WAIMEA — Sometimes in sports it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish.
The Waimea girls basketball team struggled in the early going of its KIF opener with Kaua’i on Tuesday night.
The Menehune didn’t score in the opening eight minutes of action in trailing 3-0 to the Red Raiders.
At halftime, Waimea trailed by five and totaled just seven points.
In the second 16 minutes of action, it was a different story for Waimea.
The Menehune caught fire on offense and slowly pulled closer to the Red Raiders.
In the fourth quarter, the Menehune, sparked by intense defensive pressure, used a 15-3 run to gain its first lead en route to a 32-29 win at Waimea High.
Waimea pulled even at 24 midway through the final period and gained its first lead at 25-24 with 3:44 left in the game. The Red Raiders, which had stifled Waimea’s offense for three quarters, began to feel the heat from the Menehune pressing defense.
Waimea created several early turnovers which resulted in fastbreak scoring opportunities in the final eight minutes. Jenalyn Andres, Ashless Vea and Virginia Aguilar helped lead the charge for Waimea.
The trio combined for 27 points most coming after halftime.
Still though, the Red Raiders stayed within striking distance of Waimea. Kelly Dennis scored 10 points including two 3-pointers to lead Kaua’i while teammates Farren Higley and Amber Santos added four points each.
Kaua’i took a 23-17 lead to the final eight minutes before the Menehune rallied. The Menehune face the Warriors on Friday at Kapa’a High while the Red Raiders host Kapa’a next Tuesday.
In JV action, the Red Raiders pulled away from Waimea for a 37-27 win.
Kaua’i led 14-12 at halftime before seizing control of the game with a late third quarter run.
Waimea’s Melissa Moreno hit her first four treys to score all of her teams points in the first half of action.
However, the Red Raiders tightened up the pressure on Moreno in the second half holding her to just five points.
Starlene Kelekoma led the Red Raiders with 18 points.