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Noa Purcell going hard in the paint.

Noa Purcell going hard in the paint.

Noa Purcell going hard in the paint.

Kainalu Reyes Hackney, Sports Writer

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New Year, new season, new coach. The Saint Louis varsity basketball team looks to clinch a state birth this year under new head coach, Sol Batoon. Although the Crusaders will be without a couple of key players, they look to bounce back, led by seniors, Chris Sykes, Noa Purcell, Jalen Smith, and Seth Hiro. The team also has a lot of young and talented players in Junior Wily, Trey Taba, Isaac “Keawe” Silva, and Lachlan Hanneman.

Chris Sykes with the shot.

 

        Falling just shy of a state berth in the previous two years under coach Allan Silva, who recently resigned in the summer, the Crusaders are hungry for their chance to shine on the court. “We feel like we have a lot to prove. We just have to play hard, smart, and buy into his system, ” Said shooting guard/small forward Chris Sykes. The Crusaders enter the season overlooked by many, considering the strength of the ILH with teams like Punahou, Kamehameha and Iolani.

       The Crusaders will be very busy in the month of December, playing in tournaments every week. They will also travel to Maui to play in the Lahainaluna Invitational and Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic. Both tournaments will host premier teams from across the country giving our team a chance to show their talent on a national platform. “I think we will match up fine in the next few tourneys, and with Josh, Liloa, Gino, and myself we will bring the physicality inside the paint,” said senior Noa Purcell on how they will match up with other big-name teams.

        The Crusaders leave for Vegas on December 19th and will return on the 24th. They will have little time to rest, as they leave on the 27th for the Lahainaluna Invitational and arrive back home on new year’s eve ready for their regular season debut against a very good Kamehameha team.

 

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