KALAHEO — Kierra Barba opened and closed the four-game KYBA basketball series on a winning note as she paced the Lihue Comets to a 31-20 win over the Waimea Minihunes in a 12 Under game.
A two-game break became crucial for the Westside Hornets I 14 Under team as they earned a top seed for the upcoming playoff series by controlling the Kauai Fire Raiders (14 Under) 25-14.
But Barba was not the only one playing multiple contests as the KYBA moved into establishing seedings for their upcoming championships for the Girls 12 Under division which will be played on Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Cherilyn Kua, who figured heavily with a six-point showing in the Kauai Fire Raiders’ victory, was also in action with a pair as the Hornets held Wailua to an 18-17 squeaker in the second contest of the night.
Hornet guard Tori Espino was top scorer in that win with a pair of treys that ignited the Hornets’ scoring. Espino finishing with six points in the single digit victory, but went scoreless against the Fire Raiders.
Other Hornets donning dual uniforms included Andrea Lopez whose role of moving the ball on the court yielded nothing on the scorebooks. Brytney Yadao-Lanning finished both games with five critical points against the Fire Raiders and two points in the Wailua win.
Guard Josey Jacinto of the Waimea Minihunes came up with four points in their opening game loss to the Comets (Girls 12 Under), and despite a third quarter trey, ended the night with seven markers in a heart-breaking 25-23 setback to the Kilauea Hui in the Girls 14 Under series.
Natalie Mata spearheaded the Minihunes with seven points in their loss to the Comets and came up with five markers in their drop to the Hui.
Cassandra Nacapuy and Whitney Cachero both figured heavily in inside traffic against both the Comets and the Hui. Nacapuy notching a pair in two outings against the Hui and Cachero picked up two points against the Comets.
Mailike Napoleon ignited Wailua in the final frame of their encounter against the 12U Westside Hornets, coupling with a trey from Cassandra Miyashiro. But Napoleon’s six digits and Miyashiro’s three fell short as the Hornets trimmed the clock from the outside to hold on to an 18-17 win. Napoleon topping the Wailua scoring with her six fourth-quarter points.
Trailing by a digit, 12-11 at the half, and then hampered by the activation of a car alarm in the third frame, the Kilauea Hui trailed by seven at the buzzer as Hui coach Mits Yokotake bellowed, “Turn off the horn!”
Perhaps that was the catalyst needed as the Hui exploded for a 10-1 final frame to overtake the Waimea Minihunes for a 25-23 victory at the final buzzer behind three critical Kieren Pond free throw points.
An inbound steal by Pond at 1:38 came up empty, but the resulting foul tied the contest 22-22 as Pond nailed the opener of two tries.
Jacinto controlled an empty dual-try attempt by Pond at the 1:09 mark, but the resulting bad pass under heavy Hui defensive pressure sent Pond to the charity stripe as she was fouled by Moani Durant.
Pond sank the pair for a two-point bulge only to have Krysle Glover go to the line with 17 seconds in the contest. Glover sank the tailend for 24-23 chase.
Waimea had another chance with 11 seconds on the clock as Kristen Takashima was sent to the charity stripe for three chances on a lane violation. Takashima came up empty however.
Mata slipped through the Hui defense as the clock ticked down, but the trip up the middle also came up empty as the buzzer sounded on the heartbreaker.
Playoff action continues Monday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center with games scheduled for 6 and 7 p.m., the first contest featuring the girls 12-U second seed going against the third seed.
The second contest will have the top seed matching up against the fourth seed.
The Boys 12-U playoffs will take place on Tuesday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center preceeded by a Girls 14-U game starting at 5:30 p.m.
Waimea Minihunes (12U) 5-8-3-4 20 Lihue Comets (12U) 5-8-12-9 31
Waimea Minihunes: Josey Jacinto 4, Natalie Mata 7, Wailana Durant 4, Shana Mandi-resinto 3, Whitney Cachero 2.
Lihue Comets: Rachel Hamamura 5, Sanoe Keliinoi 5, Kierra Barba 11, Jondi Das 8, Dolly Jane Cubangbang 2, Kathleen Cadiente 2.
W Hornets (12U) 4-0-0-13 17 Wailua (12U) 9-0-7-2 18
Wailua: Leilani Laranio 4, Maegan Pablo 1, Alicia Higa 2, Cassandra Miyashiro 3, Mai`like Napoleon 6.
Waimea: Jondelle Aceret-Ipac 2, Tori Espino 6, Bree-Ann Cox-Abuan 2, Michelle Shea 4, Cherilyn Kua 2, Brytney Yadao-Lanning 2.
Kilauea Hui (14U) 4-7-4-10 25 Waimea Mini (14U) 9-3-10-1 23
Kilauea: Kapua Chandler 2, Sarah Tangalin 3, Kimiko Kuwabara 3, Claire Owens 3, Danielle Jure 5, Kieren Pond 6, April Johnson 2, Makenna Belmonte 1.
Waimea: Josey Jacinto 7, Natalie Mata 5, Cassey Nacapuy 2, Moani Durant 8, Krystle Glover 1.
Kauai Fire Raiders (14U) 2-5-2-5 14 Westside Hornets I (14U) 5-5-9-6 25
Fire Raiders: Kassy Morishige 1, Carie Inouye 3, Rachael Taira 4, Kori Masuda 2, Kristen Shim 2, Brandi Kohatsu 2.
Westside Hornets I: Kierra Barba 5, Cherilyn Kua 6, Chayla Sherman 5, Brytney Yadao-Lanning 5.
In action at the Kilauea Gym, the Magic I beat Lihue 34-12 in a 10 and under girls game.
Ashlyn Vbongan scored 12 points for the Magic I while Kelsey Cadiente poured in seven points for Lihue.
In a boys 14 and under game, the Lihue Breakaway bested the Kapaa Warriors 48-16.
Barret Rega led the Breakaway in scoring while Devin Saiki added three points for the Warriors.