KAPAA — Hailey Overmyer was a manager for the Kapaa High School girls basketball team during last year’s outing in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball season.
Wednesday night, Overmyer dropped the tail end of a charity pair, her only free throw net in six outings, to push the Lady Warriors to a 44-41 bulge over Kauai High School with 1:33 remaining in the see-saw contest before an enthusiastic home crowd at the Bernice Hundley Gym during Kapaa’s opening match in the KIF girls basketball season.
Kauai responded, but without the services of two of its starting five fouling out, could muster just a charity pair by Marissa Layosa with seven ticks showing as Lady Warrior Jaliyah Casem ran out the clock on a 44-43 nailbiting win.
“We’re still a young team,” said Kapaa coach William Aki. “We made a lot of mistakes out there. But we brought up four freshmen because we knew we needed the help.”
The Raiders, coming off a strong win over Waimea Monday night, continued to show strong in the opening frame, finishing with a 9-2 lead behind five marks from Layosa and low post Rebecca Zenger striking with a pair of buckets while Kapaa was limited to just a bucket from Kobi Miura.
“You have to give credit to Kapaa,” said Kauai coach James Dingus. “They came back — twice! But this was a very competitive game, and our girls played hard, but Kapaa came up with the big plays when they needed to.”
Kapaa answered the opening deficit by outgunning Kauai, 17-8 in the second quadrant, spreading its scoring to six players, including a long ball from Angelica Cudiamat. The Warrior press moved the Raider ball to five players, but forcing turnovers that Kapaa capitalized on for a 19-17 edge at the break.
“We started slow, and that cost us,” Aki said. “The Raiders took us out of our game plan in that first quarter. We got in during the second quarter, but there were a lot of mistakes.”
Kauai came back in the third quarter, outscoring Kapaa, 14-5, led by a trey from Tia Jaquias and five points from Tiana Manera while Kapaa found four marks from Hinali‘i Grance and a foul shot from Lilya Cummings. The seven-point lead did not daunt the Warriors as the physical play saw two Raiders foul out and Kapaa outrunning the Raiders, 20-12, for the final comeback.
“We need to make better plays,” Dingus said. “We also need to learn how to make smarter plays. We need to learn better basketball. As I said previously, these girls are very competitive. They play hard and practice hard, we just need to learn better basketball.”
Earlier in the night, the Kauai High School junior varsity wrapped up a 46-17 victory over the JV Lady Warriors as 10 JV Raiders marked the scorebook, led by nine points from Kaylah Santos and seven points from Ghiezelle Dela Cruz.
Shayna Rapozo-Kamoku topped the Kapaa JV on five points with Kyllie Belmonte and Kaydence Kaui each marking four points.
With the win, Kapaa boards the bus, Friday for a match against Waimea at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea.
Kauai drops to 1-1 and has a break, a short one according to Dingus, until Monday when it travels to Waimea for a meeting with the Menehune.
“We still have work to do,” Aki said. “We have to stop making mistakes by not focusing on the game. I guess it’s getting back to basics.”
The JV game tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.