KALAHEO — Kasen Delos Reyes nailed one from beyond the three-point arc and suddenly, the Lihu‘e Hammahs were hammering at the Lakers’ door.
But the trey came too late as the Lihu‘e Lakers escaped with a 24-23 win Thursday in the first of two games played in the county’s 12 and Under boys basketball league.
Kaulupono’s depth stung the Lihu‘e Cougars 33-20 in Game 2.
Kameron Perez sparked the Hammahs with a trey of his own in the fifth period en route to finishing with 6 points along with Kellen Aquino who helped the Hammahs outscore the Lakers 7-2 in the sixth frame Thursday night.
Brian Haz finished with three, including his 1-4 showing at the charity stripe, and Delos Reyes’ only score was the critical trey. Aaron Inouye and Kaimana Wilson finished with pairs in the effort.
Justin Bautista paced the Lakers with 8 points followed by Isiah Costa Brum, Brenden Tillet and Joynard Cusilit each netting 4 points in a balanced attack. Joseph Camelo and Kerwin Moreno each contributed a pair in the win.
Brandon Palacio and Chase Parongao each dropped two buckets, but missed two free throws to lead Kaulupono to a 13-3 halftime lead over the Lihu‘e Cougars in Game 2.
Palacio dropped three more buckets to finish with a game-high 10 points in the final 33-20 score.
Parongao added two more buckets to finish with 8 points.
Kaili Lugandino nailed three 4th period nets for his game-total 6 points.
Ariel Lahip’s aerial maneuvers could only give him a pair along with Gavin Sagucio who netted his bucket in the first half.
P.J. Oligo rounded out the win on a 1-1 showing at the free throw line.
Marcus Brown nailed two bombs from outside the three-point arc as the Cougars outscored Kaulupono 9-6 in the 5th period, and tied the Westside boys 6-6 in the 6th frame.
Brown finished with 6 points followed by Devin Vegas adding 4 second-half points. Mikal Moranz and Daniel Alonzo each finished with 3 points and a pair from Kyle Napolean rounded out the Cougars’ efforts.