The Seabury Hall and Molokai girls basketball teams entered this weekend with identical 4-0 records in Division II of the Maui Interscholastic League. After two games at The Barn this weekend, only Molokai remains undefeated as it proves itself to be the dominant team in the MIL again this year.
The lady Farmers, returning MIL champions, used their defensive intensity and quickness to separate themselves early from Seabury. In the first quarter of both Friday and Saturday’s games, Molokai jumped out to early leads. On Friday the score was 13-6 after one quarter. Seabury didn’t even score a point on Saturday until Molokai already had a 12-0 lead in the first quarter.
“The girls came out defensively and put pressure on the ball, which we liked,” said Molokai Head Coach Lee DeRouin. “We were able to cause some turnovers to create the fast breaks that we needed to get up on them early.”
On Friday, the lady Farmers held Seabury to only 2 points in the second quarter to take a comfortable 19-8 halftime lead. The youngsters led the way in scoring with sophomore guard Hepua Falealii finishing with 11 points while freshman Precious Rawlins scored 8 points in the 34-20 victory.
The girls increased the pressure on Saturday, sprinting out to 17-6 first quarter lead and a 28-12 halftime lead. In the second half Molokai backed off the full court pressure and Seabury responded with 15 third quarter points.
“Seabury made some changes and then we had to make some changes ourselves,” said DeRouin. “Overall, I thought each player contributed to this win and I’m very proud of that. It was a total team effort.”
Lehiwa Pedro, the 5-foot-10 junior forward, led Molokai in scoring on Saturday with 17 points as the home team won 53-35. Falealii added 11 points while senior Taylor Keliihoomalu scored 10 points.
“Our strength is that we can play as a team because we love each other; we’re like a family so we have chemistry,” said Keliihoomalu.
Another senior on the team, Ilana Meyer, also spoke about the strength of the teamwork after Saturday’s game. “I think my team did a very good job, we are really coming together good,” said Meyer. “We are just becoming one, being as a team, working together with everything.”
Molokai is now 6-0 halfway through the MIL season. “Right now we control our destiny so we got to keep playing hard on defense,” said DeRouin. “We will come to work Monday morning at 9 o’clock ready to play basketball. We just got to keep building on this.”
“We need to do everything that we are doing right now better,” DeRouin added. “We want to go from good to great.”
While the team has six more regular season MIL games, only two of those will be at home. The last two home games will be this coming weekend, Jan. 3 (5:30 p.m.) and Jan. 4 (9:30 a.m.) at The Barn, when Hana comes to town.
The Molokai boys basketball team kicks off its MIL season with two home games against Seabury, also on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (noon) at The Barn.