Wailua sweeps ZZ opener

KAPA‘A — Kaulupono coach Bobby Kamakele made sure Jayme Jacinto was on hand Saturday night when the 14 Under boys in the ZZ Youth Basketball league won the title.

“I brought her along for good luck,” he said.

It must have worked because Monday night, Jacinto paced the Kaulupono B girls to a 25-15 win over Gee’s Angels as the ZZ Youth Basketball program opened up the 14 and Under girls and 16 and Under boys leagues at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapa‘a.

Earlier in the evening, the Kaulupono A team came up short against Wailua, boosted by a game-high 22 points from Kira Kupihea for a 47-15 romp.

Valkeesha Lagazo’s hustle and Bronte Acosta’s fearless rebounding was no match for the height of coach Talbert Tacbian’s Wailua squad.

“They’re still young,” Kori Sakamoto, a Waimea JV player, said from the bench as she helped coach the fledgling team. “Plus, they have one girl who’s sick.”

That left the team with a six-player roster on opening night.

“They’re the young ones,” said Joanna Andres, another Menehune JV player as well as a member of the Kaulupono B squad.

Lagazo led the Kaulupono A effort with six points and Kaelin Kamakele-Aquino notched four points.

Chaelyn Briones and Andres sparked the Kaulupono B win with eight- and seven-point contributions.

Mahea Hanie-Grace topped the Angels’ scoring with five points, followed by four each from Jessilyn and Lehua McCabe. In the 16 and Under boys season opener, coach Tacbian continued his winning ways with a 52-42 victory over the Lihu‘e Lakers. David Mendes had a game-high 17 points, and Cody Abigania and John Delos Santos each chipped in nine points in the victory.

Aric Cansino and Seth Quinsel led the Lakers with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

The ZZ Youth Basketball league for both the girls 14 Under and boys 16 Under play on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at various sites.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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