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Boys Basketball Hosts Season Opener

Photo by Lee DeRouin.

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Molokai Boys Basketball hosted Lanai for the first game of the season last weekend – with a last minute rule change that excluded spectators. Though Molokai lost both games, players and coaches were happy to be on the court. 

“COVID has been hard for everyone but I believe especially tough on the youth,” said Kalae Adolpho, in her first year as head coach for Molokai High’s boys basketball team. “We are so grateful and excited to have a game in The Barn after almost two years of no sports. With maybe five total practices with everyone due to COVID, we are stoked just to be out there competing!” 

Friday evening’s score was 49-26, and Saturday closed 44-19, with the Pine Lads taking both wins. Saven Kaahanui and Owen Svetin were Molokai’s high scorers in both games. 

“So happy to be coaching again,” said Jimmy Fernandez, Lanai’s head coach of 36 years. “The kids are eager to compete. We were the only schools playing this weekend. I’m happy the way our team played and executed offensively and defensively… Disappointed there were no spectators, but better to be safe than sorry!”

With the current COVID spike, Molokai Athletics got word on Friday that effective immediately, all Maui Interscholastic events are limited to essential participants only. Previously, a limited guest list and students and staff had been anticipating being able to attend the home games. 

“As the situation remains fluid, the MIL will meet weekly to assess, discuss any issues and/or concerns, and determine any adjustments,” wrote Molokai Athletic Director Lee DeRouin. “We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

The basketball games were streamed on the Molokai Athletics Facebook page to allow family and fans to watch. 

Adolpho is hopeful for a strong season for the young team. 

“With only two returnees from the last season I’m proud of the boys despite the score,” she said. “This was the first ever basketball game for some and first high school basketball game for most. These boys have a steep learning curve ahead and I’m excited to see what we look like at the end of the season.”


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