Kauai comes up just short at states

Kauai High School’s varsity boys basketball team lost to No. 1 seed Pahoa, 74-70, in Friday evening’s consolation game of the New City Nissan Boys Basketball Championships — Division II tournament.

“It was a game of two halves — one for Kauai and one for Pahoa. Unfortunately, Pahoa came out on top,” said Kauai head coach Ipo Yoshioka in a phone interview. “It was basically a shootout.”

While the KIF representative outscored its opponent 42-26 in the first half at Kalani High School, the Daggers from the Big Island responded in the second and outscored Kauai 48-28.

“We didn’t play defense (well enough). They were shooting lights out and we couldn’t get back,” said Red Raiders senior center Melvin Tingzon. “I think we could have played better. Played more focused, I guess.”

“It was a good experience being with my teammates and having a good time,” he added. “We really wanted a win, but it was still good that we could spend some time together.”

Senior guard Jassem Cumlat was Kauai leading scorer with 28 points. He also had four rebounds and three assists.

Sophomore guard Josiah Coatie had 12 points and three rebounds. Tingzon had eight points, five rebounds and one assist.

“I don’t think we rebounded well. We let them get back in the second half,” Coatie said about Friday’s game. “They were making their shots in the second half and we weren’t.”

Prior to Friday’s game, Kauai lost in the opening round to No. 4 seed Hawaii Baptist Academy from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 57-45, on Thursday at Farrington High School.

“We played well. Both teams played well. It’s just we had a hard time defending the boards. We weren’t blocking out well enough to stop their rebounding,” Yoshioka said about Thursday’s game. 

Though it was disappointing to finish at states 0-2 for a second straight year, Yoshioka hopes the experience from playing against some of Division II’s best will mean continued success moving forward.

“After last night’s game, it was disappointing for all of us to not get the W,” the Red Raiders coach said. “We came up here with expectations. Now we got to get back to the drawing boards and keep working.”

“The positive part is that we can play. We played well and the kids played hard,” Yoshioka added. “We came up short. We just got to work on those small, tangible things and I’ll think we’ll be all right in the future.”

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