KAPA‘A — Tori Tuttle rang up a string of dueces for a game-high 25 points to lead the Kapa‘a JV to a 57-48 win against Kaua‘i Saturday.
That Warrior victory quashed any hopes of a title for the Junior Raiders who started out strong in the season only to drop two straight games in the second half of the season.
The loss gives Kaua‘i a share of the title as they finish the season by being co-champions with Kapa‘a.
“It’s a lot better than last year,” said Kaua‘i head coach Sandi Nadatani following their loss. “A lot of the girls had colds tonight, but even with that, they played as well as they could. And we finished a lot better than last year.”
The Junior Raiders were 0-12 entering the season, their winless drought spanning almost two seasons.
Kapa‘a lost little time asserting themselves: Tuttle posted 10 points in the opening quarter with Kira Nakamura netting a trey and two buckets as the Warriors put up a 20-11 first quarter.
But the Junior Raiders never gave up, the cold bug taking its toll on their speed and quickness, and in the third period, the only frame where they outscored Kapa‘a 16-12, went on to pull out of a 30-13 halftime deficit.
Two quick buckets, one from Jori-Anne Jasper followed by a Rachel Hamamura net pulled Kaua‘i ahead by a digit, 43-42.
But that was Kaua‘i’s only bright spot as Kapa‘a went on to post a 15-9 final period en route to the victory.
Following Tuttle’s lead, Kapa‘a got 16 points from Kira Nakamura, 7 marks from Ash Lyn Lee, 5 from Leina‘ala McCabe and a pair from Lahela Creamer.
Jaimee Mariano sparked the Kaua‘i offense with three long-distance bombs en route to her game-total 15 points. Jasper finished with a dozen points, and despite being slowed by a cold, was Tuttle’s shadow on the court.
Janessa Grady and Hamamura finished with 6 points apiece, Randee Layosa closed with 5 points before fouling out, and 3 points from Christina Banach rounded out the final math.
Saturday was the final game for the JV teams, but a playoff for the KIF varsity title is on tap Tuesday night for basketball fans.
Tipoff time for the winner-take-all contest is 7 p.m. at the Clem Gomes Gym at Waimea High School. There is no radio broadcast for this game.