Warriors bumped out in consolation game
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys basketball team lost to Roosevelt of the Oahu Interscholastic Federation, 59-50, in Friday evening’s consolation game of the OC16 Boys Basketball Championships – Division II state tournament.
“We definitely played a lot better. We had more of a complete game,” Kapaa assistant head coach Bronson Bautista said in a phone interview Saturday. “We had some of our guards come up big. We had some of our bigs find their groove. That helped a lot.”
The Warrior boys had a 30-19 lead at halftime against the Rough Riders.
“I felt like when we played Roosevelt, we were more calm and composed. We just played our game,” said Warriors junior guard Saxsen Shiira. “We were there. I felt like everything we did was according to plan. Coming out after halftime, I think we were too comfortable with our lead. So, that might have set us back a little.”
Warriors junior forward Carson Schmick was the game’s leading scorer in Friday’s game with 15 points. Shiira had 14 points. Junior guard Tristen Hawelu-Inanod had six.
“They (Schmick and Shiira) figured out some things. They figured how to play together. They figured out how to find their spots,” Bautista said. “It was good to see. It really was.”
Rough Riders junior guard Jason Talbo and senior center Nayton Koki each had 13 points for Roosevelt. Sophomore forward Shastyn Kekahuna had 10 points.
Roosevelt went on to lose to OIA’s Kalani High School, 47-31, in the Division II tournament’s fifth place game. Saint Francis School of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu defeated Honokaa of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, 58-52, in the third place game. University Laboratory School of the ILH defeated Seabury Hall of the Maui Interscholastic League, 46-31, in the Division II championship game.
Kapaa ended its season with a 8-4 record, going 8-2 in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season and 0-2 in the state tournament.
Bautista said despite the two losses at states, he hopes the experience will help those returning next season take steps forward.
“We’re definitely looking forward to that. We’re going to put together a game plan on what we got to do next, on what we got to do to get better,” he said. “Just start the grind all over again.”
Shiira added: “We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to play at a tournament like this. These schools, most of these schools come to the tournament almost every year. For us on Kauai, we have only three high schools. They play like 28 games. We only played 10. They have more experience than us, but that makes us have to work just as hard — even harder.”
As for the team’s four seniors — guards Christian Roslin and Kai Maroney, and forwards Christopher Yam and Mosese Fifita — Bautista said he’s appreciative of their efforts.
“I told them at the end of the game, I pulled them together and said, ‘You guys don’t have to hang your heads. What you guys did was help build the program, the foundation and the future success that will come,’” Bautista said. “They took that as something just as great as winning a single game — something that’s going to last forever.”