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Keep, Manera awarded POY honors

  • Photos by Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    LEFT: Kauai High School’s Taegan Keep (33) draws pressure from Kapaa’s Lilya Cummings and Mele Tafea during a KIF varsity girls basketball game at the Kauai High School gym, in this Jan. 19 photo. RIGHT: Kauai’s Christian Manera (5) is hounded by Waimea’s Dylan Balaan during a KIF varsity boys basketball game at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea, in this Jan. 26 photo.

For the second year in a row, two Red Raiders were recognized as this year’s best in bastketball.

The lists for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls and boys basketball all stars were released by the league late Thursday. League all stars are voted for by the coaches.

Kauai High School senior center Taegan Keep was named the girls Player of the Year, and senior guard Christian Manera was named boys Player of the Year.

For Keep, this is her second consecutive KIF Player of the Year award.

“I was very happy to be honored as Player of the Year again, especially on my senior year because I played (varsity) all four years,” Keep said Friday. “I feel I finished out strong.”

Kauai’s varsity girls team was a perfect 8-0 in the regular season en route to winning its second consecutive KIF championship. The team placed sixth at the 2018 Snapple Girls Basketball Championships – Division II state tournament on Oahu.

“I was happy with our undefeated record. That was a nice ending for the KIF,” Keep said. “At states, it was fun to play as a team. My senior year, we got to go again to states. I wanted a little more out of states. I feel we could have done a lot better. But I’m happy we got to play at Blaisdell at least. We got to play in the big stadium, which is always amazing. Amazing experience.”

On the girls’ list, Kauai, Kapaa and Waimea high schools each have two players named.

Keep and sophomore guard Marissa Layosa represent Kauai. Junior guard Jaliyah Casem and junior center Mele Tafea represent Kapaa, and senior guard Kiarra Palacio and freshman guard Kaye Serapio represent Waimea.

Kauai’s boys team, which also won two straight KIF titles, have three players on the list of standouts: Manera, senior guard Gunnar Burkman and junior guard Kaimani Tecson.

The Red Raider boys were 8-1 this past KIF season and went on to place fourth at the 2018 Snapple Boys Basketball Championships – Division II state tournament.

Waimea has two players named: senior guard DJ Pabre and senior forward Joel Soriano. Warriors sophomore guard/forward Justin Faidley is the lone representative of Kapaa.

Manera could not be reached for comment Friday.

Red Raiders boys coach Ipo Yoshioka and girls coach James Dingus were both named Coach of the Year for their respective seasons.

KIF Basketball All-Stars

Girls: Taegan Keep, Kauai, senior; Jaliyah Casem, Kapaa, junior; Marissa Layosa, Kauai, sophomore; Kaye Serapio, Waimea, freshman; Kiarra Palacio, Waimea, senior; Mele Tafea, Kapaa, junior

Girls Player of the Year: Taegan Keep, Kauai, senior

Girls Coach of the Year: James Dingus, Kauai

Boys: Christian Manera, Kauai, senior; DJ Pabre, Waimea, senior; Gunnar Burkman, Kauai, senior; Kaimani Tecson, Kauai, junior; Joel Soriano, Waimea, senior; Justin Faidley, Kapaa, sophomore

Boys Player of the Year: Christian Manera, Kauai, senior

Boys Coach of the Year: Ipo Yoshioka, Kauai


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