KALAHEO — Brandee Burton finished with a game-high 12 points, but the Westside D2 girls came up short, 33-27 Tuesday night in Kalaheo.
Kaulupono D2 used the height and strength of its two low posts, Melia Okura and Taegan Keep, as well as the ball handling skills of its guards, Monique Lorenzo and Kiarra Palacio to stay ahead of the Westside girls during the Kaulupono Basketball summer league playoffs at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Burton finished with the sole trey for the Westside, two buckets and was 5-for-10 at the charity stripe.
Westside guard Casey Fernandez demonstrated a lot of hustle and finished with six points, all dropping in the first half. Jasmine Santella added five points, four in the first half and Shania Kahepuu, in trouble with four fouls, and Lauren Lagoc, fouling out, each chipped in a pair.
Palacio and Apryl Grande topped the Kaulupono win with seven points apiece, each of the girls dropping a trey in the first half.
Okura finished with six points followed by Lorenzo, Keep, and Schae-Marie Tavita each chipping in four points.
Earlier in the night, a costly Team Lihue injury combined with the Kauai Ballers’ effective defense on the inside gave the Ballers a 44-23 win.
Paeia Tafea was on fire, netting a game-high 20 points for the Ballers.
Tori Daligcon-Pomaikai, another of the tall low post players, finished with eight points in the win. She was followed by Lupe Tafea, who was in key positions for rebounds and putbacks. Tafea finished with six points in the win.
But it was not all defense as guard Jaliyah Casemfired up two breakaway buckets late in the game for four points. Jazzlyn Kaleiohi added three first half points and Tamere Daligcon-Pomaikai finished with a second-half bucket.
Ashley Lucas, staying on the outside for Team Lihue, topped the scoring with eight points, including a pair of treys.
As the minutes ticked down, Lihue turned to Lucas for the three-ball, but she could only drop one in the second half despite numerous tries.
Malyssa Manera balanced her six points between the halves, and Laura Koga marked four first-half points, her value coming in hustle around the net.
Marissa Martinez, the Lihue guard who suffered an injury early in the game, rebounded during the break to finish with three second-half points.
Sierra Tanicala added a deuce for Lihue.
The Ballers capitalized on the absence of the Team Lihue guard to build its margin from an 18-13 halftime lead.
The Supersonics D4 Boys had a 6-2 lead heading into the half, but the Hanakila Gold boys dropped two buckets in the final minute to deadlock the match at 6-6 at the break.
Kylan Constantino, finished with four points for the Supersonics and was one of five players to drop buckets in its 16-10 win over Hanakila Gold.
Joining Constantino, Supersonic scoring was balanced as Derik Soriano, Trevyn Sagucio, Kealiimalu Kaawa, Braden Lumabao and Aden Ringor each scored.
Anthony Gallego dropped his bucket in the second half to break the 6-6 halftime stalemate, the audience went wild.
But the Supersonics answered that bucket, and despite Gallego dropping another second half shot, the effort came up short.
Following his game-total four points, Shine Lunter, Kawai Apana and Wendall Soriano each had a field goal apiece.
The Kaulupono Basketball summer league ends Saturday with a full slate of games starting at 8 a.m. at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.