Fifth time’s a charm for Waimea

WAIMEA — It’s said that third time’s a charm in most instances, but for the Menehune basketball squad last night, it was the fifth time that turned out to be the charm, as Waimea upended Kaua’i, 43-35, in front of a packed Clem Gomes Gymnasium crowd.

Last season, the Menehune were shutout by the Red Raiders in four straight games, but this year, the boys in blue turned the tables.

The win handed Waimea the first-place slot in the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation varsity boys’ basketball race, at 2-0. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders dropped a game behind the Menehune.

“It’s a real big win for us. Last year we went 0-4 against them, so it feels really good to get this win,” Waimea head coach Elton Montemayor said.

The KIF is as close as ever this season, with all three teams in the hunt, and Montemayor knows this all too well.

“It’s a long season. Anyone can beat any team in this league. We just have to focus and take care of business on Friday,” Montemayor said.

After falling behind 12-7 at the end of the first period, Waimea stormed back to tie the contest up at 18-18, thanks to two big buckets from Vincent Geronimo, who was a beast in the paint.

The Menehune took the half-time lead into the locker room, as Chad Barba connected on a fadeaway three-pointer for the 21-18 lead.

Travis Stine and Josh Bradbury led Kaua’i back to the top, highlighting an 8-3 run for the 26-21 bulge.

As the third quarter ended, the Red Raiders looked as though they’d take control the rest of the way, but Waimea’s Brendan McDaniels found his touch with a 10-foot jumper and a steal that led to a three-point play for the 35-33 advantage with just under three minutes to go in the contest.

Barba added the finishing touches with a nice baseline drive, which gave Waimea the lead for good. Kaua’i failed to answer, and looked lost throughout the final period.

In the junior-varsity contest, Waimea improved to 2-0 with a 51-40 victory over Kaua’i. The Menehune controlled the game from the initial tip-off, and held leads of 30-20, 38-29, and 43-34 throughout the contest.

Hayward Halog led the Menehune with 13 points. Meanwhile, Micah Moriwake and Daniel Lizama combined for 16 points. Teila Huni paced Kaua’i with 11 points, and Micah Alayvilla added 10 in the loss.

KIF basketball continues on Friday, with Waimea battling Kapa’a at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium, starting with JV action at 5:30 p.m.

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