It took Waimea boys’ basketball head coach Elton Montemayor a few years to make his state debut in the boys’ ranks, but the Waimea Big Save employee isn’t feeling nervous at all.
“It feels good. I’m kind of relaxed and excited to be here,” Montemayor said.
The 50th HHSAA/Hawaiian Airlines Boys Basketball State Championships seem to be a real good fit for Waimea, who fields a quick, guard-oriented squad.
“Quickness-wise we can match up with the rest of the state,” Montemayor said.
Waimea senior guard Chad Barba is the only player on the team with state tournament experience.
Montemayor, a former Menehune basketball standout, surely knows what it takes at the next level.
“Having good guards and handling pressure are key components to each team in this tournament,” Montemayor said.
The Menehune are making their first state appearance since 2004, but the team is ready for the challenge.
“The boys are excited. We might be able to get out of the first round. Maybe there’s another miracle at the next level against ‘Iolani, but we’ve already accomplished a lot this season,” Montemayor said.
The Menehune were routed last night by Kalaheo in the first round, so there will be no miracle in the making — at least for this season.
But for Waimea, winning the KIF title and making it to the state tournament are great accomplishments in itself.
The Menehune will only lose four seniors to graduation, so next year looks to be another successful year for the boys in blue.
“They’re pretty relaxed,” Montemayor said of his calm squad.
Montemayor has made it as a head coach to states with the Menehune girls basketball team.
His first time with the boys might’ve not been what he expected, but at least he can say that his first time was the 50th installment of the boys’ big dance!
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.