Despite a guard missing action due to injury, the Waimea JV girls gave the Raiders a scare Tuesday night.
But Jaimee Mariano broke a 12-12 halftime stalemate with three bombs from outside the three-point arc in the third period and Christina Banach tucked in three more buckets in the final period to give Kaua‘i a 33-23 margin at the final buzzer.
“We lost one of our guards in the last game, so we just had to do the best with what we have,” Waimea head coach Bobby Kamakele said. “The girls played hard, but when you’re short one player… but the girls did whatever they could.”
Kori Sakamoto stepped up with a pair from three-point-land, one in the second quarter and another in the final period, but that effort fell short as the final-period bomb was Waimea’s sole score.
Aggressive defense dominated the contest as the Junior Menehune put on torrid ball pressure in the final period, but couldn’t capitalize on scoring.
Mariano’s only score came in the third period with her trio from the outside and the remainder of the Junior Raiders’ scorers were led by Jori-Anne Jasper and Christina Banach who finished with 9 and 6 points, respectively. Mariano also finished with 9 points.
Following that, Randee Layosa, playing an assertive defensive contest, added 3 points, and pairs from Alyssa Carvalho, Janessa Grady and Kanani Dreier rounded out the Raider math.
Sakamoto finished with a game-high 10 points followed by Arlene Valmoja adding 9 points. Pairs from Brandi Briones and Elisha Nabeshima rounded out the Junior Menehunes’ scoring.
With the win, Kaua‘i JV faces a critical must-win situation Saturday night when they travel to the Bernice Hundley Gym for the final game of the KIF season.
“We don’t have the title, yet,” said Kaua‘i head coach Sandi Nadatani. “The girls must win Saturday for that.”
That seriousness was evident as several of the Kapa‘a JV players were in the stands, studying the game as the two teams waged a defensive slugfest on the courts.
Tipoff for the JV game Saturday is 5:30 p.m. The change was necessitated due to the KIF Track Meet Thursday and Friday at Vidinha Stadium.