Waimea champs

WAIMEA – Heading into the fourth quarter of Friday night’s KIF battle with Kaua’i, Waimea seemed out of sorts.

Having led for most of the first half, the Menehune struggled offensively in the third period of action in falling behind 30-29 at the start of the final eight minutes of play.

That’s when Casey Kaohilaulii took over.

Kaohilaulii scored seven of his game-high 15 points in the fourth and Waimea held Kaua’i without a score in the final 6:07 of the game to beat the Red Raiders 47-35 and clinch the KIF title.

Koa Navarro nailed a 3-pointer early in the fourth period to give Kaua’i a one-point edge, but the Menehune tightened up the pressure on defense in stifling the Red Raiders for the remainder of the game.

Navarro scored a team-high 13 points while Vaafuti Tavanna added 11 points for Kaua’i.

For the Menehune, Jordon Dizon scored 14 points while teammate Joshua Vinzant poured in nine points.

The Red Raiders were hurt from the free-throw line where they hit 8-of-14 shots. In the third period, Kaua’i was 3-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Alec Reichle scored nine points for Kaua’i while Desmond Rodrigues finished with six points for the Menehune who travel to Kapa’a on Tuesday.

The defenses of both clubs controlled play early in the first quarter.

Waimea led 19-17 in the second quarter when Tavanna scored the final four points to give the Red Raiders a slim two-point edge at halftime, 21-19.

But after intermission, the Menehune found the mark offensively and eventually took the lead midway through the third period as Vinzant sank a trey to give Waimea a 26-25 lead.

Kaua’i 4 17 9 5 – 35

Waimea 8 11 10 18 – 47

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