Kukino, Okamoto out of title contention

Kaua‘i High School’s Sarah Kukino survived her rain-delayed match. Kapa‘a High School’s Chas Okamoto did not.

Thursday’s Round of 16 matches of the Carlsmith Ball/Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association State Tennis Championships were postponed in the middle of the sets and picked up where they left off yesterday.

No. 7 Kukino was up her set 5-2 against Tezra Damaso of Pearl City High School before play was stopped and went on to beat her in three, hard-fought sets yesterday, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) and 6-1. She then advanced to the quarterfinals where she was upset by No. 11 Allison Chen of Punahou, 6-2, 6-1.

Okamoto was unable to recover his match despite the delay. Okamoto was down 6-2 before his match was postponed. Yesterday, No. 8 Okamoto was defeated by an 11th-seed in Joshua Wong from Hilo High School, 6-2 and 7-5.

The freshman Kukino was the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation’s highest-place finisher of the year. Prior to Kukino, that honor belonged to Kapa‘a’s Lyndsey Tom, whose highest finish was fourth her freshman year. Third-ranked Tom withdrew from the tournament because of an ankle injured incurred at the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation championships two weeks ago. The decision to withdraw was made Thursday morning when her ankle was deemed too injured to play on.

The state tennis championships will conclude today at the Holua Tennis Center and Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort on the Big Island.

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