Kaua‘i High School relied on its height and strength to close off the inside game for Waimea en route to a 37-23 victory Friday night.
“They didn’t win a single game all last year,” Keith Burgess, trainer for Kaua‘i High, said as the seconds ticked down to the final buzzer.
Rich Jasper, who served as the voice of the Raiders, agreed.
“This is number one,” Jasper said after the buzzer sounded.
Jori-Anne Jasper and Christina Banach locked up the paint and secured rebounds as well as providing cleanup duty for the Raiders.
Following the lead of Jaimee Mariano who finished with a game-high 11 points, Jasper tucked in 6 points and Banach finished with 4 marks along with a number of blocks and rebounds.
On the receiving end of the Raider defense, Kori Sakamoto, finishing with 4 second-half points, tried to open the lanes.
That effort fell short, forcing the Junior Menehune into a ball control and peppering the hoop from the outside, bringing the spotlight on guard Joanna Andres who also took her share of hammering en route to leading the Waimea scoring with 8 points before leaving the game with an injury.
Falling 16-6 at the half, Waimea rebounded to keep pace with Kaua‘i in the second half, finishing the third and fourth periods just a pair shy of Kaua‘i’s scoring.
Following Andres, Sakamoto and Sera Pascual each netted 4 points to round out the Menehune scoring leaders.
Following Mariano, Kaua‘i got 7 points from Grady, six from Jasper and four from Banach for its scoring leaders.