KALAHEO — T.J. Apilado and his band of big boys from the Westside held off a tenacious Kamikaze squad, 43-26, Thursday night at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Apilado anchored the right inside, nailing assists and putbacks to finish with 14 points in the Westside Basketball win, D.J. Pabre finishing with 13 points with shots from around the clock despite the pesky Lihu‘e fleas in the county’s Division II boys youth basketball games.
Earlier in the night, Makana Tavita poured in 18 points to lead Papalina-Blue to a 53-21 win over Team Lihu‘e Heat, the Lihu‘e boys roaring back from a 27-6 halftime deficit to bucket 15 second-half points behind the strong efforts of Kekoa Wehner and Bryden Ibaan who each netted seven points in the effort.
Wehner came alive in the fourth period with five of the Heat’s seven points, being joined by Kaikea Simpson who added a pair, his only score of the game.
Ibaan lit up the boards for four of his game-total seven points in the fifth frame where the Heat got six points, the additional pair coming from Aizen Yamashita who netted his only bucket of the game. Jozaiah Sarmiento finished with three marks to round out the Heat effort.
Following Tavita’s 18 points, including two bombs from outside the three-point arc, low post Sailen Farias added a dozen marks and key boards, Ryan Banasihan added 11 points and Wade Pimsaguan finished with 10 points. A pair from Kaden Keep in the final stanza rounded out the win.
The Westside boys lost little time asserting themselves, finishing the first period 14-1 behind a six-point showing from Pabre and the defense holding the Kamikaze scoreless until the final minute, the Lihu‘e Kamikaze mark coming from Blake Probasco on the tail end of a charity pair.
But that digit ignited the Kamikaze who outgunned Westside 10-8 in the second period, Probasco leading the charge with five points, including a long ball from outside the three-point arc.
Leeon Runny added a trey, his first of two in the game, toward the Kamikaze edge.
Westside answered in the highly-defensive third, ending 4-0 behind buckets from Pabre and Joel Soriano who ended with four points, his other pair coming in the fourth period.
Apilado, netting four of the Westside’s five second-period score, led the fourth frame with another four points en route to his game-total 14 points.
Following Apilado and Pabre, Jaime Mararagan ended with five points, Soriano added four along with Dylan Balaan who netted his two buckets in the first period.
Jayden Manual came up with his pair in the sixth period and Zachary Nakama closed the tail end of a charity pair in the final frame.
Westside Basketball gets the bye, Saturday while Papalina-Blue opens the first of three games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center when it takes on Team Central-Black at 9 a.m.
Team Central-White follows at 10 a.m. against the Kaua‘i Ballers and Team Lihu‘e Heat rounds out the boys’ games against Hanakila at 11 a.m.
The boys’ matches will be followed by two girls’ games at noon and 1 p.m.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.