Warriors break Menehune win streak

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea junior varsity’s Alysha Palacio goes for the lay up against the defense of Kapaa’s Kyllie Belmonte in the fourth quarter, Friday during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s Hazel Serapio works to block a shot by Kapaa’s Mele Tafea in the second quarter, Friday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The Waimea player loses the ball after running into the defense of Kapaa’s Mele Tafea and Alexie Ann Yam in the second quarter, Friday night during the Kauai interscholastic Federation girls basketball game at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Hailey Overmyer and Waimea’s Hazel Serapio battle for a second quarter rebound in traffic, Friday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Lilya Cummings pressures Waimea’s Kaye Serapio in the third quarter, Friday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kapaa’s Lasia Kamoku moves the ball inside under pressure from Waimea’s Braelyn Cayaban and Kaye Serapio in the third quarter, Friday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym.

WAIMEA — The Kapaa High School girls basketball team broke the Waimea girls’ string of victories with a 55-43 win Friday night during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball games at the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea.

Before Friday, Waimea had won six straight.

The win comes on the heels of Waimea’s 47-24 runaway win in the junior varsity match where the varsity Menehune girls joined the growing crowd in cheering scores in the sparsely-populated gym.

Deyshia Kenney poured in 19 points, including four bombs from outside the three-point arc, to lead the Waimea charge. Qiyrah Rapanot fueled the run with eight points including two treys.

On the other side of the court, Kapaa’s Jada Ines fueled the JV Warriors on 10 points including a pair of long balls. Kaydence Kaui fired off a second-quarter three ball toward her five-point contribution. Kyla Bautista also marked five points in the effort.

The varsity Menehune rolled on the momentum of the cheering effort and the big JV win by building a good lead in the opening frame fueled by four-point contributions from guards Dawn Serapio and Kiertstin Gummerus.

But the Warriors were undaunted, firing back with six points from Mele Tafea and four points from Jaliyah Casem to pull within a digit at the first-quarter buzzer.

The see-saw teetered throughout the night before the Warrior wahine grabbed control of the ball in the final five minutes of play and surged to its eight-point win behind Casem’s spark.

“Ball control was the key tonight,” said Kapaa coach William Aki. “We turned over the ball too many times in the first half, and the girls couldn’t keep up. We stressed ball control during the half — reducing the number of turnovers and making those free throws.”

Casem led the scoring charge for Kapaa, marking a game-high 17 points including a sorely-needed three ball in the second quarter. She got help from Tafea, who poured in 16 points before fouling out in the final two minutes. Angelica Cudiamat contributed 11 points toward the comeback win.

Gummerus topped the scoring for the Menehune effort with 16 points, including a trio of treys in the second-quarter scoring flurry where Waimea outgunned Kapaa, 17-14, for a 29-25 lead at the break.

Kaye Serapio added 12 points to the Menehune effort, and Hazel Serapio ended the night on six points.

Kauai High School will host Waimea, on Monday night at the Kauai High School gym. The JV game tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game starting about 20 minutes following the completion of the JV match.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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