The South Maui Youth Basketball League (SMYBL) is in its 19th year. This year's participation is our largest, with over 400 youths registered playing on 26 teams in three different age divisions.
Since we still don't have a gym in Kihei, and play every game outdoors, some of the best parts of the game are missing for our players--the sound of squeaking shoes on a wood floor, the bright lights, the glass backboards and the echoing crowd noise, just to name a few.
Keanu Akina Ancog of the Heat and Khloe Vernon (partially obstructed) of the Kīhei Sharks tip off a recent South Maui Youth Basketball League game played at Pā‘ia Gym.
But thanks to the generosity of other districts, we are able to give our kids a gym experience at least once a season. This year, we're lucky to have two gym dates for our Junior Midgets. It's a nine-team division, so in order for every team to get to play, each must play two games.
The first game was Saturday, March 2, at the old Pa'ia Gym. The Heat opened with a 33-24 win over the scrappy Kihei Sharks, who got a game high 18 points from Elijah Mertens. Austin Barcai led the Heat, scoring eight points.
Next up, Chris Rummans scored nine points as the Flames cruised past the Rising Stars 29-8. Zoren Atijera topped the Stars with four points.
Elite's 41-30 win over the Heat was highlighted by Raider Damuni's league season high of 35 points. Christian Lee scored eight points and La'akea Asuega-Stark scored seven for the Heat.
Eric Doolin and Henry Johnston scored eight points each as the defending league champion Eagles rolled past Swag 27-13. Kobe Galinato was Swag's top scorer with six points.
Pa'ia Gym day finished with Isaiah Richardson scoring 21 points, leading the Clippers past the Cobras 30-25. Ben Janssen scored 12 points to lead the Cobras.
Our next indoor game day is Saturday, March 16, at Seabury Hall in Olinda.
A three-game schedule on Thursday, March 7, wrapped up the week beginning with the Cobras getting by Swag 19-14. Ben Janssen once again led the Cobras, scoring 14 points. Tevita Mafileo scored 10 points for Swag and continued his awesome defensive play, with three blocked shots.
Isaiah Richards had another solid game, scoring 14 points for the Clippers, who pulled away late to defeat the Rising Stars 34-23. Perdon Abner led the Stars with 11 points.
Saving the best for last, the Eagles and Elite played a tight, back-and-forth game that was tied 34-34 at the end of regulation. Getting big shots in overtime from Mitchell Hirose and Henry Johnston, the Eagles pulled out a 44-37 win, despite another big game from Elite's Raider Damuni, who scored 31 points.
Our Fryers Division season has just a couple weeks left before the playoffs on March 18 and 20.
Games played on Wednesday, March 6, started with the Titans edging Da Kine 20-18. Dejshon Evans and Sylas Sablas each scored eight points for the Titans, while Jaxon Birrenkott's eight points topped Da Kine.
Shiloh Delos Reyes' 12 points helped Swag remain unbeaten with a hard-fought 38-32 win over the Falcons. Paul Yamane scored 10 points and Laura Fakavai added eight for the Falcons.
The Rising Stars got 12 points from Raiden Ravida in their 36-26 win over Lanakila. Ajah Rajvong also scored 12 points as Lanakila's top scorer.
Charles Biegel, Steel Smith and three others scored four points each as the Blue Devils got by Elite 28-18. Ledjen Pahukoa scored 12 points for Elite, and Silina Damuni added six points for Elite.
We are always looking for volunteers to help officiate games. Just bring your shoes, and a willingness to help out--we'll supply the whistles. For information on any of our programs, call the South Maui Parks office at 879-4533, or check out our South Maui Parks Facebook page.