Kalani sweeps the Red Raiders

LIHU’E — Megan Kamehiro was a figure many Kaua’i parents remember from the girls basketball tournaments at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

“I remember her,” Darrell Borrero said following the JV contest as he watched the warmups for varsity. “And the first time she came out on the floor with the ball, she fired, and only net” from three-point land.

Kamehiro was one of the starting five for the Falcons, and finished with eight points in their 60-31 win over Kaua’i High School, which is still in the process of establishing its varsity squad.

“We have one more cut to go,” head coach Dennis Aquino said prior to the tipoff.

The Red Raiders, many of whom came from the KIF girls championship soccer team, was still in the process of transitioning from soccer to basketball, but gave the Falcons a good fight.

“We made too many fouls,” the Kalani head coach said after checking with the scorekeeper on the number of free throws allowed the Red Raiders.

Through the game, Kaua’i went to the stripe 18 times and sank 11 points, Rachel Taira leading the charge 6-6.

Taira, who chalked up 6 of her game-total 10 points in the fourth period, led the Raiders’ scoring.

Cory Arashiro, who pulled the Raiders to a 16-16 tie in the second period on a 3-point bomb, finished with 5 points along with Carie Inouye who went 3-7 at the charity stripe, and despite having no score in the second half, was invaluable as Kaua’i’s point guard.

Ho’onani Dennis finished with 4 points, with pairs from Tahnee Shigematsu, Natasha Arakaki, and Cherisse Rapozo. Mei Ling Keopuhiwa rounded out the effort on a digit.

Chaude Bonfacio and Chloe Martin led the Falcons with 10 points apiece followed by Kamehiro and Rona Camara each adding 8 points in the win.

For head coach Angela Lopez of the Kaua’i High School JV girls team, the loss was not unexpected.

“We had tryouts on Monday, made the final cuts on Wednesday, had one day of practice Thursday, and here we are,” Lopez said. “You couldn’t ask for a better group of girls.”

June Park led the Junior Falcon Ladies with 11 points in their 45-25 showing, with Tia Kobayashi adding 10 points, both Falcon scoring leaders being limited to just pairs in the second half.

Kira Taylan and Wailana Borrero each finished with 6 points to lead the JV Lady Raiders, Taylan’s value coming as a guard on the outside shot while Borrero controlled the paint.

Kathleen Cadiente finished with four points, and Maureen Sibolbro added three. Pairs from Jaimee Higa, Rachel Hamamura, and Nicole Fujimoto rounded out the effort.

“Our first game is on Mar. 31, so between now and then, we know what we have to work on, and the word is practice, practice, practice,” Lopez said.

The KIF season starts Mar. 28 between Waimea and Kapa’a.

On Thursday, the varsity Red Raider team will be hosting the Punahou II team who starts their three-day swing through Kaua’i. Tipoff for that game is 7 p.m.

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