Sabres Bas­ket­ball On Bye Week, Re­turns To Courts Jan. 6

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

Camp­bell girls bas­ket­ball head coach Sum­mer Aona has found that there is, in­deed, strength in num­bers.

As she be­gan her third sea­son late last week at the helm of the Camp­bell pro­gram, re­newed in­ter­est shows in the large ros­ters on both the JV and var­sity teams.

“We have big teams — full ros­ters — this year,” said Aona. “We have a lot of the JV kids from last year who have moved up to var­sity and who have some play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and we have 10 new play­ers on the JV team who have made great strides.

“Many of them were with us dur­ing the sum­mer.”

How much of an im­pact the new­com­ers can have re­mains to be seen, but Aona also will have some vet­er­ans on the var­sity team after hav­ing put some of the younger play­ers in the OIA on the floor in her first two years as coach.

Camp­bell fin­ished 3-7 last sea­son, and was des­ig­nated as Di­vi­sion II for the post-sea­son.

Un­der the OIA’s cur­rent sched­ul­ing for­mat, the Sabers will again play both DI and DII teams from the West dur­ing the sea­son.

As far as the Jan­uary post-sea­son goes, how­ever, they will be back in DI.

“It is where we should be and al­ways strive to stay,” Aona said. “(DI post­sea­son) is a chal­lenge for us be­cause it is a dif­fer­ent level.” And she’s count­ing on a trio of guards in Cyd­ney Cur­ran, Chante Dew­berry and Dahlia Guil­lory to lead the way.

Cur­ran is only a ju­nior, but al­ready is en­ter­ing her third year as a starter.

“Cyd­ney brings a lot of quick­ness, and she’s be­come more con­fi­dent in her han­dling the ball,” Aona said. “She’ll be our main point guard and a shoot­ing guard.”

Dew­berry is a se­nior, who saw limited time last sea­son be­cause of an in­jury.

“She’s a smart player with good hands,” Aona said. “She’ll be one of our bet­ter de­fend­ers.”

Guil­lory is also a se­nior, but new to the pro­gram, hav­ing trans­ferred into the school dis­trict dur­ing the off-sea­son.

“She’s another good de­fender. She’s an in-your- face bas­ket­ball player. She’s ag­gres­sive on de­fense.”

Camp­bell went 3-4 in a busy pre­sea­son, where the team ap­peared in tour­na­ments hosted by Far­ring­ton and Hawaii Prep Academy on Hawaii is­land in ad­di­tion to a sin­gle game with Kailua.

The Sabers were to open their 2014-15 OIA sea­son late last week against Mililani be­fore turn­ing their at­ten­tion to Tues­day’s road date with Pearl City.

Aona likes the tim­ing of Camp­bell’s bye week. The Sabers won’t play again un­til Jan. 6, when they visit Waipahu.

“We’ve changed up our prac­tice sched­ule this year to com­bine the JV and var­sity to econ­o­mize our prac­tice time and help bring the JV kids up to speed,” she ex­plained. “We al­ways strug­gle with time in the gym be­cause we have to share, so this will give us more time to spend with our var­sity, and we’ll be able to have sep­a­rate prac­tices.

“I like the ca­ma­raderie we have right now with both groups,” she added. “They have a great ca­pac­ity to learn, and they’re see­ing how much can be ac­com­plished with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude.”

Camp­bell’s re­main­ing home sched­ule in­cludes games against Rad­ford Jan. 10, Wa­ialua Jan. 14, Kapolei Jan. 16 and Aiea Jan. 22.

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