There are a handful of true championship weeks on the BIIF calendar, and welcome to the first one of 2019.
The girls take center stage this week, with the soccer championships Wednesday night at Kamehameha, followed by the final fours in basketball on Friday and Saturday at Konawaena.
That chink that has shown up in the Wildcats’ armor only adds to the drama on the hardwood.
Barring a big upset Tuesday night when Waiakea (8-1) faces Keaau (4-5), Konawaena (9-1) the 10-time BIIF champion looking to hang on, and Hilo (9-1), the up-and-comer, will face off Friday night in Kealakekua as one will avoid being left home from the Division I state tournament. The winner likely gets Waiakea the next night in the championship game in must-see TV (the game will be televised on Na Leo, as will the D-II final).
Who’s the favorite?
Pick a result to hang on to.
Waiakea drilled Konawaena at home but has lost to Hilo twice on its home court, including once in the preseason. The Wildcats, it should be pointed out, were able to protect their home floor once already against the Vikings, winning 46-44 on Dec. 10.
In girls soccer, Hilo in Division I and Hawaii Prep and Kamehameha in D-II are expected to coast through Monday’s semifinals, but a matchup between Waiakea (8-4-1) and Konawaena (9-3-1) should be more evenly-matched.
The teams tied 1-1 just nine days ago. The Wildcats beat the Warriors 3-1 at home Dec. 1, their goal total tying for the most Waiakea has allowed all season.
In boys basketball, there won’t be a title on the line Wednesday night at Waiakea, but Hawaii Prep and the Warriors will put their matching 7-0 records on the line.
Also on tap this weekend are the BIIF swimming and diving championships at Kona Aquatic Community Center.
Of note last Saturday, Hilo High diver Sydney Patterson set a BIIF record by scoring 387.85 points in the 1-meter competition.
Also from Saturday:
Waiakea and HPA each tuned up for their battle of unbeatens with easy wins at home.
The Warriors beat St. Joseph 57-29, getting 14 points apiece from Will Soares and Kiai Apele. Peter Suiaunoa added 11, Keegan Scanlan nine and Rekky Prudencio seven,
Yes, Waiakea is balanced offensively, but defensively the Warriors have picked it up a notch, allowing just 30 points a game.
HPA will test that number.
Ka Makani, which beat Parker 68-30, is averaging more than 64 points a game.
Matija Vitorovic (16 points), Javan Perez (14) and Valentinas Ulinas (12) each scored in double figures against the Bulls (2-5), who were led by Conner Brown’s 14 points.
HPA led 40-20 at the half.
Hilo 65, Pahoa 50: Kaukahi Alameda scored 13 points and RJ Solmerin, Mason Galima and Guyson Ogata each scored nine as the Vikings (5-2) won at home to remain in second place in D-I.
Damon Romero scored 20 points for the Daggers (3-7), who are tied for fourth place with Ka’u in D-II. Lansen Aranaydo had 10.