KAPA’A — Kapa’a did it the hard way, but in the end, the first round KIF champions came back from a six point halftime deficit to snap its two game losing streak last night with a 56-50 win over Waimea.
Kapa’a improved to 1-2 in round two and Waimea dropped to 2-1. Waimea opened up with a healthy lead from the start and headed into the halftime locker room with a 30-24 advantage.
Natalie Mata, Moani Durant, and Anna Jacinto led Waimea at the midpoint of the contest. In the meantime, Kennilyn Nakamura, Michelle Toy, Kieren Pond, Poe Gantt, and Brittney Carvalho kept the Warriors close.
The Menehune continued to lead throughout the third period, but Kapa’a mounted a comeback towards the latter part of the fourth quarter.
Nakamura’s three-pointer gave the Warriors a 49-47 lead at the 3:37 mark. Gantt took over from there on, with a slashing bucket and a lay-in while being fouled for the 55-47 advantage with 1:20 on the clock. Waimea failed to stop the clock the rest of the way and the Warriors grabbed the much needed win.
In the JV contest, Waimea handed Kapa’a its first loss of the season, 45-28 behind 13 points from Kori Sakamoto, 10 from Tatum Gonsalves, and 11 from Sera Pascual. Destiny Smith led the Warriors with 12 points and Sarah Tangalin chipped in with six.
KIF girls basketball heads to the Raiderdome on Tuesday, with Kapa’a battling Kaua’i in a crucial second round contest.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.