KAPAA — The Warriors are still in contention for the first round.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys basketball team defeated Waimea, 57-48, at home Saturday night.
“Our objective tonight was to get everybody to play fundamental basketball,” said Warriors head coach John Kaneholani. “I don’t know if we accomplished that, but in doing that, I think we put more work on ourselves when we got to practice on Monday.
“Sometimes, it’s a good thing. On the opposite side, it’s a bad thing because we got to restart our engines again and try to help our team get better for next week Saturday,” he added.
Kapaa (2-1 KIF) played full-court press defense for a majority of the game and was effective in getting turnovers.
“Our coach likes us to press because we’re a fast-paced team and we condition a lot,” said Kapaa senior forward Joshua Blaine. “We put it to work in this game and it worked out well for us.
“We just work hard. We want to win just as bad as any other team here,” the Warriors senior added. “When we execute as our coach tells us to do, we get steals, we get points and we win the game.”
After a closely contested first quarter, Kapaa distanced themselves in the second. It got three consecutive steals on their side of the court from playing that full-court press and converted them into six points.
“When you got 12 turnovers in the first half, you got 24 free points,” said Waimea assistant coach Hans Reeves. “It’s hard to win a game when you’re giving away that many points. We got to tighten that up.”
Reeves added poor free throw shooting also hindered his team’s chances. Waimea was 11-18 and Kapaa was 20-26.
“Free throws and not turning the ball over. It would have been an even game if not for that,” he said. “We were down nine at the end of the game and we only had three turnovers in the second half. So that brought the game much closer.”
Despite the loss, Menehune senior guard Jamin Fernandez said the team is much improved since losing to Kapaa, 59-22, in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season opening game.
“We were more patient with the ball. If you watch the last game against them, we got blown out,” Fernandez said. “We just got to work on (not giving up) turnovers.”
Blaine scored 14 points for Kapaa. Senior forward Matt Cummings scored nine points and junior guard Christian Roslin had seven.
Fernandez had 13 points for the Menehune. Senior guard Bernie Ned had 12 points and senior center Bobby Oliver had eight.
In the fourth quarter, Kapaa junior forward Mosese Fifita drew a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. It appeared he drew the technical for bumping into a game official.
“He said, ‘He pushed me.’ I said, ‘He didn’t push you. I was right there. I was sitting there and I watched,’” Kaneholani said about the foul. “Sometimes you get into a heated argument, but they have a tough job, too. Sometimes, it goes your way. Sometimes, it doesn’t.”
In the junior varsity game, Kapaa won, 64-43.
Kauai (2-0 KIF) will play at Waimea (0-3 KIF) on Wednesday. The JV game begins at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity will follow. Kapaa and Kauai will play on Saturday to wrap up the first round of the season.