Was it the Kaua‘i High School’s turnovers? Was it Waimea High School’s passing? Was it Cheri Kua’s rebounds? Or was it Erin Connelly’s aggressive blocking?
Perhaps it was the OC 16 cameras that motivated Waimea to dominate over Kaua‘i, winning 41-23.
Waimea’s head coach Elton Montemayor said it could have been any of those things.
“I think being on TV at their school, Kaua‘i’s nerves probably got to them a little bit,” he said. “We had a height advantage over them and we took advantage of that.”
But this is not the Kaua‘i head coach Angela Lopez knows.
“It was a very different team that showed up today,” she said. “They didn’t execute. They played just like they did in Hilo (during the pre-season). They played as individuals instead of as a team.”
Waimea (2-0), on the other hand, did. Two players went to double figures and another pair got close. Moani Durant scored 10 points despite being only 2 for 5 on the free throw line. Nani Dennis also scored 10 points and was 2 for 2 at the line. Teammates Kierra Barba and Tatum Gonsalves posted six.
“Nani really came through. She’s a transfer from Kaua‘i so she’s very comfortable in this gym,” Montemayor said. “She got into a rhythm early on and I think that got her going.”
Kira Taylon showed up for Kaua‘i (0-1) scoring nine points.
Waimea took an early led on Kaua‘i that increased quickly by the second half.
At the second quarter, Waimea lead, at the most, 12 points. In the third, it got up to 18. Then in the fourth, 22.
“I take my hat off to them,” Lopez said. “They played really tenaciously and you got to give it to them.”
It is still early in the season, though and Lopez expects that the team will learn from this.
“They have to take care of the ball. They have to get the rebounds,” she said. “I think in the state of Hawai‘i, the have a tendency to keep their hands down instead of up. They need to take them up, take up more space. They did that, tonight. It just didn’t happen consistently.”
Kaua‘i travels to Kapa‘a on Tuesday.