JV, Varsity Basketball Shoot Into Strong Season Finish

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By Danielle Smith
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(Photo courtesy of Kanoa Gibson (9)) JV boys credit their OIA championship win to their teammates and coach.

As the season nears its end, players on both the junior varsity and varsity boys and girls basketball teams finish off with a proud attitude and an unbreakable bond between the team players.

“No matter what, through thick and thin we stand together. We tried our best, and no matter the outcomes, whether we hated the outcomes or whether we loved it, we just played together and for each other,” said varsity small forward and guard Junior Destiny Perreira.

Not to be deterred by their losses, the teams continued to bring forth their best efforts throughout each game. “Losses never ever feel good. They completely suck but as a team we always need to look at what went wrong and learn from that. Use our mistakes to get better and push ourselves,” expressed varsity guard Junior Javon Rodriguez. Perreira added, “Our coaches said (that) however we come back from this one loss is how the rest of our season is gonna go. If we just wanna lay it over saying we already lost and we’ll only lose more games and if we just lay down against other teams then that’s perfectly fine. That’s gonna define how much are passion and how much we want to win this season.”

Finishing their season with a 7-2 record, as well as procuring the title of Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) champions, the JV boys are proud of what they brought to the courts. “It feels pretty good now to call myself a champion. My coach said that they didn’t win a OIA championship for the past four years so we were able to bring back that tradition,” said shooting and point guard Freshman Kanoa Gibson.

The season offered new and unfamiliar opportunities for the varsity girls as they traveled to the Big Island and Maui to compete in two events; the Lahaina and Konawaena tournaments. “It wasn’t just me that was nervous, all of us were because we didn’t know what was out there, we didn’t know what we were going up against. As a team, I think that really changed our momentum going into the actual tournament. But once we shook off the jitters and the nervousness, we did really good as a team,” said Perreira.

The relationship made amongst the teams held strong both on and off the courts. “We honestly didn’t have any obstacles at all, we all just clicked together once we saw each other and started playing together. It was pretty good working with them and playing with them,” expressed Gibson. With each team player being a significant factor in success, they strived to work together. “We’re playing for Mililani, our parents, our coaches and our team mates. We play for each other so that people can’t say ‘This one person played really good’ it’s a team thing, this whole team works together and we have great chemistry,” Perreira said.

With each game played, the immense amount of support from coaches, family and friends drove each team to strive to play their best on the court. “My coach always knew what I could do and he’d push me to my limit. My parents would always tell me ‘pass the ball don’t be a hutchie. Get open, pass when the guy is open.’ They really motivated me to be a better player,” Gibson said. Perreira added, “Their unconditional support is so inspiring and it motivates you to want to play for them, to want to win for them. When you’re on the bench and you look across and see all your supporters, it really hits you in the heart.”

Although their talents won’t be featured on the courts until next season, the strengths the players have gained will continue to carry with them in other aspects of their lives. All teams took what they gained during the season into their training and performance at states.