LIHUE — Kapaa High School’s varsity boys basketball team (6-2 KIF, 3-0 2nd round, 0-1 playoff) defeated Kauai High, 46-38, Saturday evening in Lihue and won the season’s second round.
“I hate to be redundant, but what we’ve been trying to teach them since we hit a rough patch was that we were going to do everything one possession at a time — in life, in practice, in games, in everything we do,” said Kapaa assistant head coach Bronson Bautista.
The Warriors and Red Raiders, who won the season’s first round, will play the championship playoff game at Kapaa High School following the conclusion of the regular season. Date is to be determined.
“Winning the second round means nothing, just like winning the first round means nothing. The only way to get a championship is to win it all,” Bautista said. “We had to get it done, and yeah we are happy. For somebody to say we’re not happy with the results would be foolish, but we got to move on to the next thing.”
The Warriors pulled away toward the end of the fourth quarter. A jump shot by junior forward Saxsen Shiira extended Kapaa’s lead to 10 points in the final minute.
“(Losing the) first round, that just killed us. Right after that game, we went in the gym and just worked our asses off. We just worked,” Shiira said about winning the second round. “Our coaches emphasize that defense is a big part of winning. You can’t win a championship without defense.”
Down three points following three quarters, Kauai (5-3 KIF, 1-2 2nd round, 1-0 playoff) got just six points in the final period.
“I was a good game. Kapaa played really well. We played well in spurts, but not good enough tonight,” said Kauai head coach Ipo Yoshioka. “Hats off to Kapaa and the coaching staff. They did a great job adjusting and we didn’t. We’re just going to go back to the drawing board and fight for it again.”
Kauai High celebrated its senior night. Five Red Raider seniors were recognized following the game: guard Kaone Miguel, forward Kekoa Tecscon, forward Breaden Armstrong, forward Travis Girard and forward Inok Lautej.
“I’ll miss my teammates. I’m going to miss the games and miss practice. Everything about it,” said Miguel, who is in his second year playing varsity.
“Awesome kids. They’re great kids, and they work hard every day,” Yoshioka said about the seniors. “Every kid is special. Every kid has a special trait about them. You learn, you grow with them, and you believe in them. Every kid that comes through Kauai High basketball is special.”
Shiira got 12 points, four rebounds, a steal and an assist for Kapaa. Sophomore guard Rafael Roslin had nine points, a steal and an assist. Junior forward Carson Schmick got seven points, six rebounds and two steals.
Miguel had 11 points, three rebounds, three steals and a block for Kauai High. Tecson had 10 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Bryce Johnson-Cormack also had 10 points along with six rebounds and a block.
Kapaa also won the junior varsity contest, 45-41. Sophomore guard Lexton Camat scored 12 points for the JV Warriors.
Freshman forward Kaimani Tecson had 13 points for the JV Red Raiders.
Kauai High will host Waimea (0-6 KIF, 0-2 2nd round) on Tuesday. The JV game will begin 5:30 p.m. and the varsity will follow.
Kapaa will host Waimea on Friday to conclude the second round.
”We’ll play a very tough Waimea team at home. It’s going to be our senior night. They’re bound to get one,” Bautista said about Kapaa’s upcoming game. “We just want to make sure we’re mentally prepared.”