The Molokai girls basketball team returned to the hardwood last week to defend its Maui Interscholastic League title with two wins against Hana.
The girls traveled to Hana on Dec. 13 and thoroughly beat the Dragons 36-12. Molokai’s tenacious defense forced 30 Hana turnovers in the victory.
The next day the two teams played again with similar results. More tough defense led to Molokai fast break points as the lady Farmers soundly won 57-16.
The girls returned home for two games against Lanai this past weekend. Two Molokai sophomores led the way in scoring in the Friday night 50-18 victory at The Barn. Ula Balbas scored 14 points for Molokai while Hepua Falealii finished the game with 9 points.
On Saturday, the lady Farmers won by an even greater margin over Lanai, 56-15. Top scorers for Molokai were senior Tita English, 10 points, junior Lehiwa Pedro, 10 points, Falealii 9 points and Balbas 8 points.
The Molokai girls have four more home games before hitting the road again. The team’s top MIL rival from last year, Seabury Hall, comes to Molokai for games this Friday, 7 p.m., and Saturday, noon. The following week Hana comes to town for games on Jan. 3 (5:30 p.m.) and 4 (9:30 a.m.).
The boys team doesn’t begin its MIL season until Jan. 3 and 4 when Seabury comes to pay a visit. Games will be at 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.
Last week the boys traveled to Maui for three games in a preseason tournament at the Lahaina Civic Center.
On Friday, the Farmers lost a doubleheader. In the first game they lost 65-28 to Chief Sealth High School out of Washington State. They dropped the second game to Houston High School from Alaska 42-22. The next day they lost 67-9 to Edison High School. Molokai played mostly freshmen and sophomores in the tournament with many of the upperclassmen unable to make the trip.
Molokai High School Athletic Director Hoku Haliniak announced the hiring of a new Assistant AD, Joannie Espiritu-Tanabe, a 1996 MHS graduate who teaches at Kilohana Elementary School. She can be reached at 336-1394.