Lots to discuss this week, so let’s do a Wednesday whip around and see what’s up.
Women finish at Roxy Pro France
It seemed like a golden opportunity for Malia Manuel, but France’s Johanne Defay was not to be denied in the pair’s quarterfinal matchup at the Roxy Pro France on Sunday. While she may not yet be in the upper echelon of the World Championship Tour rankings, Defay topped Manuel to reach her second straight semifinal and has now made the quarters in four straight contests. She’s moved one spot ahead of Australia’s Dimity Stoyle in the Rookie of the Year race with two events remaining in the 2014 season.
It was Tyler Wright who took home the top prize and moved into second place for the season while Sally Fitzgibbons will maintain the yellow jersey for at least one more event. Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore each dropped one spot, falling to third and fourth, respectively. But those four are all within 3,200 points of each other and the strongest finisher will take home the world title.
Seabass ousted by John John in 3rd round
On the men’s side, Sebastian Zietz was victorious in his second-round matchup with Aussie Mitch Crews, but Seabass couldn’t keep pace with John John Florence in the third round of the Quiksilver Pro. Zietz maintained control of the heat for roughtly 20 minutes before Florence hopped into a right and pulled off two huge turns that earned an 8.17 score. It was all the more salty since Seabass had priority at the time. It put John John barely ahead by just one hundredth of a point, but the Oahu phenom added to his lead with a 7.00 backup and picked up the 15.17 to 11.17 win.
Zietz found an awesome barrel towards the beginning of the heat, which have been a rarity so far in France. It’s the best tube of the event, but it wasn’t enough to move into round four. Action halted after that heat and will continue to air in prime time here on Oceanic Surf channels 250 and 1250.
Wong ready to contribute for Cards
Last year, it was uncertain whether Kolten Wong would be a part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ postseason roster. This year is a different story as the Kamehameha and University of Hawaii product is the team’s starting second baseman and will maintain that status with the playoffs getting underway this week.
The lasting image from Wong’s 2013 postseason was the rookie being picked off for the final out of Game 4 of the World Series. Though he struggled early in 2014, Wong rebounded and put himself into the National League Rookie of the Year discussion. He’s unlikely to win it, but he will probably finish third in the voting behind Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton.
Wong finished the regular season with a .249 batting average, 12 home runs, 42 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 113 games at the Major League level. With the Cardinals taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Divisional Series starting Friday, Wong will have plenty of opportunities to erase those 2013 memories and try to help St. Louis return to the fall classic.
2-point conversion keeps Kauai kicking
It took almost the whole 48 minutes of play, but the Kauai Red Raiders kept themselves in the mix for the 2014 Kauai Interscholastic Federation title with their 8-7 win over Waimea on Saturday. Electing to avoid a tie and go for the win, Kauai’s success in that final minute sets up a huge game this weekend as the Raiders will face the league-leading Kapaa Warriors. Trailing by one game in the KIF standings, Kauai could even things up with an upset victory.
But it will take a huge effort to best Kapaa, which is still ranked third in the ScoringLive Division II poll. Lahainaluna and Iolani maintained the top two spots unanimously and Kapaa picked up four of the six third-place votes with Pearl City and Nanakuli each getting a third-place nod. The Warriors have given up just seven points in KIF play to this point and beat Kauai 29-0 in the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 12.
David Simon can be reached at email@example.com.