday night in a 66-35 win over King Kekaulike at the Lunas’ gym that began the league season for each team.

Junior point guard Reece Pascua scored a game-high 17 points for three-time defending MIL champion Lahainaluna, which had gone 2-2 in nonleague games.

“We needed to pick up on all of our defense, offense from the offseason because we didn’t have a good showing at first,” Pascua said. “We’re picking it up.”

The Lunas turned on the mercy-rule running clock on a basket by Tre Rickard that finished a fast break to push the lead to 60-30 midway through the fourth quarter.

Lahainaluna’s Tre Rickard drives in the second quarter as King Kekaulike’s Ethan Bediamol defends.

“I’m feeling pretty good, our team did good as a whole,” Pascua said. “So, as long as we keep doing what we’re doing we’ll be fine.”

Koa Evalu-Robinson scored nine points for the Lunas.

Evalu-Robinson and fellow first-team MIL football All-Star Siale Hafoka “bring a lot of intensity to practice and to the games, as you can see,” Pascua said. “They are going to help us.”

Lahainaluna coach Jason Justus said his team is still deep in the developmental stage.

“We have got to find out who we are,” he said. “We’re kind of a team without an identity. I mean, we graduated three big guns last year and we haven’t had anyone step up to be a leader yet. So, we struggled preseason.

The Lunas’ Carter Stockham follows through on a second-quarter shot in front of Na Alii’s Dylan Baird.

“I’ve always stressed that dealing with adversity is one thing, but dealing with success is a whole other. I think we’re finding that out.”

Na Alii have just three seniors — Richard Chun, Milo Debliquis and Kolby Welch. Darius Lauture led the team with 10 points.

Coach Aris Banaag said his team can learn from the Lunas, who have seven seniors.

“They are a tough team, disciplined team, well-rounded team,” Banaag said. “So, we’ve got some work ahead of us to match that intensity. You make a mistake, they make you pay. They are a good team, a very, very well-run team.”

* Robert Collias is at


Ethan Bediamol 5, Richard Chun 4, Darius Lauture 10, Carson Yoshida 5, Dylan Baird 4, Thorren Rebugio 0, Kaleb Chun 5, Milo Debliquis 0, Corey Frias 0, Kolby Welch 0, Kai Carbajal 2.


Reece Pascua 17, Iverson Turno 11, Malino Jacinto 0, Kuikawa Ross 0, Isaiah Tanner 2, Tre Rickard 2, Cley Josef Palma 2, Carter Stockham 9, Siale Hafoka 2, Aukai Kama 12, Hunter Higdin 0, Koa Evalu-Robinson 9.

King Kekaulike 8 7 9 12–35

Lahainaluna 17 22 13 14–66

MIL Standings


W L Pct GB

Lahainaluna 1 0 1.000 —

Maui High 1 0 1.000 —

Kamehameha Maui 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Baldwin 0 1 .000 1

King Kekaulike 0 1 .000 1


W L Pct GB

Haleakala Waldorf 0 0 .000 —

Hana 0 0 .000 —

Lanai 0 0 .000 —

Molokai 0 0 .000 —

Seabury Hall 0 0 .000 —

St. Anthony 0 0 .000 —

Wednesday’s Results

Lahainaluna 66, King Kekaulike 35

Maui High 75, Baldwin 69, 2OT

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Kamehameha Maui at Maui High, 7 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Lahainaluna at Baldwin, 7 p.m.

King Kekaulike at Maui High, 7 p.m.