Fernandez delivers Westside win with buzzer beater

KALAHEO — Chyna Fernandez launched a bucket at the buzzer to give the Westside D4 girls a one-point win Monday.

The bucket was one of two netted by Fernandez in the second half as the team, coached by Josh Burton, pulled out a 9-8 win over a hard-pressing Team Central squad at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

“We’re still a young team,” said Team Central coach Clarence Sales. “Most of the girls are still in the third grade.”

But the pink shirts have come a long way since the start of the Kaulupono Basketball summer league program.

Westside’s tall girl, Momi Martin, opened up the action with a trey, the only one scored in the game, and Cori Burton was a perfect 2-for-2 at the charity stripe to give Westside a 5-3 edge at the half.

Eryka Napoleon, the key transition player for Team Central, had an opportunity to close the gap, but could only drop a bucket after coming up empty on two tries from the foul line.

Undaunted, the pink shirts outgunned the Westside girls, 6-4 in the second half, but as the seconds ticked down, a turnover fed the ball to Fernandez, who dropped the buzzer beater, sending the full house into cheer.

Napoleon topped the Team Central effort with four points followed by Amayla Sales and Jolette Miner-Ho each adding second-half pairs.

Fernandez topped the Westside win with four points, both coming in the second half, followed by Martin’s trey and Burton’s charity pair.

Earlier in the evening, Team Lihue suffered a costly injury when Marissa Layosa went down on the court, getting help after tendering her knee.

The injury, which came late in the game, turned the tables as Kaulupono surged to an 18-12 win, scoring the margin after Layosa hit the bench with her injury.

Layosa, netted eight points in the first half and added a pair before leaving. That performance gave her game-high honors at 10 points followed by Rebekah Corpuz getting an assist from Layosa for a second-half pair in traffic.

D’Anndra Helgen was one of the Kaulupono key players, laying back to pick up the action from the inside. She finished with six points, four coming after Layosa’s departure, along with Kaye Serapio to lead the victory.

Kierston Gummeras finished with three first-half points, Braelyn Cayaban was perfect at the line for two points in the first half and Alysha Palacio ended with a digit from the foul line in the first half.

Following the tight action in the girls’ arena, the boys took the floor as the Hanakila-Black D4 boys rolled over Team Central-Silver, 45-4, the white shirts getting buckets from Matthew Rivera late in the game to bring the Team Central fans to life and Joe Puplava adding a pair to prevent a shutout.

Playoffs in the Kaulupono Basketball summer league continue Thursday with two games on tap at the Kapaa High School gym and the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center starting at 6 p.m.

The Papalina D4 boys will open against Team Lihue D4 boys at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center followed by Team Central-Black D4 meeting the Eastside D4.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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