KAPA’A – The Kaua’i Red Raiders picked up their defensive intensity in the final minutes to claim their fourth KIF boys junior varsity basketball contest in as many starts with an exciting 54-50 road win over the Warriors Friday evening at the Bernice Hundley Gymnasium.
With the game knotted at 43-43 halfway through the final stanza, the visitors outscored Kapa’a 11-2 over a 3-1/2 minute stretch with a highly effective full court trap and deadly accuracy at the charity line to go up 54-45 before a late Warrior flurry trimmed the lead at the final buzzer.
Raider forward Max Hadwin (3 FGs, 9-12 FTs) led all scorers with 15 points while teammates Lance Okasaki and Garrett Sakimae added 12 and 10 respectively.
The Kapa’a offense was paced by Zac Swartz (10 points on 4 FGs and a pair of free throws) and Chris Baltazar with 9.
The Warriors, who trailed by five at the half, staged a furious third quarter comeback of their own to take a slim 39-38 lead into the last period.
With Michael Lindsey (game-high 11 rebounds) dominating the paint, Kapa’a, who dropped to 1-3, battled to a 36-24 advantage on the boards.
The home squad dropped in 19 buckets to Kaua’is 16, but in a game of inexplicable contrasts, was out-pointed at the free throw line in the last frame by a 14-1 margin and 21-7 overall.
The idle Waimea Menehune (1-3) travel to Lihu’e next Tuesday, January 28, to take on the Red Raiders in a 5:30 p.m. tilt.
KAUA’I (54): Nishi 0, Nonaka 0, Kalili 0, Lee 0, Bradbury 9, Ballesteros 2, Okasaki 12, Sakimae 10, Senda 2, Penn 0, Beralas 0, DeCosta 0, Hammond 4, Hadwin 15.
KAPA’A (50): Gomez 3, Ragsac 8, Calvin 3, Jaramillo 0, Maneja 0, Hawelu 0, Pascual 0, Imai 4, Calpito 7, Baltazar 9, Lindsey 6, Swartz 10.