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Mormons in Laie were in mourning this week as Brigham Young University-Hawaii's Seasiders — both the men's and women's teams — played their final basketball games.

It was not just the end of the season, but the end of an era.

Mormon officials announced in 2014 they were phasing out intercollegiate athletics at the historic school on the island of Oahu to spend more resources on student enrollment.

Monday's doubleheader marked the last prominent spectator sports that will take place at BYU-Hawaii.

The university's "cheerleaders cheered for the last time," the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. "Chants of 'SEA! SIDERS!' … rang out loud and proud from the student-infused crowd of 1,287."

Through the years, the small college, owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and carrying a student body of just under 3,000, had made a name for itself in several sports.

"In hoops it made [a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics] Final Four in 1992," the newspaper said, "and the 2011 [NCAA Division II] championship game."

Hauula resident Harold Palimoo, 59, has been going to volleyball and basketball games on the lush campus since the 1980s.

"I'm saddened. I really don't want it to go away," Palimoo, who wore an "I heart Seasiders" shirt, told the paper. "But it's the leaders of the church that make the decisions, so I guess you can't argue with them."

Perhaps fittingly for a school losing its athletic programs, BYU-Hawaii lost both final basketball games. The men fell 84-66 and the women 81-58 to Point Loma as the night went from hoopla to hoop low.

BYU-Idaho, then Ricks College, dropped its intercollegiate sports more than a decade ago.

The LDS Church's flagship university, in Provo, continues to field a range of competitive teams. The Cougars have racked up scores of titles and amassed a nationwide following, especially in football.

Peggy Fletcher Stack

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