Waimea shooters nudge Raiders

HANAPEPE — “We weren’t going to let them have it that easy,” Douglas Nobriga, coach of the Kaua‘i High School boys air riflery team, said Monday.

Kaua‘i’s Aaron Braun tied with Waimea’s Kekoa Masuda at the special shoot-off that occurred at the Hanapepe Armory under the auspices of Doc Woltmon, coach for the Island School shooting team.

Following Masuda, the Menehune logged high scores from Brian Martin (244), Chris Aguilar (241), Kevin Aguilar (223), and Jesse Choi (222) to take the match, and the KIF boys air riflery title, 1,175-1,154.

“They (Kaua‘i) always shoot over 1,100 (points) when they shoot against us,” said Waimea coach Victor Aguilar as he compared scores following his team’s victory.

“The whole season, they always seem to be able to go over 1,100 points when they were shooting against us. Our boys consistently are in the 1,100 (point) range, but today …”

Aguilar pointed out that the swing point came in the performances of his sons, Chris and Kevin, a freshman first-year shooter, and Choi.

Below Braun’s high point of 245, Kaua‘i got 238 points from Harrison Yamamoto, 236 points from Kendall Kusaka, 223 points from Cody Navarro, and 212 points from Jason Cabot.

While waiting on the results that were tabulated by Island School team members, Nobriga said they tried to get in some practice following the KIF final matches, Thursday, but bad weather on Friday and Saturday precluded any kind of meaningful practice.

One parent noted that her son was on Maui and changed his reservations to be able to try and make some practice prior to Monday’s shootoff.

With the win, Waimea swept the KIF air riflery series and will be sending both the girls and boys team to the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) state competition.

Nobriga explained that each winning team will be sending four shooters with two additional individual shooters with the highest totals joining the state-bound team.

“Aaron Braun and Kendall Kusaka already qualified as individual shooters,” Nobriga said.

Names and schools of the state-bound individuals must be submitted by Wednesday. See Scoreboard on Page B2 for full results.

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