WAIMEA — Waimea High School’s Moani Durant scored 10 points and went 6-of-10 on the free throw line as the Menehune as they defeated Kapa‘a High School 41-35, in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation’s season opener.
Fellow Menehune Tatum Gonsalves also posted big numbers for the team, with nine points and was 3-of-6 at the free throw line. Cheri Kua scored six points and was 2-of-2 on the line.
“Kapa‘a’s the favorite (for the season),” said Waimea head coach Elton Montemayor. “But we hung in there and were able to come up with the win.”
Waimea took an early lead in the first half. It was a slight lead — nine points — but it was one they held on to throughout the beginning.
“(Durant and Gonsalves) are a real asset to the team,” Montemayor said. “With Josey Jacinto out with a fractured finger, Moani had to move it around a little bit. She was handling the ball.”
The second half showed a revived Kapa‘a team as they went bucket for bucket with the Menehune. As they caught up, a three-pointer from Mailika Napoleon tied the game at 19-19. A lay-up by Brittany Carvahlo gave Kapa‘a its first lead of the game.
She finished the game as Kapa‘a’s top scorer with 12 points. She also hit six of her seven free throws.
With five minutes left of the game, Waimea was only up by a point at 28-27.
“I think it’s going to be like that the whole season,” Montemayor said. “All three teams are supposed to be really good this year.”
Kapa‘a’s Poe Gantt, who finished with seven points on the game, tossed it up to put the Warriors up by one.
It all came down to the last couple of minutes when Kapa‘a just couldn’t get a bucket in. Waimea won by six.
Waimea travels to Kaua‘i High School this Friday. The OC 16 team returns to Kaua‘i to broadcast the game.