Kapa�a forces playoff for KIF title

WAIMEA — Terry Maguire’s heart was pounding.

“I didn’t surprise me at all that the game was going to be this close,” the Kapa�a High School girls basketball coach said of the Warrior’s 44-41 victory over Waimea High School.

“The girls worked really hard. They worked good as a team,” she said.

Before the game, she gave the thumbs up to show that the Warriors were ready to take on the Menehune.

Ready they were as Kapa�a (3-0) took Round 2 forcing a playoff against Round 1 champs Waimea (1-2) for the KIF title.

Waimea sputtered in the first, scoring only one field goal. That came from Cheri Kua who was sent to the line to shoot two free throws. The first was a airball and the second bounced off the rim.

Kua made up for it by snatching her rebound and sinking it in for 2 points.

Waimea came back in the second, to tie the game at 15 with a minute left in the half.

A pair of free throws from Waimea’s Aiko Grande gave them a small 2-point lead.

Kapa�a had an answer for that when Poe Gantt sank a three-pointer.

Teammate Mailika Napoleon followed up with another 2 points to extend the lead.

Waimea’s Kierra Barber was able to score a pair just before the buzzer to keep the Menehune close at 19-20.

Both teams broke out even in the third, bringing the score to 29-30.

Kapa�a had to do without one of leading scorers for the rest of the game when Gantt fouled out in less than 30 seconds of the fourth quarter.

She left the game scoring 7 points. This put Kapa�a in a disadvantage.

“I knew she had four (fouls),” Maguire said. “I just didn’t think she’d get her fifth so quickly. But the girls stepped up which is what I needed them to do.”

Halfway through, Waimea suffered a disadvantage of its own when one of its biggest players, Kua, fouled out.

With just more than 30 seconds to go, Kapa�a’s Brittney Carvalho was sent to the line making it a one-point game. Carvalho found herself making another big play when Kapa�a came up with a steal.

Carvalho went up for the lay up and drew the foul for a 3-point play.

Waimea had a few second to make a play when traveling was called on Josey Jacinto.

Kapa�a’s Leilani Laranio finished the game when she came up with an uncontested basket right before the final buzzer sounded off.

“It’s been like this all season between us and Kapa�a,” said Waimea head coach Elton Montmayor.

“We didn’t make our free throws, plain an simple. Kapa�a just wanted it more.”

Waimea’s Moani Durant and Erin Connelly both finished 10 points. Connelly grabbed five rebounds. Senior Nani Dennis scored 8 points.

Kapa�a’s big players of the night were Napoleon, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Carvalho who scored 9 points.

Carvalho also snagged 7 rebounds.

Waimea plays Kaua�i High School this Tuesday.

Then Kapa�a plays Kaua�i later that week.

The playoff for the KIF title is scheduled for the second week of May.

� Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.


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