Wa­ialua Girls Bas­ket­ball Team Is Young But Ex­pe­ri­enced

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

The Wa­ialua girls bas­ket­ball pro­gram will turn to a fa­mil­iar fig­ure this win­ter to con­tinue its re­build­ing process, as for­mer long­time Bull­dog boys coach Vir­gilio Basilio has stepped into the head coach­ing slot.

The Bull­dogs had been with­out a girls bas­ket­ball pro­gram for two sea­sons be­fore Michael Moon restarted it last sea­son. Moon stepped down at sea­son’s end af­ter lay­ing the foun­da­tion, clear­ing the way for Basilio.

“It’s a new chal­lenge and some­thing dif­fer­ent,” said Basilio, whose team’s pub­lic un­veil­ing was at the Hanalani Tour­na­ment last weekend. “Coach Moon taught the girls well. Al­though we’re still rel­a­tively young, the re­turnees have good skills.”

In ad­di­tion to spend­ing 15 sea­sons with the boys pro­gram, in­clud­ing the last eight as its var­sity head coach, Basilio also coached in the school’s foot­ball pro­gram. His staff in­cludes daugh­ter Brit­tney, who starred at the school from 2005-2008 be­fore go­ing on to play for Univer­sity of Puget Sound.

The coach­ing staff in­her­ited a team made up mostly of un­der­class­men, al­though most of the re­turnees logged big min­utes last year. Adding to the pre­sea­son in­trigue is the ad­di­tion of Ok­la­homa trans­fer Kaedy Hatch­ett, slated to be start­ing point guard.

“She played var­sity last year ( at her pre­vi­ous school) al­though only a ninth- grader,” he said. “She han­dles the ball re­ally well, and she has ter­rific lead­er­ship qual­i­ties. We’re ex­cited about her.”

Basilio also is count­ing on a pair of se­niors in Kam­ryn Len­dio and Lil­iana Marks to set the tone for his team early on. “Hope­fully, the young girls will look up to them. Lil­iana will be one of our (start­ing) posts. She’s about 5-foot-7, 5-8, which is tall by our stan­dards.

“Kam­ryn is a good ath­lete, who just played in the (sixth an­nual OC16 Se­nior Girls) Vol­ley­ball In­vi­ta­tional at Mililani last week,” he added. “We’re look­ing for lead­er­ship from both of them.”

The ro­ta­tion also should have ju­niors Kiana Pa‘ akaula- Reis, Kayla Kapika and Via- Mae Pas­cua, as well as sopho­mores Gabriella Del­gado and Gemelie Hatchie.

“They’re re­ally green right now, but I like their will­ing­ness to learn and grow as bas­ket­ball play­ers,” Basilio said. “Our ju­nior re­turnees have a lot of skill.”

Wa­ialua re­turns to ac­tion Satur­day host­ing La Pi­etra from the ILH. Wa­ialua’s OIA West opener is Dec. 4 at Mililani. The Bull­dogs won’t field a JV team this win­ter, send­ing its fresh­men right up to the var­sity in­stead. Wa­ialua’s home slate in­cludes games with Pearl City Dec. 10, Camp­bell Dec. 18, Wa­ianae Dec. 26, Nanakuli Jan. 3 and Leile­hua Jan. 9.

“Hope­fully, we can build up the pro­gram and add a JV team (in 2014-15),” Basilio said. “We’re look­ing to the fu­ture with all of th­ese young­sters.”

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