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Kaua‘i Ballers come up short, but Team Lihu‘e saves the night

A forfeit turned into a competitive matchup, Tuesday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

Karen Matsumoto, coordinator of the Kaua‘i Youth Basketball Association, said the Kaua‘i Ballers Girls Under 12 squad could only field three players, resulting in the 2-0 forfeit to Kaulupono-Blue.

“Kaulupono-Blue offered to ‘lend’ two players to scrimmage,” Matsumoto said. “But instead, Team Lihu‘e, who suffered a 28-20 loss to the Kamikaze, was asked if a few of their girls wanted to play another game.”

Seven of the Team Lihu‘e girls, in a great gesture of sportsmanship, joined the three Kaua‘i Ballers and ended up giving Kaulupono-Blue a competitive game, Matsumoto said.

“Our coaches and players never cease to amaze me in their cooperative and supportive ways,” the KYBA coordinator said. “Whenever things look problematic, they are always ready to work together to make things right. This extends to the players, parents and fans as well, continuing to cheer on the players, positively.”

In her team’s effort against the Kamikaze, Marissa Martinez dropped seven points for Team Lihu‘e.

Siokapesi Paua topped the Kamikaze win with 14 points, followed by Kalia Shimabukuro adding seven points.

The night’s opener fueled the Hanakila parents’ cheering when Jaliyah Casem netted a game-high 12 points to lead Hanakila to a 27-21 edge over Kaulupono-White. Keani Tolenoa added nine points in the win.

Apryl-Joy Grande topped the Kaulupono-White effort with six points, followed by China Yasay ending with three points.

KYBA and the County of Kaua‘i hosts three games tonight at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center starting at 6 p.m.

The Kaua‘i Ballers take on Team Lihu‘e in one of two Boys 14 Under games starting at 6 p.m., followed by Hanakila going up against the West Kaua‘i Hornets in another Boys 14 Under game starting at 7 p.m.

The Kaua‘i Ballers Men 18 and Over close the night against the Bus Drivers in the 8 p.m. nightcap.

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