KALAHEO — The tight defensive battle raged through four quarters of basketball.
Spectators, many of them members of visiting teams from off-island, got their money’s worth as Cecil Gee wrapped up his birthday weekend on a high note when the Gee’s Angels pocketed a 39-37 win over Kaulupono Blue for the tournament championship at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center yesterday.
“It’s a pleasure to watch her (Jayme Jacinto) play,” said Lokahi Wahine head coach Shannon Poe, following their third-place win over Kalama Basketball. “She has good ability and court sense. And she’s smart.”
Jacinto, who will enter Waimea High School as a freshman in the fall, matched up to fellow Kaulupono player Erin Connelly in height. But the pair had to contend with the height factor of Angels’ Lauren Claypoole, Jessical Feller and Jessilyn Aki in the paint.
Kristle Henry, the speedy guard for the Angels, had the duty of defending Jacinto. And when the buzzer sounded on the 2-point Angel victory, both Henry and Jacinto were leading scorers for their respective teams.
Henry was joined by fellow Angel Ala McCabe with 10 points each while Jacinto finished with a game-high 13 points in the effort.
Jacinto was named one of the tournament’s MVPs along with McCabe.
Dawnyelle Awa paced Lokahi Wahine with 5 points in the 33-18 showing over Kalama for the tournament’s third place. Malisa Hiraga, the never-say-die guard for the visiting team from Makawao, led the Kalama effort with 8 points.
Hiraga, who despite showing signs of tiring, didn’t give up until the final buzzer sounded on the redshirt defense. That factor, and her ball-handling ability through dense traffic, earned her one of the MVP slots. Awa got the MVP nod for Lokahi.
Ashley Yamachika netted a dozen points to lead Ikaika Basketball to the consolation title with a 19-15 win over Waimea Middle School Na Paniolo Wahine.
Emalia Galdeira led Na Paniolo with 5 points.
“She’s (Galdeira) going to end up playing for either Konawaena, or Kamehameha-Big Island,” said Karen Matsumoto, the KYBA tournament coordinator. “Either place she goes, she’s definitely going to make a difference.”
Galdeira and Yamachika were named to tournament MVP honors.
Vakeesha Lagazo finished with 9 points to lead Kaulupono White to a 34-7 showing over the Lihu‘e Kamekaze in the day’s opener. Lacey Lucas netted the Kamekaze’s 7 points.
Lucas earned the MVP nod for Lihu‘e, while Cheyenne Duarte was the MVP for Kaulupono White.