PAHOA, Hawai‘i Island— The Lihu‘e Storm 12 and Under girls basketball team can boast of the “Select Hoopsters” title after winning first place in 12U division play at the 2023 Hawai‘i Select Hoopsters Classic, which wrapped up on Saturday on the Big Island.
The tournament, which is run by former University of Hawai‘i Rainbow basketball player Alika Smith, attracted teams from across the state.
“I’m so proud of what these girls were able to accomplish, traveling and competing against strong teams,” said Lihu‘e Storm Head Coach Sean Doi. “They put in the hard work over the past couple months and got results.”
During the tournament, which started on Oct. 11, the Lihu‘e Storm advanced to bracket play by defeating three teams for a 3-0 record to earn the top seed.
“Our first game on Oct. 11, we beat Hilo Swish by just a pair, 26-24. It was a close game, but we held onto the lead through the final minutes,” Doi said.
“On Oct. 12, we beat Hawai‘i Select, 30-15 by playing tough defense and picking up lots of points by running the floor on fast breaks. On Oct. 13, we faced a physical Maui Sparks team that had the lead in the first half. But the Lihu‘e Storm pulled away with good rebounding and taking good shots through the second half for the 28-21 win.”
During bracket play, the Lihu‘e Storm faced Hawai‘i Select in the tournament semifinals.
“Lihu‘e Storm beat them, 32-23 with good shot selection and solid defense that led to transition buckets,” Doi said. “Two hours later, Lihu‘e Storm beat Hilo Swish in the championship match, 26-21 in an exciting back-and-forth contest with many lead changes that thrilled the crowd. Our girls pulled it out in the end with a string of point, and solid defense.”
Team Lihu‘e would like to thank the entire Team Lihu‘e Basketball ‘ohana, and all of the team’s “awesome parents and family supporters.”
“We now look forward to competing as Storm 6th Grade, and Storm 7th and 8th Grade teams in the Fall League season over the next several weeks on Kaua‘i,” Doi said.
Source: The Garden Island