Mataafa and 8 Other Luna Wrestlers Reach Semis
By Rodney S. Yap
Lahainaluna High School’s Hercules Mataafa pinned both his opponents Friday and remains one win from a possible rematch with Kamehameha-Kapalama’s Dane Pestano, the wrestler who denied the Maui Interscholastic League champion a state gold medal a year ago in the boys 215 pound weight class.
Pestano decisioned Mataafa 5-3 in last year’s final and is the top-seed in the opposite bracket. And Like Mataafa, Pestano is one win away from the finals having pinned both his preliminary opponent in 1 minute, 35 seconds and his quarterfinal opponent Simeon Vierra of Kahuku in 1:44.
The 6-foot-3 Mataafa eliminated both of his opponents on Friday by fall or pin in 97 seconds. He is one of four Lahainaluna boys to reach the semifinals of the 2013 Chevron State Wrestling Championships in Honolulu.
Lahainaluna also saw five girls reach the semifinals for a total of nine wrestlers competing in Saturday’s medal matches with the semifinals and consolation rounds three and four starting at 10 a.m., while the championship finals begin at 4:30 p.m. live on OC16 TV (channel 12).
Mataafa could become the Lunas’ 18th state boys champion, if he can earn the school’s 24th gold medal and first ever above 171 pounds. In his way is semifinalist Dayton Furuta of Mililani, who pinned Baldwin’s Danny Welds-Ebanks in 24 seconds last year to earn fifth place in the 189 pound weight class.
Like Mataafa, Furuta is an all-star football player. The 5-foot-11 linebacker and running back led the Trojans to a 24-13 come-from-behind victory over Baldwin in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs here in November. Furuta finished with two touchdowns and 109 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Should Mataafa and Pestano advance to the finals again, the outcome of their match could mean the difference in winning or losing the team title as the Lunas are currently third in the team standings with 68 points, behind Campbell’s 76 and Kamehameha-Kapalama’s 82 points. The Sabers have eight semifinalists, and the Warriors have seven.
Defending champion Punahou, which owns six consecutive boys titles to its credit, trails in fourth place with 64 points.
Lahainaluna’s other boys semifinalist are Christian Balagso (108), Wyatt Chism (135), and Bubba Jaramillo (140). The MIL’s other boys to reach the semifinals are Andrew Kahalewai (152) of Kamehameha Maui and Welds-Ebanks (189) of Baldwin.
The Lunas’ girls semifinalists are Diamond Freitas at 101 pounds, Precious Jaramillo at 121, Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez at 130, Carly Jaramillo at 135 and Lalelei Mataafa at 220.
The Lunas are third in the girls team standings with 68 points. Kamehameha-Kapalama leads with 76 points, followed by Pearl City’s 71. The Warriors have five semifinalists and the Chargers six.
Eight other MIL competitors remained in title contention. Three from Molokai advanced on the girls semifinals with Kailaoe Cabating (105), Karley Kaulili (109) and Rizpah Torres-Umi (125). Hailey Namauu (175) of Baldwin also reached the made it as did teammate Sydney Ibarra at 220. Lanai’s Megan Amby is in the 155 semifinals.
Last year the MIL had at least one medalist in nine of 11 weight classes, but no gold medals. Molokai’s Mikayla Pico’s second-place finish in the 98-pound weight class proved to be the MIL’s best in the 2012 girls division.
On the boys side in 2012, King Kekaulike’s Austin Bloch was the only MIL wrestler to earn a state championship, winning the 140 pound weight class with a 6-4 decision over Kamehameha Kapalama’s Tyson Kauhine.
MIL Boys State Semifinalist
108 — Christian Balagso (LHS) def. Connor Lee (Pun), pin 1:02; Balagso def. Chance Ikei (Kas), pin 5:01. Next: Blaysen Terukina (KSK).
135 — Wyatt Chism (LHS) def. Christian Lee (Mili), dec. 16-12; Chism def. Christopher Moon (Pun), 11-8. Next: Canaan Kawaihae (KIL).
140 — Bubba Jaramillo (LHS) def. Kekua Marumoto (KPO), mdec. 10-2; Jaramillo def. Liam Corbett (Rad), dec. 7-3. Next: Sean Chan (Iol).
152 — Andrew Kahalewai (KSM) def. Francis Taua (Cam), dec. 9-2; Kahalewai def. Gabriel Strait (HNL), dec. 5-2. Next: Kainoa Marumoto (KPO).
189 — Danny Welds-Ebanks (BHS) def. Pablo Gonzalez (Rad), pin 3:17; Welds-Ebanks def. Scott Santiago (Wak), dec. 10-6. Next: Cornelius Putnam (Cam).
215 — Hercules Mataafa (LHS) def. Lavell Manning (KPO), pin 1:00; Mataafa def. Shaun Allosada (AST) pin 0:36. Next: Dayton Furuta (Mili).
MIL Girls State Semifinalist
101 — Diamond Freitas (LHS) def. Jharmine Pastrano (KON), pin 1:49; Freitas def. Kacie Nishimura (Pri), pin 1:58. Next: Kaelynn Canyete (KPO).
105 — Kailaoe Cabating (Molo) def. Jaryn Cachola (Far), pin :53; Cabating def. Kelly Rivera (Mili), pin 3:07. Next: Miranda Oda (Pun).
109 — Karley Kaulili (Molo) def. Courtney Brock (Kai), pin 1:19; Kaulili def. Kaitlyn Funai (Hilo), pin 1:35. Next: Aarica Barcina (Kahu).
121 — Precious Jaramillo (LHS) def. Jessica Gudalis (MCK), pin 1:50; Jaramillo def. Teyshia Kano (KPO), dec. 12-5. Next: Angela Lee (Mili).
125 — Rizpah Torres Umi (Molo) def. Myishaann Davis (KPO), pin 1:22; Torres Umi def. Ashley Mercado (Lei), pin 5:47. Next: Harmony Pacheco (KSK).
130 — Breanna Dudoit Vasquez (LHS) def. Lhyca Joy Butac (Lei), pin 5:31; Dudoit Vasquez def. Kristin Yamasaki (Mar), dec. 5-1. Next: Kaimiloa Evans (PEC).
135 — Carly Jaramillo (LHS) def. BYE; Jaramillo def. Pomaikai Yamaguchi (KSK), pin 5:11. Next: Tanalei Louis (Kona).
155 — Megan Amby (Lanai) def. Abigail Allie (Rad), technical fall 15-0; Amby def. Leila Wong (HPA), pin 5:56. Next: Janelle Fuamatu (PEC).
175 — Hailey Namauu (BHS) def. Stephanie Times (AIE), pin :37; Namauu def. Ryanne Murakami Somala (WAL), pin 5:21. Next: Welina Tong (KSH).
220 — Lalelei Mataafa (LHS) def. BYE; Mataafa def. Kiani Perriera-Keawe (KSH), pin :32. Next: Sarah Miner (AIE).
220 — Sydney Ibarra (BHS) def. BYE; Ibarra def. Nalani Stanley (KSK), pin 1:28. Next: Kaydie Lynn Tehotu (McK).