LIHUE – The Waimea Menehune turned the ball over 23 times Tuesday and won.
That’s gotta say something about their defense.
Up 10 points at the half, the Menehune outscored the Kaua’i Red Raiders 13-5 in the third quarter and went on to win 61-45 at Kaua’i High Gymnasium in Lihue.
The Menehune have won all of their five Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation games thus far, and begin the second round of play at 1-0.
The Raiders fall to 2-3, and will try to bounce back next Tuesday against the Kapa’a Warriors, who face the Menehune in Waimea this Friday.
Waimea’s third quarter run was led by forward Casey Kaohilaulii, who scored 12 of his game high 18 points in the second half, including 8 consecutive points in the final period.
Forward Jordon Dizon also had 18 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Guard Jeremy Manuel followed with 9 points.
Much of Kaohilaulii’s second half success was helped by Desmond Rodrigues, who returned from injury with 4 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Rodrigues’ assisted on three of Kaohilaulii’s fourth quarter buckets, and brought down 2 back to back rebounds to put the game out of reach for the Raiders.
Kaua’i wasn’t always out of the game, but the final result could have been predicted in the first half.
Dizon got off to a blazing start in the first half with 12 points and 5 rebounds. But with 14 first half turnovers, the Raiders led by just 3 after the first and by 8 at the half.
But the Raiders got into foul trouble early, and it hurt them in the end. Forward Futi Tavana was such a victim. His four fouls had him benched for much of the game. The Raiders also turned the ball over 17 times and were out-rebounded 28-16.
Aukai Dennis led the Raiders with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Alec Reichle had 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. Steven Javinar had 6 points. Tavana had 4 points, 2 rebounds.