WAIMEA — First round champion Kapa’a, who bullied its way to the top, (4-1 over-all, 0-1 second round) reversed roles last night with Waimea (2-3 overall, 1-0 second round), who bullied the Warriors, 56-38 at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium.
“I asked them before the game, ‘Are we going to let them bully us, or are we going to take it to them?’ and we did,” Waimea coach Elton Montemayor said.
Menehune freshman guard Natalie Mata was on fire throughout the evening, tallying a game-high 25 points, including two three-point bombs.
In the meantime, teammate Moani Durant added 17 of her 18 points in the first half to keep Waimea ahead by double digits.
At one point, Durant nailed three straight trifectas in the first half and along with Mata, outscored the Warriors, 43-38.
“We came out with a little more intensity. We knew we had a second chance in this round and so far we’re taking advantage of it,” Montemayor said.
Waimea opened up the game on a 12-2 run keyed by Mata and Durant, who were trading baskets throughout the first period.
At the end of one quarter, Mata and Durant outscored Kapa’a, 14-6.
The Menehune turned it up on the defensive end as well, suffocating Warrior guards and forcing them to turnover the ball numerous times throughout the contest.
At the midpoint of the game, the Menehune took a 14 point lead into the halftime locker room at 29-15.
Waimea didn’t lessen its intensity in the second half, as Mata took over, giving her squad a 40-20 advantage at the two minute mark in the third.
The game turned into a foul fest, with both teams in the bonus at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Kapa’a’s late comeback attempt fell short, with the Menehune shutting the door on the 56-38 triumph.
Brittney Carvalho led Kapa’a with 13 points and Kieren Pond chipped in with six markers.
The Warriors dropped to 0-1 in the second round and the Menehune improved to 1-0.
In the JV game, Kapa’a remained undefeated at 5-0, thanks to a valiant effort by Leilani Laranio, who poured in a game-high 17 points for the 41-32 win over Waimea (2-3).
Sera Pascual and Tatum Gonsalves paced Waimea with 10 points apiece.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org.