Mata pushes women over the top

KALAHEO — With just 26 ticks showing, Natalie Mata launched her missile from outside the paint for the game-winning basket Monday night during the summer league basketball games at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

“With The Kauai Hoops Classic coming up Thursday, we needed some practice,” said Kaulupono (Pono) coach Bobby Kamakele. “The girls are going to be participating in the tournament, so this is a good workout for them.”

Liona Hasegawa topped the scoring from the all-women team at 13 points in its 31-30 win over Pono Blue. Hasegawa’s daughter plays for one of the Kaulupono younger division teams. Kamie Imai added to the win on nine points followed by Marie Aiona and Kailana Soto each pocketing three points.

Monique Joy Lorenzo topped the Pono Blue scoring on 18 points, including four bombs from outside the three-point arc. Tori Daligcon added needed strength on the inside while adding 14 points, including capping a lot of second efforts. Apryl Joy Grande added 11 points, including a trey, and Monique Tomacder fired off seven points, including a sorely-needed three-ball in the second half. Tamare Daligcon finished with 10 points, including a first-half trey.

Braelyn Cayaban fired off 11 points and Kierstin Gummerus added eight points to lead the Kaulupono Division 3 girls to a 36-24 showing over the Kauai Lynx in the second matchup of the night.

“Our girls got a good workout, tonight,” said Kauai Lynx coach Clarence Sales, also the tournament director for the upcoming The Kauai Hoops Classic which opens Thursday at four venues. “They needed the work because they’re also participating in the tournament.”

Throughout the night, the Kauai Lynx never broke its discipline, working the field through the leadership of Amalya Sales, Jasmyne Ballesteros, Bailey Perreira and Jessica Cezar. Ballesteros topped the Lynx Division 3 girls’ scoring on eight points, five dropping in the second half, followed by Perreira copping four of her game-total six points also in the second half when the Lynx matched Kaulupono 17-17 in scoring. Amalya finished with four, and Kiari Kua and Cezar each pocketed three points.

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