KAPA‘A — The Bernice Hundley Gym bristled with activity, punctuated by familiar whistles on Saturday morning.
On the heels of an exciting Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation basketball season and the county’s youth winter basketball league, the Eastside Basketball League opened its eight-week season.
“Today is the first day of our season with games from 8 a.m. until past 3 p.m.,” said Dominique Matayoshi, who along with her husband Fred, coordinates the league. “We play on Saturdays at the Kapa‘a High School gym.”
Taking the floor early, students at the kindergarten and grade 1 level opened the day with two games being played.
“These little guys want their day in the newspapers, too,” Fred, the father of Kapa‘a High School girls basketball standout Raquelle Matayoshi, said during an outing in Nawiliwili earlier in the week. “They work hard, too.”
Dominique said the program, entering its seventh year, is sold out for this year with more than 150 kids ranging from kindergarten students through eighth-graders participating.
“We have a wait list right now,” she said.
Lenny Rapozo, director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said the county will shortly launch its Termite Basketball program for youngsters.
Rapozo, speaking while helping Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. feed the homeless Friday evening in Pua Loke, said the county’s youth basketball program for young players in grades 4 through 6 will start Tuesday, the day following the President’s Day holiday, at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
“I love it,” Dominique said. “These kids are just great.”
Eastside teams win as Division II prepares to launch
Willow Batol and Mosese Fafiti combined for 38 points to lead the Kaua‘i Ballers to a 62-44 win over Papalina-Blue on Thursday night at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center.
Batol and Fafiti tied for game-high honors with 19 points apiece, while Junard Mata aided the victory with a 12-point contribution.
Daniel Fee topped the Papalina-Blue effort with 14 points followed by Kai Lewis with a dozen marks and Braeden Armstrong finishing with 10 points.
Hanakila continued its winning ways in the county’s youth winter boys basketball league with a 41-33 win over Team Central A in the second of two games played in Kilauea.
Christian Roslin fueled the Hanakila win with a game-high 16 points followed by Jacob Dykehouse adding 10 points.
Kaimi Texeira topped the Team Central A effort with 14 points followed by Brennen Suniga ending with six points.
Following the break for President’s Day, the county, with help from the Kaua‘i Youth Basketball Association, will open its season for Division II, which includes boys and girls in the grades 4 through 6.
The first games for the league start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
There are four girls’ teams and 10 boys’ teams registered for the Division II league.
Bobby Kamakele will continue on the heels of the grade 6 through 8 girls and coach the Kaulupono girls from grades 4 through 6.
Max Manera will be coaching two teams — Team Lihu‘e 01 and Team Lihu‘e 02 — continuing from his stint heading both boys’ and girls’ teams in the youth winter league.
Mike Stevens will handle the reins of the Hanakila girls team.
Steven Pascual takes on the coaching for two Team Central boys teams — Team Central-White and Team Central-Black — with Dino Pabre heading the Westside Basketball program for boys in the fourth through sixth grades.
Kekoa Colipano, a former Kapa‘a High School basketball standout, will lead the Kaua‘i Ballers following several games where he took charge in the absence of coach Willy Aki.
Manera will lead two boys teams — Team Lihu‘e-Bulls and Team Lihu‘e-Heat. Both teams will see action against Team Central teams on Tuesday.
Keven Hanano will lead the Kamikaze boys team, and chores for the two Papalina squads will be split. Dale Keep will lead the Papalina-Blue, and Matt Taba will steer the Papalina-Orange team. Stevens will be at the helm of the Hanakila boys squad to round out the league.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.