Cox keys Kaua’i win

LIHU’E — All Kaua’i needed was a final push to pull away from Kapa’a last night in the second half, and junior Jordan Cox supplied the much-needed ammunition by scoring nine straight points to start the second stanza, which handed the Red Raiders the 52-38 win last night at the Raiderdome.

“I told him (Cox) to relax and just go out and have fun during halftime and he did exactly that,” Kaua’i head coach Brandon Fujita said.

The victory tied up the KIF basketball standings with both Waimea and Kaua’i at 1-0. The two teams will face off against one another on Tuesday at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium.

Red Raider senior guard Josh Bradbury nearly outscored the Warriors by himself in the first half, putting up 14 points, which included sinking a miraculous 30-foot shot, while being fouled by Kapa’a’s Calen Tagawa. Bradbury swished the free-throw, giving Kaua’i the 21-14 halftime advantage.

“I think we’re coming along well. We just have to take it one game at a time, but it feels good to get a win,” Bradbury said.

Kapa’a managed to stay with the Red Raiders in the first half, thanks to sharp shooting by Nate Beralas and Albert Aguila, who both nailed three-point bombs in the first half. Kapa’a center Mike Lindsey also played tough in the middle, grabbing numerous boards.

On the opposite end, Travis Stine was a menace in the paint and rivaled Lindsey all night.

Kaua’i ran away early in the third period, highlighted by a 14-4 run, which was capped off by Cox’s nine points.

“It was a huge step forward for us. We’re young, so we have to be patient, but they work hard,” Fujita said.

Bradbury ended up with a game-high 17 points, which included two 3-pointers and Basil Walton added 13.

Kapa’a’s balanced scoring attack was paced by Beralas, Aguila, and Lindsey, each with seven points.

KIF basketball sprints to the Clem Gomes Gymnasium on Tuesday, with Kaua’i battling Waimea, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Bouncing around: Last night’s game was the first and probably the only time this season that the KIF will have a female basketball official working the contest. Hilo’s Linda Lopez, who has ties to Kaua’i, makes the annual trip around this time, along with Hall of Fame basketball coach Jimmy Yagi and Hawai’i Tribune-Herald sports editor Bill O’Rear, who was a star player for Yagi, for a basketball clinic that goes on today at Kaua’i High School’s gym.

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