Two Lahainaluna students compete with Team Aloha in mainland basketball tourney
Two students from Lahainaluna High School, Ledjan Pahukoa and Tavina Harris were among the members of Team Al oha that competed in the Elite is Earned Spring Invitational basketball tournament in Oakland, Calif. last weekend.
They were part of the 17-under team that reached the semi-finals, but suffered defeat to the eventual bracket champion. The team won four out of the five games that they played throughout their trip and was runner-up in their bracket. In one of their wins against the Arizona Stars, they made a dozen 3’s from beyond the arc. They also rallied impressively to clinch their last game, 54-42 over the Bulldawgs from the Bay Area.
Team Aloha’s 16-under team went undefeated in pool play through five games, outscoring their opponents by an average of more than 20 points per game and won the championship of their bracket. In the championship game, they won impressively in a come-from-behind, 74-48 victory over West Coast Premier in a battle of unbeaten clubs.
This marks the 3rd straight time that Team Aloha has earned a championship at the Elite Is Earned Tournament. In 2018 and 2019, Team Aloha also went undefeated. (The team did not travel in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID). This year, for the first time, two squads were formed and competed in separate age divisions.
Overall, the 18 members of this year’s Team Aloha squads won 9 of their 10 games played and represented the state of Hawai‘i extremely well.
The members of the 16-under team include: Ellana Klemp, Faith Mersburgh (Hanalani HS), Brooke Samura (Hawaii Prep Academy), Jolie Mantz, Avery Snyder (Waiakea HS), Jirah Villanueva (Radford), Kalysa Ng (Sacred Hearts Academy), Callie Pieper (Iolani), Shailoh Liilii (Moanalua), Sila Wily-Ava (Kahuku).
The members of the 17-under team were: Jaety Mandaquit (Iolani), Ledjan Pahukoa, Tavina Harris (Lahainaluna), Theresa Anakalea (Damien), Braelyn Kauhi (Konawaena), Taimane Faleafine -Auwae, Ciera Tugade-Agasiva, Elisa Holakeituai (Maryknoll), Faith Mersburgh (Hanalani).
“Team Aloha continued to demonstrate that our young ladies can compete successfully against the best of teams. We took a young ball club comprised of only five juniors which bodes well for future competition. Besides the games, one of the highlights of the trip was the young ladies got to tour and practice at the Golden State Warriors training and practice facility in the Bay Area,” said Mufi Hannemann, Head Coach and Founder of Team Aloha.