Tuesday, May 17, 2022 |
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For at least the first part of the game, it looked like the tale of the tortoise and the hare, but both teams played the role of the tortoise. With the first bucket coming at the five minute mark in the first quarter from senior guard, Janee Correa’s jumper, the scoring pace took an even slower tone as both defenses clamped down to make the first quarter total, 8-3 in favor of the Red Raiders, look like the first two minutes of most games.
Nevertheless, Kaua’i transformed into the role of the hare and took the KIF title with a 45-32 win.
“We came out knowing that a hungry Kapa’a team would be waiting for us, but it feels good to win and I commend the Warriors for a great game,” Kaua’i head coach Dennis Aquino said.
The second period started off with a long jumper from junior guard Ulu Kelekoma, that could’ve been a three pointer if she stepped an inch back. That shot ignited a Kaua’i run as senior guard Stephanie Kashiwabara joined in on the scoring parade with an eight-foot jumper off a brilliant in-bounds play. Then, It was Holly Iloreta time, as the senior guard busted through with two drives to put the Red Raiders up 16-5 with just under three minutes to go in the first half.
Kapa’a kicked in with their own offensive spark as sophomore guard Michelle Toy’s lay-in and a rebound put back from freshman forward Brittney Carvalho moved Kapa’a closer, 16-9 with two minutes on the clock. Then, the tables turned Kaua’i High’s way with senior center Farren Higley and sophomore forward Rachael Taira getting into the scoring mix with a bucket a piece to put the Red Raiders up 20-9 at the one minute mark. Two Kapa’a free-throws from Toy and freshman center Poerava Gantt made the halftime score 20-11 in favor of the girls in red.
“We fought hard all night and even though we’re a young team, we still showed a lot of poise out there against a tough Red Raider squad,” Kapa’a head coach Gary Kodani said.
In the third, both teams came out hungry, but Kaua’i struck first with a top of the key three-point bomb that banked off the glass from senior guard Valerie Aficial. Then, senior guard Bristol King reigned supreme with a six-foot jumper and a three-pointer off the glass to bring Kapa’a within nine of Kaua’i 25-16 with five minutes to go in the third. King continued the scoring spree with a fifteen-foot jumper and a breakaway lay-up off a Red Raider miscue to put the Warriors within striking distance, 27-25, but as they did all night, steady as the glare from Aquino, the Red Raiders put Kapa’a away with help from Kelekoma, Higley, and Iloreta as the Red Raiders came away with the win 45-32.
In JV action, it was a hotly contested battle, as Kaua’i High got back onto the winning track following their first defeat of the season on Tuesday against Waimea.
The Warriors gave Kaua’i all they could handle but in the end, the Red Raiders came out on top 41-34. In the closing moments, the girls in red pulled away as sophomore guard Krystal Gaitos layed-in one of the final buckets in the last minute to put the game out of reach. Sophomore forward, Kassy Morishige added a buzzer-beating lay-up to increase the final margin.
The next KIF girls basketball game goes through Waimea with Kapa’a making the long trip over to the westside. The JV game starts at 5:30 p.m. with varsity action 20 minutes following the conclusion of the JV game.
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