Freshmen make difference in Waimea split

WAIMEA — The Waimea High School girls basketball team split their series with off-island teams in a one-day marathon Saturday.

Moani Durant, going 9-12 at the charity stripe, led the Menehune with 14 points in a 51-40 loss to the Kalani Falcons earlier Saturday. Natalie Mata and Joanna Jacinto each added 8 points in that effort.

Raymi Camara equalled Durant’s performance for Kalani with 14 points followed by Chloe Martin adding 10 points.

In the JV contest, Waimea coach Bobby Kamakele said they started with six players suited up, and following bouts with cramps, at one point were playing with just four players on the court.

Despite that shortcoming, the Junior Lady Falcons took a 38-32 win over the Menehune JV.

Linda Lam had the hot hand for Kalani with 8 points followed by Jamie Higa and Kim Balsai each adding 5 points, and June Park chipping in four.

Sera Pascual and Tatum Gonsalves led the Junior Menehune with 9 points each followed by Kori Sakamoto adding 6. Joanna Andres finished with 4, and pairs from Chaelyn Briones and Joanna Tumbaga rounded out the effort. Kamakele noted that this was Tumbaga’s first basketball score, ever.

Kailua, coming from an earlier 43-31 win at Kaua’i High School, succumbed to the Menehune depth 34-21 as coach Elton Montemayor did not hesitate to rotate his squads throughout the night.

Led by Kierra Barba, one of four freshmen on the team, the Menehune built an 8-2 opening stanza behind Barba’s three, and had established themselves 17-10 at the half. Barba notched all of her game-total 7 points in the first half.

Joanna Jacinto led Waimea with 8 points followed by Barba. Tori Espino, Durant, and Aiko Grande, another of the freshmen, each chipped in 4 points. Sasha Kaohi finished with three, and pairs from Jamie Horikawa and Sheana Mata rounded out the books.

Zsalei Kamaka, who had 9 points in the Kaua’i win, topped their effort in Waimea with 8 points. Kristen Corrales, who led Kailua with 10 points in their earlier win, was held to 5 points. Mana Kamaoha, Tia Ulugaono, Fran Sue-Godinet, and Nani Nault each added pairs for the Seariders.

Rachael Taira and KC Gaitos led the Red Raiders’ effort against the Falcons with 5 points apiece.

On tap for girls basketball is the visit by the Punahou II team who will open their Kaua’i trip Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Red Raider varsity.

On Friday, Punahou goes to Kapa’a for a 7 p.m. match. Their final opponent is Waimea who will tip off against Punahou II at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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