Wednesday, May 18, 2022 |
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KAPA‘A — During the final six minutes of their regular season, the Kapa‘a Lady Warriors took their fate in their own hands.
Holding a 36-32 lead in the fourth quarter against the Waimea Lady Menehune, Kapa‘a eliminated all doubt about the season title with a 19-3 run to close out the game and earn the 2009-10 Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation season championship with a 55-35 win.
After topping Waimea in the first round playoff game, Kapa‘a went a perfect 4-0 in the second round to claim the outright title.
Fittingly, it was the seniors that led the way Friday night in their final KIF game. Tori Tuttle was the game’s high scorer with 13 points, followed by fellow seniors Kira Nakamura and Ash-lyn Lee with nine and eight points, respectively.
Jessilyn Aki had six, Ala McCabe five and Mahea Hanie-Grace and Layna Christian four points apiece.
Reggie McCabe, Lahela Creamer and Shalyn Tupou each scored two.
Waimea’s Erin Connelly scored a team-high 11 points, all coming in the second half. Her interior play helped the Lady Menehune make a comeback after a slow opening half.
Jayme Jacinto followed with eight, while Vakeesha Lagazo and Cheyanne Duarte scored six points apiece.
Fiare Moe and Brandee Victorino each added two points for Waimea.
Kapa‘a was in control for the entire first half, using the emotion from the Senior Night festivities to jump out to an 8-1 lead, capped by a slick pass from Ala McCabe to Tuttle.
The refs were certainly letting the girls play in that first period, only calling one foul in the first 7:50 of very intense and physical play.
Nakamura knocked down a 3-pointer off a Hanie-Grace feed late in the second quarter to put Kapa‘a up by 13 points and the Lady Warriors took a 25-13 lead into halftime.
Connelly became the aggressor to start the second half, getting to the free-throw line and getting Waimea into the bonus early in the quarter.
She had a steal off an inbounds pass and took it to the rim for a layup to pull the Menehune to within seven at 28-21.
With under a minute to play in the third, Connelly again sparked her team with a fast-break layup and one, making it a 32-26 ballgame with 30 seconds to play.
Kapa‘a’s lead slipped further away at the beginning of the fourth, when Waimea stole another inbounds pass, resulting in a Cheyanne Duarte layup, plus a foul.
With the score now 33-29, the Menehune seemed to have seized the momentum. However, the Warriors never let the lead slip to fewer than four for the rest of the night and began their decisive 19-3 run with a bucket from Ala McCabe and a fast-break score by Aki.
Lee may have had the key sequence when she collected a steal and took it herself for a layup, then made a nice dish to Tuttle, resulting in a hoop and a 44-33 lead.
The JV game that preceded the varsity was a very close contest, but Kapa‘a was victorious in a 35-32 final.
Krystal Christian had 12 points to lead her team, followed by Brittnee Balonick’s eight and six from Moana Leger.
Ka‘anio Marshall had four, Cherrillyn Coloma three and Mahina Pa and Mele Moala had one point apiece.
Jessica Soriano and Jofferlyn Perpose each had nine for Waimea, while Jullyn Ramos scored eight.
Nicolei Banasihan had four and Patria Tagavilla scored two.
Waimea, which trailed 27-17 after three quarters made a strong comeback and had the game within one possession in the closing minutes, but could not finish on top.
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