Kapa‘a’s back in old form

LIHU‘E — They’re back and Kaua‘i felt the wrath of the old Kapa‘a last night in a 53-47 loss to the first round champions.

The Warriors, who lost their first two games of the first round, have now won two straight to improve to 2-2.

The victory set up an interesting situation between the three teams. If the Red Raiders (1-2) are able to take down the Menehune in the second round finale on Friday, then all three teams will be tied at 2-2, setting up a couple of playoffs.

But Waimea (2-1) could wrap up the second round title with a win on Friday, which would then force a championship game between the girls in blue vs. the girls in green.

Last night, Kapa‘a jumped out to a 17-15 lead at the end of the first period, thanks to 10 points from Brittney Carvalho. Rachel Taira and Ho‘onani Dennis kept the Red Raiders close, combining for 10 points.

The Warriors held a slim lead (32-27) heading into the halftime locker room, but in the third quarter, Kapa‘a unleashed its inner beast.

A Poe Gantt rebound and put back, while being fouled, handed Kapa‘a the 43-32 advantage with just under a minute to go.

Freshman Mailika Napoleon gassed in a sweet turnaround jumper, which gave the Warriors a 45-32 lead heading into the final period.

With just under four minutes on the clock, Dennis stroked a three-pointer and Taira slipped in a 10-footer, which cut the lead down to eight (47-39), as Kaua‘i went on a 7-0 run.

But the Warriors converted at the charity stripe, with Kennilyn Nakamura and Gantt leading the way.

Carie Inouye’s three-point bomb was Kaua‘i’s last chance, but Kapa‘a managed to run away with the 53-47 win.

Gantt led Kapa‘a with 14 points, followed by Carvalho with 12, Nakamura with nine, and Michelle Toy with seven.

Dennis paced Kaua‘i with 17 points, followed by Inouye with 11, and Taira with 10.

In the JV contest, Kapa‘a blasted Kaua‘i, 69-47, thanks to 21 points from Jondi “Ms. Jordan” Das and 20 from Leilani “Le Hoopster” Laranio.

Kathleen Cadiente led Kaua‘i with 15 markers.

The Warriors finished off 2006 with a 7-1 record and the JV championship banner.

The KIF girls basketball finale heads to the Clem Gomes Gymnasium, with Kaua‘i battling Waimea. The JV game begins at 5:30 p.m., with varsity action commencing 20 minutes after the completion of the JV contest.

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