Kaua‘i Ballers, Hanakila have strong showings in Kalaheo

KALAHEO — The Kaua‘i Ballers and Hanakila made solid showings in the two Boys 14 and Under matches, Thursday night at the Summer Youth Basketball program at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

Taking that lead from its youth counterpart, the Men 18 and Over version of the Kaua‘i Ballers got a game-high 18 points from Willis Batol on their way to a 66-56 edge over the Bus Drivers.

Batol’s teammate on the Kapa‘a High School basketball squad, Kainoa Colipano, added 10 points for the greenshirts.

Brandon Palacio, who represents Waimea High School during Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation play, topped the Bus Drivers’ scoring with 15 points, joined by Menehune basketball coach Nouveau Naumu who also tickled the twine for 15 points. Guard Ariel Lahip ended the night with 10 points.

Karen Matsumoto of the KYBA, host of the Summer Youth Games along with the County of Kaua‘i, said Brandon and his sister Nicole, playing for Kaulupono, were asked by Coach Dennis Agena to attend the Moanalua basketball camp on O‘ahu.

“Their hard work and perseverance at our previous ‘camps’ hosted by Coach Agena has served to impress him,” Matsumoto said. “Brandon and Nicole will be travelling to O‘ahu to join Coach Agena as volunteer student-athletes and guests at the Moanalua ‘camp.’ We are so proud to have them represent Kaua‘i.”

Mosese Fifita and Keli‘i Colipano, the younger member of coach Rich Colipano’s ‘ohana, each finished with game-high 16 points to lead the Kaua‘i Ballers Boys 14 and Under 77-17 romp over Team Lihu‘e in the opener. Michael Booth added 14 points.

Jordan Florence, younger brother of former Kaua‘i High School standout Davone Florence, set the pace for Team Lihu‘e with nine points.

Denmark Aladin led the Hanakila Boys 14 and Under who posted a 70-25 win over the West Kaua‘i Hornets in the second of three games played at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

Aladin finished with a game-high 18 points, followed by James Stevens netting 13 points.

Bernny Ned led the Hornets with 12 points.

Following a marathon eight-game schedule at both the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center and the Kapa‘a High School gym starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, KYBA hosts four games Monday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center starting at 5 p.m.

A Women’s 18 and Over game, TUNDAZ vs. 808, opens the action at 5 p.m. followed by a pair of Girls 14 and Under games starting at 6 p.m.

The Kaua‘i Ballers take on Kaulupono at 6 p.m. followed by Team Lihu‘e taking on the Kamikaze at 7 p.m.

Another Women’s 18 and Over game closes the night when Waimea takes on the Shakers starting at 8 p.m.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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