Pine Lasses Hope to Put Lanai on the Map

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Island of Lana'i is known for 2 things, pineapple and pineapple.

But now you can add basketball to that list.

This morning, the Pine Lasses of Lana'i High School arrived here on Oahu, to take part in their first ever, Girls Basketball Division-II State Tournament.

When it comes to statewide high school athletics, Lana'i High School is barely a blip on the screen.

But not this week, while most other teams in the state ride the pine, the Pine Lasses will be center stage.

"They think because we small, we not good, but we play with heart our team. Ready to show what the little island can show, can give."

And it's been a long time coming.

In 30 years of girls basketball, the Pine Lasses are finally getting their first taste of life in the state tourney.

And they couldn't be happier.

"I mean every coach has high expectations of their team."

"And only right now its beginning to set in."

"We always try to think what the big goal is, but just trying to get there is always harder."

But there is a dark lining to this silver cloud.

The Pine Lasses are in the big time, but their accommodations here on Oahu are not.

"Some of the girls said, hey coach what hotel are we going to stay at, and I told them as far as I know we're going to stay at the Ritz Moanalua High School Gymnasium."

"We're pretty used to it, whenever we go to Maui and play in the regular season we stay in the gyms."

"We bring our aero beds and our sleeping bags and just make the best of it. I think that how our team becomes more close knit."

But for a team walking on air, sleeping on an air mattress is not a problem.

Just being in the state dance, is reward enough.

"My mom graduated from Lanai High and she played basketball too, so to go is really an honor."