KALAHEO — The visiting Maui Girls 14 and Under basketball team remains the only undefeated team following Saturday’s games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Coached by Donald Shepherd and his daughter Nicole, the girls from Kalama Hills in Makawao roared onto the floor Friday night and set the pace with a 48-25 win over Team Lihu‘e on the first day of the Kaua‘i Youth Basketball Association Girls 14 and Under Invitational basketball tournament.
The Kaua‘i Ballers opened the tournament on a winning note, taking a 38-28 showing over a tenacious Kaulupono squad behind the hustle and shooting of Autumn Warnock who netted a dozen points in the win. All-around player Kekai Gonsalves added nine points, Lele Hanie finished with six points and Ariel Cummings ended with five points.
Nicole Palacio topped the Kaulupono effort with eight points followed by Melia Okura, low post, adding six points.
Palacio was absent for the Saturday morning game, but Kaulupono went to Shania Kahepu‘u for 13 points in its 35-28 win over Team Lihu‘e. Okura finished with seven points in the Saturday victory.
Team Lihu‘e got 11 points from Brandee Burton, normally playing for a Westside team, but teaming with Lihu‘e players for the tournament, and Pili Chung, a powerhouse on the soccer field, added six points.
Maui picked up its second win, a 49-33 affair, over the Kaua‘i Ballers behind 14 points from Jayden Rose Almeida. Daysa Tavares, netting 12 points in Maui’s Friday win, added eight points in the team’s second victory.
During the Friday night match where Maui held a 20-0 lead after the opening frame, Patricia Batoon tied Tavares with 12 points followed by Brandi Carillo ending with seven points and Almeida and Rebeka Revelle each netting six points.
Warnock finished tied with Almeida on 14 points to lead the Kaua‘i Ballers, Gonsalves adding seven points in the effort.
The tournament, going on a best record format, wraps up Sunday morning with the first game tipping off at 9 a.m. at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.