KALAHEO — How do you defend against a team which is taller than you?
That was the task facing the Kauai Thunder on Thursday night as the Kaulupono Summer Basketball League wrapped up itsseason with the Division 4 boys championships at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
The Kauai Thunder opened the night undaunted by the height advantage fielded by Kanu Elite, pulling out an 11-10advantage at the break when Charis Cutcher-Sumida dropped the tail end of a charity pair.
Kanu Elite re-organized behind its four posts — Loni Tafea, Pookela Fernandez, Poki Tafea and Mone Malafu — to effectivelyquiet the Thunder and take a 23-18 edge off the floor for the division 3 title.
Loni Tafea led the Kanu scored eight points, Fernandez added six points and Poki Tafea had four points. Lai Naihe and KalaRull each added pairs and Malafu ended the night with the tail end of a charity pair in the second half.
Joe Ansel Puplava set the pace for the Thunder, dropping a trey and igniting the fans briefly in the second half en route to hisgame-total five points. Tyrus Duran and Cutcher-Sumda each added three points, and Matthew Rivera, the working low post,was limited to just a pair by the Kanu defense.
Rivera was joined by Keylan Felipe-Calapatia and Joshua Rego each adding pairs and a digit from Shayden Peralta rounded outthe effort.
Papalina came back from a 15-11 halftime deficit to clinch third place for division 3 with a 37-26 win over Team Lihue. RidgeSerraon led the charge with eight points. Serraon dropped six of his game-total in the second half, incuding launching a trey,along with Jaymison Kaohi who dropped a second-half three-ball en route to pulling ahead of Team Lihue. Kaohi finished withseven points.
Nakoa Andrade pocketed four of his game-total five points in the second half. Nalu Aguano and Ty Tsukayama each addedfour points. Ethan Smith, Gregory Manintin, Joey Sams, and Hans Burkman each added pairs toward the win.
Syrus Delos Reyes topped the Team Lihue effort with eight points followed by Elijah Lautej netting six points. Michael Questinand Mikey Manera each added four poins and pairs from Kellen Coloma and Justin Gummerus rounded out the effort.