Speedy Chargers Set The Pace In Summer Hoops League
By Jack Danilewicz
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If Pearl City head girls basketball coach Mike Morton has his way, the Chargers will set the pace in the OIA Red West conference next season.
That is to say, the team will operate at a pace all its own.
“We have the quickness, and we’ll push the ball,” said Morton, whose team went 15-4 overall last season in addition to winning its first Red West crown since capturing back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003.
“We’ll go a lot more with four guards and one post (player in the lineup) than in recent seasons.”
The Chargers currently are hosting their own summer league, which includes the entire Red West conference. For followers of the league, the past few weeks have been a sneak preview of the 2010-11 season.
“It just worked out that way,” said Morton. “It will be a challenge, but we should be there (in contention). We should be right there along with Kapolei, and there’s Leilehua and Campbell, too.”
Depth in the back court is the primary reason a more concentrated effort is being made to play an up-tempo style. Morton welcomes back sisters Sabrina and Shawna Angle as well as Adrienne-Jean Sylva and Shayrena Alterado, who will be the only senior of the group.
All four are interchangeable, although Morton sees Sylva as the player most likely to be the starting point guard.
“She’s gone to clinics and has shown a lot of improvement with her ball-handling,” he said. “Her best asset is her defense.”
Sabrina Angle, meanwhile, brings plenty of experience to the mix, having started several games last season. “She brings mental toughness and a great shot - she’s a shooter,” Morton said. “Hopefully we’ll see some leadership from her, too.”
Shawna Angle figures to give the Chargers an added boost on the offensive end with her range, in the coach’s view. “I like her shooting - it’s her biggest asset. When she gets hot, she’s in the zone.
We’re looking for big things from her.”
Defense has been Pearl City’s forte during the Morton era, and Alterado has all the skills to be its next “shut-down defender” in the back court. “We like her quickness and her defensive intensity,” he said.
In the post, Morton also is high on relative newcomers Danielle Magana and Tiare-Marie Walker. Both were moved up from the JV to varsity in time for last season’s state tournament and received valuable playing time.
“Danielle tore it up in JV,” he said of Magana, who transferred from San Diego between her freshman and sophomore years. “So far, she’s been doing good. She’s tough, and she’s a scorer.
“Tiare is known for her defense,” he added of Walker. “She’s our (former NBA standout Dennis) Rodman. She’s a rebounder and shot-blocker and total defender.”
The Chargers return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday when they host Leilehua in the final game of their summer league slate. The playoffs begin Friday night. Pairings for the post-season will be finalized late Wednesday.
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