Saturday, June 25, 2022 |
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Waimea High School’s girls basketball team defeated Kauai 43-28 to force a first-round playoff game against Kapaa.
Despite the 15 point win, the Menehune did not have a lead until about 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
“I believe we were overlooking the moment,” said Waimea head coach Brandon Moises. “We were already focused on Kapaa, not realizing we needed to win tonight to get to the playoff game.”
Kauai started the game with a 9-0 run and didn’t allow Waimea to score at all during the first quarter.
The Red Raiders led 17-11 at halftime before losing its lead during the third quarter.
“Our coaches really got to us. They said, ‘You guys are playing how you’re supposed to be playing,’” said Waimea’s Tianalee Apilado. “We had to make the adjustments, and we did.”
Apiladoe was Waimea’s leading scorer with 19 points, 15 of which she scored during the second half.
Apilado was sent to the charity line several times after being fouled while driving down the lane and converted seven of her 14 free throws.
Waimea’s Caitlyn Owen got her team’s offense started with five quick points at the start of the third quarter.
She finished the game with nine points.
“In the locker room, we were talking about intensity and how we needed to pick ourselves up,” Owen said.
Turnovers from stolen passes undid Kauai’s chances of winning despite having the lead for most of the game.
“We made some changes and they tried to do it, but they couldn’t fully understand it,” said Kauai head coach Neil Fagarang said. “We try not to have them thinking too much because we just want them to play basketball.”
Kauai’s Marissa Martinez was injured during the third quarter and was helped off the court, but returned during fourth quarter to finish the game.
“She stuck her leg out and I got Charley horsed real bad,” Martinez said. “I knew she was going to come up to me. So I tried to pump fake and drive around her, but she knew what I was going to do.”
Martinez finished the game with 10 points, six of which were scored during the first half.
Fagarang said he doesn’t expect Martinez to miss any practice time.
“She’s a tough girl,” Fagarang said. “She always works hard.”
Kauai was without starter Riana Ralston.
She had to sit out for this game because she was ejected during Kauai’s game against Kapaa last week, but Fagarang said he didn’t make too many changes with his plan going into the game.
“We still have the other three bigs underneath,” he said. “We tried not to change it. I didn’t want them to do something they’re not familiar with doing.”
Kapaa head coach William Aki was in attendance.
After the game, he and Moises went to Kauai’s athletic director’s office for a coin toss to determine who would have home court advantage for the playoff game. Kapaa won the toss and Aki said he hopes playing at home will help his team beat Waimea.
“To me, it seems like each team so far this year feels more comfortable in their own gym,” Aki said.
Apilado said she expects her team to win despite having to play at Kapaa.
“I know both teams are going to have to battle hard because it’s the playoffs, but we worked really hard,” she said. “All we have to do is execute.”
The playoff game will be 7 p.m. Monday at Kapaa High School.
Kauai’s next game scheduled for Friday Jan. 10, also at Kapaa.
Waimea’s junior varsity squad defeated Kauai 36-12.
Melia Okura and Shania Kahepu’u each scored eight points for Waimea.
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