Sunday, July 3, 2022 |
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KALAHEO — Less than a minute remained in the game when Keane Tibon of Team Lihu‘e Black launched a critical three-ball Monday at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
The trey, the third launched by Team Lihu‘e Black in the night, capped a comeback from a 34-24 deficit and a 14-4 offensive showing against Team Central in the Kaulupono Termite, Extreme Termite division league.
Following Tibon’s three-ball, Lihu‘e Black was within two points, 38-36, but a few ticks later, Tibon bucketed two points to deadlock the contest and force overtime.
Braeden, Team Central’s go-to guy in the paint, dropped a pair only to have Lihu‘e Black answer on a Kekoa Wehner bucket for the 40-40 deadlock following overtime.
“It’s a good thing they ended up tied,” said Steven Carvalho, a longtime Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation official, who refereed the game. “It’s amazing they could each score 40 points.”
Bobby Kamakelei, a Kaulupono leader and coach, said parents asked why the teams couldn’t play until one team won.
“What they fail to realize is this is a developmental program,” Kamakele said. “The main objective is not about the win. It is to let the kids learn the game and have fun.”
Earlier in the night Team Central came back from a 13-11 deficit in the third period behind a Justin bucket followed by a Kurtis pair, which pulled Team Central into the lead until the waning seconds of the final period.
Braeden topped the Team Central scoring on 16 points followed by Justin and Kurtis, ending at nine points each. Jaren added four and a pair from Keelan accounted for the Team Central math.
Lihu‘e Black got its numbers from Tibon and Aizen Yamashita, who each finished with 13 points. It was followed by Wehner, adding six points, including the critical OT pair. Chace Baliaris had a three-ball and a pair from Coby Silva rounded out the math.
Team Lihu‘e was not so fortunate in the second match, its Red team dropping to league host Kaulupono 22-6, led by Alysha Palacio, who bucketed eight points. Braelyn Cayaban added six points, Kaye Serapio finished with four and pairs from T.J. Ramos and Jemaica Tumbaga rounded out the win.
Team Lihu‘e Red was led by Kashi Cox, who ended with a pair.
The Extreme Termite, for students in grades 4 and 5, launched its season with nine teams last Monday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
The Termite division, with students in grades 2 and 3, and the Mighty Mites division, for students kindergarten and grade 1, launched its season Saturday when games started at 8 a.m. and the last game started at 2:45 p.m.
Kamakelei said there are nine teams in the Extreme Termite, nine teams in the Termites, and 13 teams in the Mighty Mites division.
“We owe a lot to the coaches,” Kamakelei said. “We couldn’t do this without their help.”
The Kaulupono Termite league hosts games for the Mighty Mites and Termites on Saturdays starting at 8 a.m. Extreme Termites play on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Kaulupono Termite league is one of several leagues for students in the kindergarten through grades 6, 7 and 8, including the North Shore league sponsored by the Kaua‘i Police Activities League at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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