KALAHEO — Olivia Malafu of the Division 4 girls Dream Team capitalized on her height to dominate the inside game Thursday during the summer league games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
Malafu, a Division 4 fifth-grade and under player, finished with the night’s high score at 28 points to lead the Dream Team to a 44-4 showing against the Rebels who got a pair each from Sophia Badua in the first half and Lauree Quinones in the second half.
Helping Malafu, Lele Gonzalez netted six points in the first half en route to her evening total eight points, and Teani Larguse scored all of her six points in the first half. A pair from Jaylee Souza rounded out the math.
“A lot of the girls play up in the Division 4 games,” said Thomas Yam, the Dream Team coach. “We only had a limited number of girls turn out for Division 4 so the younger girls, including Larguse and Souza, get the experience of playing up.”
That proved costly as the Dream Team, Division 3, or players in the sixth and seventh grade.
Trachelle Iwamoto, the Dream Team’s primary ball handler, fired up the Division 3 girls, scoring 10 of her points in the first half for the 19-13 bulge at the break. She got help from Jada Ines who dropped a pair from outside the three-point arc, while Taeani Largusa lent a bucket.
With 16 minutes remaining in the game, the Rebels came back to outscore the Dream Team 15-4 in the second half to take the win before the wildly cheering audience.
Brianna Bernardo got the Rebels going early off the break, nailing a trey to bring the Rebels to within a digit 18-19. The bomb was followed by Logan Kashima netting a bucket for the 20-19 go-ahead.
Malafu answered the opener of a charity pair to deadlock the match, 20-20, before the Rebels pull ahead and kept the Dream Team chasing.
Kashima topped the Rebels’ scoring with eight points, Bernardo finishing with seven points, and Tia Jaquias adding six points to round out the leaderboard.
Iwamoto was held to 10 points, the high-pointer for the game, followed by Ines at eight points in the Dream Team effort.
Jasmyne Ballesteros had 18 points, while Amalya Sales added a dozen marks in the nightcap to lead the Kauai Lynx to a 48-12 showing over Westside Division 3 girls, who got six points from Ashlyn Agena and four points from Momi Martins.
Coach Bobby Kamakele of Kaulupono, also the commissioner for the summer league games said the league will continue through July, taking a break for the Merv Lopes Classic June 23-26.
The league features five teams in Division 3 girls and five teams in Division 4 girls. It also encompasses eight boys teams in each of Division 3 and Division 4 – with games being played at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center and in Kapaa.