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Waimea, Kauai battle to stay alive

With Kapa’a sitting atop the KIF girls basketball standings at 2-0, both Kaua’i and Waimea have an early must win game on Tuesday at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium.

In the season opener, Waimea fell to Kapa’a, 54-39, behind a huge performance by senior guard Kennilyn Nakamura, who poured in 21 points.

Nakamura nearly outscored the Menehune at halftime, with 17 points to Waimea’s 25.

In that contest, Poe Gantt, who was the hero in last Friday’s win over Kauai, contributed with 12 points.

Waimea’s Natalie Mata and Moani Durant found the hoop more often than their counterparts in blue, with 12 and 14 points, respectively.

Kaua’i posed a tougher challenge to the first-place Warriors, with the game up in the air until the final moments of the competition.

Last year’s KIF player of the year Rachel Taira, was kept under wraps the entire night and ended up with just seven points.

However, the Red Raiders found another shooter to compliment Taira in Ho’onani Dennis, who canned five three pointers in the 43-39 loss to Kapa’a last Friday at the Raiderdome, Waimea (0-1) and Kaua’i (01) matchup well, so it should be a close contest, Both teams are strong on the perimeter, with quick guards, who can light up the scoreboard.

Catch Waimea and Kaua’i at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium on Tuesday, starting at 5:30 p.m. (JV).

The varsity game kicks off 20 minutes after the completion of the JV contest.

• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.com.

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