The Varsity Basketball season is off to a slower start than predicted with a 1-4 record and a 3 game losing skid during the OIA-ILH Challenge hosted by Moanalua to begin the Raiders’ 2019 regular season. Under newly hired head coach Ryan Hirata ’04, the team has struggled compared to last year’s production. However, all of Hirata’s losses have come in close matches, making the largest knock on the Raiders thus far their ability to close games.
All three losses in the challenge came within one possession including a buzzer beater 47-46 loss to Leilehua and an overtime 56-54 loss against Moanalua. The Raiders final game of the challenge ended in a 47-44 defeat at the hands of Kalaheo. Their first game of the season also ended in a one possession 39-36 defeat to Radford. One of the biggest concerns for the team is making their free throws during the game and especially at the end. The Raiders do not get to the line a lot, but when they do they must capitalize on it and make their free throws. Young starting point guard Bailey Bumanglag ’22 went 0-4 from the line against Leilehua. Wesley Yamada ‘20 missed one crucial free throw in the fourth quarter that would’ve brought the score to a tie. Instead, Kalaheo capitalized on the miss and scored two points on the other end.
The Raiders got back on track yesterday, beating Kamehameha-Hawaii 45-32 on in their first game of the Saint Joseph Tournament on the big island. However, the real test will come later in the tournament when the Raiders face the now 10-1 Hilo Vikings.