Top Row (L-R): Kainani Gruspe, Jaryn Ramos, Dominique Hart, Hailey Chong, Kaily Lum, Megan Horita, Rylie Wada, Jenee Brown, Lauren Sumida, Sara Utsugi
Bottom Row (L-R): Jennifer Gonsalves, Kelsey Bajet, Hailey Dixon, Stephanie Dang, Torie Miyoi, Nicole LopesPhoto courtesy of Eunice Sim
The HBA girls varsity basketball team can again call itself champions. HBA defeated Kamehameha 54-43 at the Warriors’ Keku’haupi’o Gymnasium on January 24 to finish the ILH Division 2 regular season with a spotless 10-0 record (19-6 overall). The team actually clinched the title with their 28-20 victory over Punahou on January 22 and had a two game lead heading into their final game.
HBA will now turn its attention to the HHSAA Division 2 Girls Basketball State Championships February 6-9. State tournament games for Division 2 will be played at Kaimuki HS, Kalani HS, and at the Blaisdell Center. Seeds and match ups will be determined at the HHSAA seeding meeting on February 3. As the ILH champion, HBA might be seeded and have a first-round bye. The tournament bracket will be posted on this site once it is released following the seeding meeting.
For now, though, the Lady Eagles can celebrate their second championship in the past three years. The only player remaining from the 2011 title team is senior guard Lauren Sumida, who has battled injuries this season. She came off the bench to score 2 points against Kamehameha. She joins a short list of HBA girls to play on multiple championship teams. HBA also won ILH Division 2 girls basketball titles in 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2011.
The outcome of the title-clinching game against Kamehameha was never really in doubt. The Lady Eagles were in control from start to finish and Coach Keith Sugiura substituted liberally throughout the game. Ten of the sixteen players who saw action were able to get into the scoring column.
Leading the way for the Lady Eagles was sophomore guard Jenee Brown who scored 13 points, including 3 three pointers. Senior guard/forward Hayley Dixon hit two treys in scoring 8 points to lead a pack of players who contributed to the Lady Eagles’ balanced scoring. Sophomore Rylie Wada and junior Jennifer Gonsalves had 7 points apiece, while freshman Stephanie Dang and junior Jaryn Ramos each chipped in 6 points.
Other team members are seniors Torie Miyoi, Hailey Chong, and Kelsey Bajet, sophomores Sara Utsugi, Nicole Lopes, Kaily (Maka) Lum, Dominique Hart, and Megan Horita, and freshman Kainani Gruspe. The team is coached by HBA Assistant Athletic Director Keith Sugiura (HBA ’90), Robin Yamaguchi (HBA ’77), HBA parent Arjay Gruspe, and HBA teacher Kim Snyder.