Naumu shakes Kalena defense in title game
LIHU’E – A good point guard can change the face of a basketball game.
The Kalena Specials found that out in the championship game of the Kaua’i Youth Basketball Association 17-and-Under division Saturday. That’s when Shake ‘N Bake’s Napua Naumu directed her team to a 45-31 title-clinching victory at Kaua’i High School.
Clearly the most dominant player on the floor, Naumu not only scored 11 points and handled the ball for Shake, but she also applied suffocating defense to Kalena’s Belinda Butac.
Butac, who will be a senior at Kaua’i High School, was the Red Raiders’ go-to sharpshooter during the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation season. She managed just six points on Saturday.
Ashley Mier led Shake ‘N Bake with 17 points. Misty Hug led Kalena with eight.
But it was Naumu who made the difference.
From the outset, the guard, who will be a junior at Kamehameha on Oahu, showed the Kalena guards that they would have a difficult time slowing her down. She cut through the Specials’ defense with ease, often kicking the ball to the wing for a Mier jump shot or finding forward Sarah Curnan inside. Curnan finished with eight points.
Behind a smooth offensive attack, Shake ‘N Bake pulled out to a 13-4 lead after the first quarter.
But the Specials would not go away quietly. Behind a balanced scoring that saw five girls get on the scoreboard, Kalena, comprised mainly of Kaua’i High School players, pulled to within 22-19 at the half.
But Naumu continued slicing through the Kalena defense in the third quarter.
And Mier finished most of Naumu’s assists. The guard dropped in two 3-pointers and a pair of lay-ups, as Shake ‘N Bake increased its lead to 34-27 after three quarters.
The Specials spent the final period playing catch up. But, they were unable to find the range from the field, scoring just four points.
Meanwhile, Shake connected on 9-of-12 free throws to seal the victory.
Shake ‘N Bake: Ashley Mier, 17; Napua Naumu, 11; Sarah Curnan, 8; Tia Koerte, 5; Ashlee Vea, 4
Kalena Specials: Misty Hug, 8; Belinda Butac, 6; Erin Garlie, 5; Sharee Alpeche, 4; Elisa Inouye, 4; Kellie Masuda, 2; Kehau Regidor, 2
3-point field goals: Mier (3); Koerte (1)
Kapa’a 40, Lihu’e Na Ua 31
In the battle for third place, Kapa’a managed to get by Lihu’e behind 14 points from forward Ashley Farias. The Kapa’a line-up was comprised almost entirely of members of the Kapa’a Warriors KIF roster.
Kapa’a: Ashley Farias, 14; Danielle Hill, 10; Ihilani Yama, 6; Waiala Quisano, 4; Sharlene Carillo, 2; Deidra Spencer, 2; Tania Tasic, 2
Lihu’e: Janee Correia, 12; Lindsay Sugihara, 9; Farren Higley, 6; Christina Alu, 4
3-point field goals: Sugihara (2); Correia (1)