The way Waiakea’s Tracy and Calvin Nakashima see it, anything could happen today during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation bowling team championships.
That’s when a pair of league titles and 10 state berths will be on the line at Hilo Lanes. Action starts at 9 a.m. with the team semifinals, breaks for lunch, then resumes with the finals at 1 p.m.
The BIIF boys and girls team champion will each be awarded five berths in the state championships, scheduled Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 at Leeward Bowl on Oahu.
Waiakea is the four-time defending BIIF boys and girls team champion.
The Warrior boys, under Tracy Nakashima, finished the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record. But he’s already cautioned his talented team about today’s do-or-die situation.
“We’re confident going into (today), but we know we’re going to have to take it one game at a time,” Nakashima said. “It’s going to come down to who spares and makes their shots count. If we want to finish the BIIF season undefeated, we’ve got to take care of business.”
In the morning semifinals, top-seeded Waiakea will battle No. 4 Konawaena while No. 2 Hilo takes on No. 3 Kamehameha.
Nakashima is looking for a balanced team effort.
“We need everyone to step up and bowl well,” he said. “We know it’s going to be a struggle no matter who we go up against. We’re going to have to earn it. But we’re confident and know what we need to do.”
Nakashima has four returnees to count on: sophomores Prayse Chung (160.24 per game average), Kylan Sakata (157.58) and Jhumar Martinez (160.50) and junior Garyn Hoota (151.96). All four are among the BIIF’s top 11 by scoring average and are headed to states as individuals. However, if the Warriors win the team title, a fifth Warrior will get a state berth, too.
“We’ve got a young team with experience, so that should help us,” said Nakashima, adding that sophomores Jayke Sakai and Taylor Matsunaga have provided solid support to the returning bowlers.
Waiakea’s John Kaipo was the BIIF boys champion last year as a senior.
Hilo, under veteran coach Damien Chow, is led by Kendrick Dacayanan, who led the BIIF with a 163.45 average during the regular season. The smooth Dacayanan started the season slowly and heated up as the competition improved. In 22 games, he knocked down 3,596 pins.
Konawaena’s Stefan Kimura was close behind Dacayanan, averaging 161.46 in 13 games.
Calvin Nakashima, the longtime Warriors girls coach, and Tracy’s father, predicts an exciting girls battle today.
In the semifinals at 9 a.m., it’s No. 1 Kealakehe vs. No. 4 Konawaena and No. 2 Hilo vs. No. 3 Waiakea.
The unbeaten Waveriders (8-0) are paced by Mika Parish, who led the BIIF with a 156.69 average during the regular season. Teammates Desiree Ichishita (141.54), Paulaine Gampon (130.58) and Tiffany Kurozawa (130.06) were also in the league’s top 15 in scoring.
The BIIF individual championships will be held Oct. 12 at Hilo Lanes.