KAPAA — The host Kapaa Green Warriors got off to a good start Thursday after holding off Hawaii Baptist, 47-46 at the Kapaa Warrior Basketball Goodwill Tournament at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
“We have two off-island teams, Hawaii Baptist Academy and Hana,” said John Kaneholani, the Kapaa basketball coach. “Kauai High School and Waimea High School are also playing in the tournament as well as two Kapaa teams, the Green which is our varsity team, and the White which is a mixture of varsity and junior varsity players.”
HBA battled tough through the first stanza, but Kapaa capitalizing on a turnover by Junnard Mata who bucketed the ball for the first score of the match. Both teams battled to a 7-7 deadlock at the buzzer.
Kapaa settled down to some physical defense and closed the door on a 7-point lead at the break. But HBA came back and finished a digit short at the final.
“They’re a good team,” Kaneholani said. “They practice year-round. We’re still a young team. We have only two seniors on the Green team and there is only one senior on the White team.”
The run on the court was a break from inter-team scrimmaging ahead of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation basketball season which starts Jan. 7, when Kapaa takes a ride to the Clem Gomes Gym in Waimea.
Other games scheduled for opening day saw Kapaa White tip off against Waimea, and Kauai High taking on Hana in the nightcap. Scores for those games were not available at press time.
The public is invited to view the competition starting at 5 tonight and at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Bernice Hundley Gym.
Kapaa White tangles with Kauai High School starting at 5 tonight followed at 6:30 p.m. by Waimea High School matching up against HBA who will be looking for its first win in the tournament. The nightcap will feature Hana tipping off against Kapaa Green starting at 8 p.m.
Saturday morning, Waimea will face Hana at 9 a.m. followed by Kauai tipping off against HBA at 10:30 a.m.
“There is no first, second, or third place,” Kaneholani said. “This is a goodwill tournament so following the 10:30 game Saturday, the teams get together for a luncheon for fellowship.”