LIHUE — Kapaa High School’s Mele Tafea came off the bench to score 14 points in leading the Warrior Wahine to a 45-30 win over Kauai High School Wednesday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Raider gym.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Kauai coach James Dingus. “We got behind, early. Kapaa was making their shots.”
The Warriors flew off the bench, generating an eight-point lead in the first period behind six points from Tafea and four marks from Alexie Ann Yam while its defense held the Red Raiders to a pair of buckets from guard Amalya Sales and a pair from Marissa Layosa.
Kapaa rolled on this momentum to build on the lead in following quarters.
“I am happy with our defensive showing,” said Kapaa coach William Aki. “We worked on tweaking some things — just little changes — over the last two weeks, and I’m happy to see our defense shut them down.”
Following three quarters of play, the Raiders looked at a 20-point deficit. The whiteshirts responded by outgunning Kapaa, 11-7 in the final quadrant, but the effort came up short at the final buzzer.
Sales topped the Red Raider effort on 12 points followed by Layosa dropping nine points. Jessica Cezar came off the bench for a strong four points, Bailey Perreira finished with three, and a pair from Tiana Manera accounted for the Kauai math.
Following the lead generated by Tafea and guard Juliyah Casem with 10 points, Kapaa got six points from Yam and Lilya Cummings, treys from Kobi Miura and Angelica Cudiamat, and a bucket from Angeline Roslin.
Earlier in the evening, Jada Ines launched a three-ball in the final stanza to finish with all six points for the Kapaa junior varsity, but the effort came up short as the Kauai JV overwhelmed the JV Warriors, 36-6 behind the scoring from 10 players.
Brianna Bernardo led all players with six points followed by Alena Bernardo lending five marks to the win. Amy Khoang, Krystin Emproso, Ghiezelle Dela Cruz, Jasmyne Ballesteros, and Kaylah Santos each put in four points.
With the win, Kapaa next travels to the Clem Gomes Gym, Friday to meet Waimea. The JV match tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.