Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022 |
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WAIMEA — Kapaa High School’s varsity boys basketball team defeated Waimea, 73-49, Saturday evening at Waimea.
With the win, Kapaa (3-1 KIF) is tied with Kauai High. The Warriors and the Red Raiders will play at neutral site Island School in Puhi at 7 p.m. today. The winner will claim the season’s first round.
“After Saturday’s game last week, we came to practice Monday. The whole coaching staff told them, ‘The goal is the next game. There is no Monday if we don’t play tonight,’” said Warriors assistant head coach Bronson Bautista. “As you can see by the way the boys played, not necessarily by the score but the way they played, they wanted it.”
“What I really think it’s going to come down to, it’s going to come down to heart,” he said about the upcoming playoff game. “We’ve been through a lot as a program. In that type of game, it really comes down to heart.”
Kapaa opened the first quarter with a 20-0 run and would keep the lead throughout.
“We had to win this one,” said Warriors junior forward Saxsen Shiira. “When we lost our last game against Kauai High, we were super upset. For me, I feel like we had to make a statement tonight.”
“We’re going to come out just as hard. I’m expecting a good game. I want to see who wins,” Shiira said about today’s game.
With the kind of performance the team had, Bautista said he hopes the team will keep that quality for games that could determine the season’s outcome.
“I think as the season goes along, you don’t necessarily want to be clicking in the first two games. You want to be clicking when it counts,” Bautista said. “I think now, certain groups are starting to click, yet we still got to go through some rotations and figure out how we’re going to game plan and do things moving forward.”
Waimea (0-4 KIF) was most productive in the second quarter, scoring 22 points and cut the deficit to seven.
“We brought in a whole new fire. That’s our second unit, and they played hard,” said Waimea assistant coach Dino Pabre about the second quarter. “They did their best out there. They were bringing the lead down, and that’s what we asked of them. They had their opportunities, and they took advantage of it. And we need that. … That was good for us to see. Good experience for the younger guys.”
“I’ll tell you this. Waimea is no pushover,” Bautista added. “From top to bottom, they got skilled players. When they get it together, that’s the kind of run they can go on. Look at this past Wednesday’s game against Kauai High — they were down 19 and they cut it to five. And that was in the fourth quarter. … It’s a game of runs. Just fortunate that we had the last run.”
Despite finishing the first round without a win, Pabre is optimistic the team will be much more competitive in the second round.
“Well, it all went back to not executing again. It’s the same pattern all year,” he said. “We have good players. We believe that they can win games. It’s just that they have to translate what they do in practice onto the game. That’s the learning process. You learn something, and you got to be able to apply it.”
Shiira had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a steal for the Warriors. Junior guard Daniel Yabes had 10 points, four rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Menehune junior center Kelly Ragasa also had a double-double and was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, 1o rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard Casen Castro had 13 points, a steal and an assist.
Kapaa also won the junior varsity game, 55-49. Sophomore guard Telii Fonua had 16 points for the JV Warriors. Sophomore forward Jacob Delos Reyes had eight for the Menehune.
“Waimea played really tough. Hats off to those guys,” said Kapaa JV coach Kamahalo Kauhane. “We didn’t protect the ball the way we should. Took a lot of shots we shouldn’t have. The rebounding, we just got killed inside there.”
“I had to call a timeout. I had to bring them into focus a little bit. They were getting a little bit rattled,” he added. “We just needed to make the free throws. That’s what it came down to, but it was a grind.”
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