Wolf, Namoa lead Lunas past Na Alii

King Kekaulike High School’s T.C. Pahukoa goes up for a third-quarter rebound with Lahainaluna’s Ashley Akamine during the Lunas’ 59-23 victory over Na Alii on Tuesday night. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

PUKALANI — The teamwork between Susi Namoa and Toioalo Wolf is apparent from the beginning of nearly any Lahainaluna High School girls basketball game.

It was front and center again Tuesday night at King Kekaulike gym as the cousins combined for 37 points in the Lunas’ 59-23 win over the previously unbeaten Na Alii.

Wolf, a sophomore forward, scored a career-high 21 points, several on passes from Namoa, a senior guard who finished with 16 points.

The meeting left the Lunas (3-0) on top of the Maui Interscholastic League Division I standings after their 151st straight league win, while King Kekaulike fell to 3-1.

“It was a lot of fun, actually, a lot,” Wolf said. “No matter who our opponent is we have to come in and we have to start strong.”

Lahainaluna’s Alexia Plaza lofts a fourth-quarter shot as King Kekaulike’s Aliyah Ah You defends Tuesday.

One flourish in the second quarter showed just how close these two are on and off the court.

Namoa broke free down court and took a pass from Wolf, leading to an easy basket that gave the Lunas a 25-13 lead with 4 minutes, 29 seconds left in the first half. Moments later, it was Wolf on the end of an assist from Namoa when the Lunas upped the advantage to 29-13.

Wolf has been with the Lahainaluna girls program at the menehune level since the 6th grade, but she sat out last season. There’s no question that she’s all the way back in now.

“I don’t think I’d be here playing basketball right now if it wasn’t for her,” Wolf said of Namoa, who has been drawing attention from several colleges as one of the best seniors in the state. “Me and Susi are family and I wasn’t going to play basketball, but she really got me into this. We grew up together and our families are close.”

The Lunas turned on the mercy-rule running clock early in the third quarter, but they continued to work on their game.

“She always tells me to come and play my hardest, no matter what,” Wolf said of Namoa. “She just always gets me into it, focus-wise and everything. She definitely carries the team, waking us up and getting us on the court and everything.”

Lunas coach Todd Rickard said the addition of Wolf has helped his team, which is ranked third in the state by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and fifth by scoringlive.com.

“She decided to come back this year and I think she’s coming around nicely,” Rickard said. “She has nice low-post moves, strong girl on the inside, and a pretty decent mid-range shot, too. On the defensive end, she gets some key rebounds. … She and Susi, they’re tight. They’re always together all the time.”

Cailyn Ukida led Na Alii with seven points.

“We’re trying to build, we have one senior, two juniors, so we’re trying to get these young kids going, the freshmen and sophomores,” said coach Cy Peters, who was sporting an impressive beard that he has been growing since July. “I like the way we started. Again, the Lunas are the Lunas. That’s the measuring stick, that’s where we’re trying to get to.”

Na Alii appear to be a contender to make it to the state tournament after their 3-0 start to league play, but there could be one casualty from the loss: Peters’ beard that would rival NBA star James Harden’s chin growth.

“I feel like my team has a realistic shot (at state), but so does every other team,” Peters said. “That’s why we play every week. We try to treat every game like the next, biggest game. … The beard might be coming off, the deal was we were going to grow it until we lose an MIL game, so I’ll leave it up to them.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

LAHAINALUNA (59)

Aira Baguyo 5, Abby Akamine 0, Teani Buenconsejo 3, Ashley Akamine 3, Alea Kimokeo 0, Erin Hookano 6, Kiera Kaniho 0, Piper Pascua 0, Taylor Eldredge 0, Alexia Plaza 0, Teani Rickard 5, Susi Namoa 16, Taioalo Wolf 21.

KING KEKAULIKE (23)

Cailyn Ukida 7, Lauren Albrecht 0, T.C. Pahukoa 3, Namahana Kaeo-Young 6, Anna Lee Peters 0, Heather Pease 2, Kreyajan Pahukoa 0, Kamalani Puu 0, Kaila Purdy 0, Aliyah Ah You 2, Charlie Abreu 3.

Lahainaluna (3-0) 20 14 15 10–59

King Kekaulike (3-1) 8 6 2 7–23

KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 55, BALDWIN 31

KAMEHAMEHA MAUI (55)

Kuumana Bailey 3, Kealia Sjostrand 0, Jaimelee Felipe 2, Chasey Koomoa-Sidney 0, Makamae Kaili-Kramer 1, Meleani Sjostrand 1, Tatiana Soon 5, Alyssia Fernandez-Ruiz 0, Logan Spencer 8, Siena Poepoe 0, Alaura Estrella 0, Mikiala Sniffen 17, Kuumakalehiwa Ruidas 10, Angel Pauole 8.

BALDWIN (31)

Jordyn Vierra 0, Kyra Cambra 11, McKenzie Schwindler 1, Tia Caulford 2, Taylor Manangan 8, Precious Rayray 0, Aya Buttaro 7, Shalei Lee Awai 0, Kaia Stefurak 0, Jeziel Pulgados 0, Angel Dela Cruz 0, Makayla Chung 2, Saree-Ann Kekahuna 0, Kealani Pasene-Keahi 0.

KS Maui (1-2) 20 9 13 13–55

Baldwin (0-3) 2 7 9 13–31

MIL Standings

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Lahainaluna 3 0 1.000 —

King Kekaulike 3 1 .750 1⁄2

Kamehameha Maui 1 2 .333 2

Maui High 1 2 .333 2

Baldwin 0 3 .000 3

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 2 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 2 0 1.000 —

Hana 0 2 .000 2

Lanai 0 2 .000 2

Tuesday’s Results

Lahainaluna 59, King Kekaulike 23

Kamehameha Maui 55, Baldwin 31

Friday’s Games

Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.

Baldwin at Maui High, 7 p.m.

Hana at Molokai, 7 p.m.

Lanai at Seabury Hall, 7 p.m.