Kapaa, Waimea battle for state berth

They are all to familiar with each other, yet both teams may be a little scared of one another.

Why?

Well for one thing, both teams have handily defeated each other this season, but on Tuesday, either Waimea or Kapa‘a will leave the Clem Gomes Gymnasium with a KIF title in hand.

Kapa‘a holds the slight edge in the experience department, but Waimea’s youthfulness has been paying off recently, especially during its run to the second round crown.

Kapa‘a began the season at 4-0, but after two losses to start the second round, it was apparent the Warriors needed to make some changes.

Standing in the shadows of two straight losses, Kapa‘a regrouped and stormed back into old form with a couple of wins to end the second round and although they failed to close out with a second-round title, Coach Gary Kodani should be happy with his team’s recent play.

On the other side, Coach Elton Montemayor was in the same position last season, but instead of winning the second round, his team took the first round and ended up on the short end of the stick in the championship game.

Kapa‘a is tougher underneath with Poe Gantt and Brittney Carvalho and Waimea has the stronger guard tandem in Natalie Mata and Moani Durant.

But the team who comes out with the most intensity will win the KIF girls hoops title.

My prediction: Waimea uses its momentum to ease past Kapa‘a, 43-41.

• KIF girls basketball championship: Waimea vs. Kapa‘a at the Clem Gomes Gymnasium Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. The winner heads to the state tournament on O‘ahu May 16-20.

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

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