Monday, Dec. 11, 2023 |
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KAPAA — Kapaa High School’s girls basketball team celebrated Senior Night by defeating Waimea 60-47 on Friday.
“It feels amazing. My team worked really hard,” said Kapaa senior guard Kaylee Silva. “Just tried to play with all of my heart because it’s my last year.”
In addition to wanting to win, Silva said her 18-month-old son, Kayston, was in her thoughts throughout the night and was extra motivation for her.
Silva finished the game with 13 points.
The game was closely contested through the first three quarters, but Kapaa (2-1 in second round) started the final period with 10 unanswered points and maintained its lead until the final buzzer.
“My strategy was to take time off the clock and make sure we had better looks inside,” Kapaa head coach William Aki said. “We came back and the girls had a good night.”
With the victory, Kapaa’s team bid farewell to nine seniors during the team’s final regular season home game.
Aki said this senior class defined what it meant to be team players.
“Unfortunately, a lot of them didn’t get a lot of playing time,” he said. “The seniors supported the team all season long.
“We worked really hard with this class and they showed me a lot of tenacity this year,” he added.
Waimea (1-2 in second round) tried to keep up with Kapaa shot-for-shot during the fourth quarter.
The team, however, couldn’t sink its shots while Kapaa’s offense surged.
“We kept playing with heart. We just didn’t put up the points,” said Waimea head coach Brandon Moises. “They knew coming into this enviroment, (the game) would be intense, would be hectic … it was just a dogfight.”
As the clock ran down to the final minutes, the Kapaa crowd erupted with chants of, “Here we go, Warriors! Here we go!”
The home crowd and its team celebrated the win with cheers and tears as soon as the final buzzer sounded.
“It was very special. It was out of the ordinary,” said Kapaa senior guard Ui’lani McCabe. “This game, it just felt like we all loved each other so much.”
One of the seniors, McCabe led in the singing of the school’s alma mater.
She did, though, add a different twist while the school sang and her teammates joined in singing the new rendition without hesitation.
“It was beautiful the way we sang,” she said. “Everybody had a rhythm. It felt so good.”
Kapaa will have a chance to win the second round and seal a conference title when the team plays at Kauai High School on Tuesday.
“We threw the ball away the last time we played Kauai High, and we got into foul trouble quick,” Aki said. “I’ve just got to keep them focused.”
Waimea will play its last home game on Friday against Kauai.
Despite the loss, Moises said the second round of the season has yet to be determined.
“We got to hope (Kauai) bangs Kapaa on Tuesday, and then we got to look forward to beating them on Friday,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Kapaa’s junior varsity team defeated Waimea 50-37.
Desi Paua was Kapaa’s leading scorer with 24 points.
Melia Okura and Schae-Marie Tavita each scored 10 points for Waimea.
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