Jordan Cox and Tyrus Ceria-Lux netted 18 points apiece to lead Kaua‘i to the Round 2 basketball title before a loud, near-capacity crowd Tuesday night.
The Raiders took control of the physical contest with Ipo Yoshioka, taking the reins for the Raiders, making some slight adjustments and shutting down key Menehune players en route to a 66-51 win.
Banking off a 10-point showing from Cox, Kaua‘i held a 13-3 lead until the final minute of the first quarter with Ceria-Lux hammering a Menehune turnover home.
But Calsen Agrade drained a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to pull Waimea to within 13-8 at the buzzer.
Ceria-Lux and Justin Ramos continued to fuel the Raider offense, outgunning Waimea 19-6 while holding Chris Newcomb to just 4 points for a 32-14 lead at the half.
The story stayed the same throughout the third, but after being hammered for three quarters, the Menehune pressured the ball on defense and sank some clutch shots on offense to make it interesting.
Dana Tayco hit three treys and combined with Bradley Frasco, Rolden Villanueva and Agrade as the Menehune launched six three-point bombs in the second half.
In the final period, Tayco’s trio of treys paced Waimea, who outscored Kaua‘i 18-17 before the Raiders re-adjusted and the clock ran out. Clareson Torres netted all of his 8 points in that frame.
Following Cox and Ceria-Lux, Basil Walton added numerous offensive and defensive rebounds to go along with 15 points to round out the Raider leaders.
Waimea got a dozen points from Tayco, 10 from Agrade and 8 from Torres.
With the win, Kaua‘i will play Waimea, the Round 1 title-holder, for the KIF championship. That game will take place Monday at the Kaua‘i High School gym. Tip off is 7 p.m. in a winner-take-all contest.
Anahola Joel Pahukula will broadcast the contest on KQNG AM570.