Thursday, May 26, 2022 |
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WAIMEA — Cheyanne Duarte, one of three seniors on the Waimea girls basketball team, erupted for a game-high 17 points to lead the Menehune to a 49-42 win over Kaua‘i High School on Friday night at Clem Gomes Gym.
The Menehune used the three-ball extensively to build an early lead and stay in the game against the previously undefeated Red Raiders as the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation opened its final week of play.
Vakeesha Lagazo, the second senior, started the string of six treys launched by Waimea.
She nailed two in the first quarter as Waimea took an 11-7 lead.
Shayna Alop, the third senior, nailed a second-quarter bomb from outside the three-point mark on Waimea’s senior night.
Duarte, scoring 16 of her game-total 17 points in the second half, completed the three-ball showing with two in the third quarter.
Lagazo finished with three treys toward her game-total 12 points.
Kaua‘i, starting the game with its key guard, Kristle Henry, sitting on the bench, could only answer with a pair of treys — a second quarter Casey Anacleto bomb, her only score of the game, and a third quarter Bristy Agu three-ball.
“Can’t win the games when the girls can’t make the free throws,” said Ross Shimabukuro, the Kaua‘i athletic director.
Overall, Kaua‘i finished 12-for-21 at the free throw line, and Waimea finished 13-for-24.
Lagazo, who fired a pair of treys in the opening frame, added her third bomb in the second period, joined by Alop as Waimea gave up its first quarter lead. Kawehi Louis-Diamond, the Raiders’ center, found the net with four of Kaua‘i’s 13 points to take a 20-19 edge at the half.
Waimea came back from the locker room and, led by Duarte, outscored the Raiders 30-20 in the stretch, the Menehune defense limiting Kaua‘i to just two buckets in its nine-point final frame.
Louis-Diamond set the pace for Kaua‘i, scoring 12 points spread between the second and third period followed by Agu adding nine points. Henry, coming off the bench in the second quarter, finished with nine points. Grady ended with six points.
Duarte and Lagazo, both guards, led the Waimea win, Duarte with 17 points and Lagazo with 12 points.
Mariyah Oliver, who along with Paige Connelly, anchored the inside, finished with eight points, Connelly getting five marks, all coming in the second half. Ulu Matagiese and Kaelyn Aquino-Kamakele both added a pair apiece.
Earlier in the evening, Kaua‘i’s junior varsity held off a strong Waimea comeback to take a 31-30 win, its first in the season, behind a dozen points posted by Riana Ralston, playing only her second game this season. She posted seven points in the first half when Kaua‘i looked at a 14-11 deficit at the intermission.
Pili Chung added six points and Breanne Morikawa finished with five points, all in the final frame, including a three-ball, when the Junior Raiders outgunned Waimea 14-11 for the win.
Nicole Palacio carried the weight of the Menehune, scoring a game-high 25 of the team’s 30 points. Charlene Alicante added a trey, and Deanna Tafiti netted a key pair in the fourth quarter.
With the win, Waimea takes the trip to Bernice Hundley Gym to face the Kapa‘a Warriors on Tuesday, the JV game tipping off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game starting about 20 minutes following the JV matchup.
Kaua‘i will host Island School in a varsity match starting at 7 p.m.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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