The can’t- miss game

Now why would you miss this one?

The Kapa‘a-Waimea girls basketball championship game on Tuesday is the “official” can’t-miss game of 2006.

Not only do you have a chance to check out Ishihara Market before the game, you could also pack the kids in the family van for great PG entertainment.

The game has the makings of a Hollywood movie, with the Warriors playing the part of the favorites and the Menehune taking the role of underdogs.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Kapa‘a is as tough in the paint as trying to wrestle away a piece of cheese from a starving mouse.

And Waimea is as solid on the perimeter as Tiger Woods is in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Kapa‘a has the long route from the eastside, but coach Gary Kodani will have his troops ready for battle.

In the meantime, Waimea players could basically walk to the Clem Gomes Gym on Tuesday.

KIF championship games are always spectacles to see. Even if you’re barely a basketball fan, it’s still worth a few gallons of gas for the trek out to Menehune land.

The actresses in the flick are also worth coming out for. Kapa‘a’s leading ladies include Brittney Carvalho, a hammer in the middle; Poe Gantt, the Tahitian terminator; Danielle “Da Crusher” Creamer; Kennilyn Nakamura, a female version of Tom Cruise; April “Ape” Johnson; Kieren Pond, the smiley enforcer; Mailika “Squatch” Napoleon and Michelle Toy “Story.”

Meanwhile, the Menehune are led by Natalie “What’s da” Mata, Moani “Spider Girl” Durant, Joanna “Da Splinter” Jacinto, Cheri Kua, the rebound machine, Tasha “Smash You” Acosta, and Josey “Posey” Jacinto. I never thought girls basketball could attain a level of excitement it has collected in the past few weeks.

And it all culminates on Tuesday for all the frosting on the cake.

These type of games are extremely memorable for the players, coaches and fans as well.

I remember last year’s girls hoops title game between Waimea and Kaua‘i at the Clem Gomes Gym.

The contest went into overtime and both teams had ample shots at winning the game, but in the end, the Red Raiders prevailed. I think the Menehune players learned a lot from that game, and so did Montemayor, who has the advantage of playing in a second consecutive championship contest.

However, Kodani and his army will be in full force at the Clem.

The Warriors have by far the biggest cheering section, led by the Carvalhos, Napoleons, Johnsons, Nakamuras and Ponds.

They are vocal and they are proud of their girls, who have fought back to gain respectability once again this season.

Both squads have taken different roads towards the title game, and when it comes time to hoist the ball up in the air, Kapa‘a and Waimea will be ready to play.

The only bad thing about the game is that there will be one team who will go home without a state berth.

However, just getting to this point is a great accomplishment, and even as one team cuts down the net while the other watches, it will still be a defining moment for each player.

It’s the signal of realization where learning from the game is much more important than winning.

So enjoy the rare championship game on Tuesday. It’s going to be a good one, no matter who you’re rooting for.

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

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